Picture this scenario: you’re trying to plan an event with a group of friends or plan a date with the following features:
- get lit = drink alcohol
- eat great pub food
- do an fun activity that’s not difficult but is slightly competitive
- only for those 21 years old and over (AFTER 7PM)
You search Facebook events and you don’t see anything jumping out at you. You call/text your friends to ask for any ideas but they got none. What do you do?
Well, when was the last time you went bowling?
You probably don’t go often like you did when you were a kid or teenager, but Baltimore has a pretty solid bowling presence. It’s a fun activity that everyone has mostly done at least once in their life. So why not get your squad together (or your sexy date) and bowl?
Before Dave existed in my life (lol), I went on plenty of duck pin bowling dates (I also brought my friends to go duck pin bowling too). There’s nothing wrong with duck pin bowling, but I was getting sick of going to the same duck pin bowling place in Baltimore city, having kids run around me, occasionally having the lane I was playing on malfunction, and never having food being sold at the bowling alley.
And then, one day, as I researched something to do on a random Saturday with my friends, I remembered Mustang Alley’s!
If you haven’t heard of Mustang Alley’s, it’s a swanky bowling alley that has been in Harbor East for YEARS (I wanna say either almost a decade or a decade already). It’s tucked away a couple of blocks north from the main Harbor East area between Central Ave. and Bank St. Located on the second floor of a building being shared by Heavy Seas Alehouse and My Thai, this upscale bowling alley is not your average bowling alley.
You know how you were looking to get lit, eat delicious pub food, do an activity that was competitively fun, and to be in an environment with adults only (after 7pm)? Well, Mustang Alley’s has all that (and more than you can imagine)!
Mustang Alley’s has 12 bowling lanes, in which you can either choose to go duck pin bowling (4 lanes dedicated to that) or regular bowling (8 tenpin lanes). Also, for those who aren’t very skilled at bowling, you can use bumpers too (ya’ll need to get better at bowling lol)! The technical aspects of the lanes are really cool too. I’ve found out that if you go pass the red dot at the side of the lane, an alarm will trigger for you to step back behind the line on the lane floor. The one time I did it, I jumped hahaha.
After you walk in and grab your bowlin’ shoes, the area will open up to a bunch of tables.
You’ll also see a huge full-service bar that stretches from almost one end of the room to the other end. The bar area is cool because they have a bunch of bar chairs lined up, plenty of local beers on tap, and multiple tvs playing sports.
Over to the left of the bar, you’ll see the bowling lanes and the wonderful lounge area Mustang Alley’s provides for those bowling.
After you get seated, you honestly don’t ever need to leave your lane. The servers will come up to you and you can order your food/drinks from there. As you wait for your food, you can bowl! And guess what? When your food shows up, you can still keep bowling! The servers deliver your food/drinks to you. Neat!
If you end up getting to Mustang Alley’s a bit early before your reservation, you can also chill out at the bar area and get some drinks. Just make sure to close your tab at the bar before you waltz your way over to your reserved lane(s). It’s hard to keep tabs if the customer keeps moving around, and it will make it less hectic for you at the end when you’re paying (you honestly should be doing this for every place you eat/drink at if you move around, FYI)!
I do want to say that if you aren’t the bowling type and you just want to eat, their upscale american pub food is better than a lot of pub food I’ve had in the city. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve always ate the Mustang’s Famous Alley Wings, and they are so damn good. The wings are coated in honey, old bay, vinegar, and a medium type heat. None of the flavors overpower each other. Great balance. It’s honestly one of my top favorite wings in Baltimore city in terms of chicken wings coated in sauce. The order comes with 12 wings, and you can choose wither blue cheese or ranch dressing. I chose blue cheese!
Mustang’s Famous Alley Wings
If you’re trying to be more on the healthy side, they have salads too! Pictured here is the Mason Dixon Salad. It’s a plate of mixed greens topped with arugula, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, corn bread croutons (which were ADDICTING TO EAT. Dave had to keep stopping me because I needed to take pics of the salad, but I kept eating the croutons haha), grilled corn, pickled onions, and chopped bacon. You can get ranch dressing at the side too.
