Go on mysterious quests, challenge your opponents with your knowledge of useless trivia or race your pirate ship around Jamaica at the Board & Brew, a cute little café in College Park MD. This restaurant invites its patrons to grab a table, order some food and spend hours there.
In fact, ordering food seems beside the point at this joint. The games are the point — but the food is good too. You can order food or your favorite caffeinated drink — or even craft beers — AND while away a few hours playing just about any board game you can imagine.
So if you’re looking for light hearted laughs, brutal competition, old favorites or the latest games, you can most likely find it on Board & Brew’s shelves.
The Games at Board & Brew
The games line the shelves, like books at a library. When you sit down at your table, a Game Guru comes by to check in with you. Don’t know what game you want to play? The Game Guru will ask you a series of questions to help you identify fun possibilities. Or you can simply browse the games on the shelves, arranged by general category: word games, party games, trivia games, cooperative games, games of diplomacy, deduction, quest, racing and set collection, among others.
I love board games. In fact, I’m almost always up for a rousing game of King of Tokyo (a party game), the Captain Is Dead (a cooperative game), Fluxx (a card game) or Catan (strategic negotiation). But we can get bored of the regulars, which is why a place like Board & Brew is so cool.
With only an hour to 90 minutes to play and after some consideration of choosing the latest version of Azul, we chose to play Jamaica. We just couldn’t turn down a game that featured pirate ships wheeling and dealing around the island, fighting each other and racing to grab the treasure.
Once we’d made our choice, the Game Guru came by our table to teach us how to play the game. He had us up and running within minutes.
The Food at Board & Brew
Made from scratch, the café’s menu offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as dessert.
We were there for linner — a late lunch / dinner. We tried the fried dill pickles, the French fries (crispy and just right), the macaroni and cheese, and the pan seared Brussel sprouts as starters.
My spouse also ordered the black bean burger, with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and onions. I ordered Mike’s Mistake, a marinated chicken with a creamy aioli sauce, goat cheese and caramelized onions on a cibatta bun. I don’t know who Mike is, but he made no mistake! Our friends enjoyed the hummus and falafel and the chilled creamy cucumber and dill soup, so perfect for a summer afternoon.
The Drinks at Board & Brew
Board & Brew offers a variety of options, from single-origin coffees to signature cocktails, spiked milkshakes to craft sodas and beers, delicate teas to full-bodied wines. While we were there, my spouse tried one of the craft root beer options. We also tried the lavender lemonade, a delicious concoctions of fresh-squeezed lemonade with a lavender syrup infused into it. And we were definitely tempted by the Whiskey Business, a caffeine-laden cappuccino with whiskey syrup and cinnamon.
Know Before You Go
It’s a truth, universally acknowledged, that if you’re asked about your favorite games, you’ll instantly go mind blank. So do yourself a favor, write them down at home, because you’ll want to tell the Game Guru.
There are two locations: College Park MD and Philadelphia.
Getting there: 8150 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD or 3200 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Website: Board and Brew
If you enjoy Board & Brew, you’ll likely also enjoy Spinners!