Bar food basement
Tucked away in a downtown basement, The Rack offers nightly food and drink specials and a variety of entertainment, including bowling, billiards, air hockey, foosball, darts, pinball, ping pong, beer pong and an array of classic arcade games.
The menu is a collection of bar bites, including 12-inch pizzas, deep-fried appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches and chicken wings. We started with a Freshie pizza ($13), featuring a thin, crispy crust covered in feta, mozzarella, parmesan, roma tomato, rosemary, basil and white garlic sauce. It had good flavor and texture—better than average for bar and grill pizza. Next up was a pair of housemade meatball sliders ($11) with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella. They were surprisingly good, with plenty of garlic, oregano and rosemary.
Our server allowed us to split flavors in an order of 12 good-sized chicken wings ($10). We went with Hooters hot buffalo and garlic parmesan flavor. The wings themselves were average, but the garlic parmesan flavor sported tasty melted cheese and fresh garlic.
A pair of burgers—the Firehouse ($11) and Big Lebowski ($13)—each featured a couple of well-seasoned one-quarter-pound patties cooked medium rare, the former topped with mild chili, red onion, jalapeno and pepper jack cheese; the latter with bacon, onion rings, mac and cheese bites, barbecue sauce, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses. They were served with curly and sweet potato fries, respectively. The fries were fine, but the real star was the beef—perfectly cooked with excellent seasoning.
My daughter ordered chicken strips for herself ($9) and a grilled cheese sandwich for her son ($5.50), both with curly fries. The chicken was moist and tender, and my grandson made short work of his meal.
Next was a pair of sandwiches. The Black Jack Bust ($12) featured a blackened chicken breast, applewood smoked blue cheese, red onion, tomato, iceberg lettuce and chipotle aioli, on a sesame seed bun with a side salad. The chicken was moist, and the combination of flavors was good, but the salad was wilted, perhaps from a heat lamp. The 300 club ($12) came with better-than-average roast turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, red onion, spring mix and sandwich spread on grilled sourdough with curly fries.
We modified an order of gutter ball nachos ($10), offered with corn tortilla chips covered with a 50/50 blend of cheddar and American cheese sauce, corn, black beans, sour cream and a choice of pizza toppings. We skipped the sour cream and pizza goods and ended up with a pretty bland dish of cheese and chips, which wasn’t helped by the corn and beans.
We also tried a family appetizer platter ($26), with six each of mac and cheese and pepper jack cheese bites, battered mozzarella sticks, Italian breaded zucchini sticks, battered dill pickle chips and mini corn dogs. It was served with habanero honey, chipotle barbecue, ranch and marinara sauces. The mac and cheese bites were creamy and tasty. The mozzarella, zucchini and pickles were average. And the mini corn dogs were pretty good. Unfortunately, two cups of ranch dressing had bulging lids and bubbled over upon opening, a sign of room-temperature fermentation. Someone in the kitchen needs to pay closer attention to food safety, but our overall experience was fun and tasty.