Because this is Baltimore, don’t be surprised to see some Crab Cake Sliders on the menu. According to Mustang Alley’s website, they are described as “mini broiled lump crab cakes, lettuce, tomato, Creole tartar sauce”, and you get three per order. Usually they are served with kettle chips, but this order came out with sweet potato fries.
Crab Cake Sliders
Sweet Potato Fries
Besides the Mustang’s Famous Alley Wings, I have to say the Firecracker Shrimp Tacos were my second favorite. Just like the sliders, you get three per order. All of their tacos are topped with cheese, onion, corn relish, avocado, and cilantro. What makes these tacos special are their plump shrimps. And whatever ingredients make the shrimps have the ‘Firecracker’ taste is oh so good!
Firecracker Shrimp Tacos
(Btw, let’s give a clap to Dave for being my hand model the whole night hahaha)
For the drinks, you can down a local beer on tap, get a bottle or a can of beer, wine it out with a glass, or get some tasty cocktails. I featured a couple of cocktails below I sampled.
Mustang Alley’s has plenty of other menu items you can choose from. I just took pictures of my favorites above. You can check out a full version of their food and drink menu here!
Anyways, when I first heard of Mustang Alley’s, it was when I still worked at Morgan Stanley years ago. We had a corporate event being thrown there for the new hires (which I was during that time) to build some good ole’ networking bonds . I remember a huge buffet table and the option for all the new hires to just hang out at the bar or to bowl. It honestly was a great time. I don’t have pictures from that day, but I did go to Mustang Alley’s to take pics recently, and what do ya know? There was a corporate party going on!
I talked to Gretchen, one of the bar managers there, and Brett, the general manager, and they both told me that a lot of businesses like to set up corporate parties with them whether it’s for the holiday season, a networking event, etc. If you’re an event coordinator that’s trying to build some camaraderie with the teams at work, Mustang Alley’s would probably be a good place to do that at.
Regardless of whether you decide to do a corporate party, a friend outing, or a date, keep in mind that you will need to make reservations in advance. Walk-ins or reserving a lane the day of does not work. I know. I’ve tried numerous times. Even with Dave working there, I still can’t get a reservation the day of hahaha. During the holiday season, it’s even more competition to get a lane, so you’d have to reserve your lanes way in advance. Also, if kids don’t bother you, go ahead and make a reservation before 7pm. After 7pm, it’s 21 and over, which is really really rad.
Another cool thing: if you want your own private event, you can reserve their private room too! Lots of sunlight, many tables, and you and your guests get to have a private bar! Oh, you fancy, huh?
And if you’re a huge fan of the place, buy a clever Mustang Alley’s shirt and mingle with them employees there!
I’m sure you all have many questions in terms of “where should I should book a reservation” or “how big of a party can I have to make a reservation” or “what’s pricing to reserve a lane”. A lot of these questions can be answered on their main website, which you can click here!
**Parking**: If you don’t Uber, there is a parking garage across the street or you can take your chances and park on the street.
Overall, I think Mustang Alley’s is a cool spot, hence my effort trying to make a reservation here multiple times even though I’m always too late… I really need to take my own advice and make reservations in advance, huh? Ha! And like I said again, even if you don’t enjoy bowling or just want to grab some really good upscale american pub food, Mustang Alley’s can provide that deliciousness.
Has anyone been to Mustang Alley’s yet? What was your experience like? If you haven’t been yet, do some classy bowling in the future, Balitmore ;D
Mustang Alley’s Bar, Bowling and Bistro
1300 Bank St, Baltimore, MD 21231
Tue. 4:30 p.m – 12:00 a.m.
Wed-Sat. 10:00 a.m – 12:00 a.m.
Sun. 12:00 p.m – 10:00 p.m.
View Mustang Alley’s Website
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