Trying to take care of a few final Henderson restaurant reviews before I moved my office completely away from the area, I recently headed over to the Hi Scores Bar-Arcade to grab a burger and check out the scene. I have a friend that is a regular there, and speaks very highly of the staff, the space and their food so I figured it would be good lunch. Can going to a video game-based bar for lunch be a good idea?
Located just off the 215 on Stephanie in a fairly isolated corner spot, the bar shares its building with another restaurant whose name escapes me at the moment. You step through the Hi Scores’ side door into a confusing intersection of two spaces; a dark bar and a tight looking seating area with some arcade games. Since it was noon in the middle of the week, the regular dining area was completely empty so I headed into the bar side. The bar has 4 booths, a couple high tops and maybe 20 bar seats around a crazy TV display. The scene for my lunch was complete with bad music videos, plenty of smoking patrons and lasers on the walls. The ‘restaurant’ side extends behind this bar area and has plenty of booth seats as well as more video games. I’ve read many people online trying to compare this place to Insert Coins downtown because of the video game aspect; I will not really address this because I hate that place and they’re not really the same thing.
The menu has all sorts of Hawaiian items, sandwiches and crazy bar food that you’d probably want to eat if you’re of the crowd that does plenty of snacking while gaming. Their one burger on the menu, the Pac Burger, is an angus patty topped with swiss and cheddar cheese, red onion, tomato and butter lettuce. The patty had great char flavor, but was still a bit too dry and overcooked considering it dripped and made a bit of a mess at first. The butter lettuce was insane for a second time in recent weeks, is this a new trend to make something look dramatic? Well it’s dumb. The LTO were all good, and the cheese was melted but not too present. The bun was very sweet, very dry and just took over the whole meal. All I could taste was the bun with each bite, more than the patty or anything else, and it ended up really taking away from the burger.
The fries were of a slightly thick cut, and could have been decent if they weren’t so undercooked and the cooking oil had gotten changed as it was definitely old and a bit foul. Plus they were so undercooked I think I actually tasted raw potato at one point. Based on this meal and some of the others I saw coming out from the kitchen, I think the food looks great but doesn’t quite deliver. I’ll also note that even though it was noon-ish on a weekday, it was fairly busy in the bar area and the only person serving all of us was the one waitress behind the bar. She did her best for the most part, but when she took my empty plate away at the end of my meal she also took my half empty iced tea. I thought maybe she was going to refill it, but when she returned with just my check I knew my drink was gone for good. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before but whatever, I guess it gives me something else to talk about. $7 for this burger isn’t too bad, but when you add another $3.50 for raw potatoes and $3 for an iced tea that I wasn’t able to finish, and you suddenly have a $14.59 meal that was way too much. As a whole I’d say if you’re into video games and mediocre bar food this is probably a great place, but if you’re looking for great food and great atmosphere this is probably not your destination.