I hope everyone had a great holiday break, I know I did. As a matter of fact I wasn’t online much while we had family in town. I figured I’d spend some time not glued to the laptop! I did keep up with Instagram (@iheartfoodvb), but that’s it. One thing I did a lot of while I was on vacation was hit golf balls and eat.
The thing is, I don’t play golf. My only experience with golf is one trip to a driving range, some putt-putt when I was a kid and Nintendo Wii. So what do golf balls have to do with food?
Everyone on the Southside probably noticed those huge poles next I-264. Those nets have been catching the balls hit from the driving bays at Topgolf. I’ve heard the balls are specially made to prevent them from going over the nets but I haven’t confirmed whether or not that’s true.
I had a chance to check out Topgolf a few weeks ago at a special event that introduced the facility to the area and I went a couple of times with family over the holidays too. There are now three Topgolf ranges in Virginia with a total of 28 planned for the U.S. and 3 in the United Kingdom. I was surprised to learn how many Topgolfs there were around the world and I’m glad one was built here.
Quick run-down on the game, you hit golf balls into targets on the green. Certain games you can play score differently than others but basically the further you hit it the more you score if you make inside the target. I’ve been at night and during the day, love how it looks at night, but it’s cheaper to play before noon.
Now about the food. Topgolf has a huge kitchen with about 75 people assigned to it. There is a seating area for people who want to have a regular dining experience. I saw at least four fully stocked bars peppered throughout the three level building and a lower level lounge area with an X-Box and a pool tables.
If you are there to play Topgolf, you can order right from the bay you’re playing from as to not interrupt the gaming experience. Drinks, snacks and whole meals are available to order and eat while you play. I tried to eat something different with each visit; except for the beer, I drank O’Connor Brewing’s agave IPA El Guapo when I had a drink (or two.)
My favorite item on the menu so far have been the nachos. Take a look at them.
The crispy, cut tortilla comes loaded with bean puree and three cheese mix. The board they’re served on has a chimichurri drizzled sour cream, guacamole and salsa. You can also add chicken, steak or brisket to them if you like. I’ve had them with and without the brisket, loved every bite. The grilled lime tops it all off, I was even thinking I’d have to get an order for myself so I could eat the whole thing.
We had the Cheese Fries with Bacon too. You get a good serving of fries with a ton of cheese and jalapenos on them. My niece liked these a lot, she was the first to dig into them. We had the hot wings too. They come in Asian Sesame, Buffalo, BBQ or Inferno; when I was asked what kind I would like, I said, “Hot.” Our server said: “Inferno then?” Me: “Uh…no, how about Buffalo.” I wasn’t feeling adventurous that day, but I will try the Inferno next time I’m there. The Tater Tots are pretty tasty; I can’t pass-up tots.
The Chicken and Waffles sliders were good and looked great, but I really liked my burger. I got a Classic with bacon and cheese and they cooked it perfectly. I like mine pink, leaning towards the rarer side but not mushy and that’s what I got.
I don’t really eat a whole lot of sweets but I had to try the Injectable Donut Holes that comes with a large syringe you use to stuff them with a filling. We picked Bavarian cream and it was fun and delicious.
I got to eat from two menus over the few visits I had at Topgolf. As I mentioned, the first trip was a special opening for media and they served food from the corporate event menu. Flatbreads, roasted vegetables, Mojo-rubbed Pork Loin, mashed potatoes, the works. That stuff was great! Keep Topgolf in mind if you want to do a company event, it would probably be a big hit.
There is a still a ton on the menu I need to try, but I’ll have to tackle that one bite at a time. The menu prices are competitive but I just can’t spend all my time at Topgolf. I’ve already been accused of living there – someone I know that works there said I’m there as much as she is! If you want to try something different and have a little fun check out Topgolf. You don’t have to know how to play golf, I definitely don’t, but I have a blast trying to hit the golf balls into the brightly colored targets on the green. If you go early you can rent a bay for about $25; a bay holds 6 people. Split the cost and it comes down to dollars per person. You do have a one time registration membership, but it’s only $5 and it’s good for any location for the rest of your life.
Swing (see what I did there?) by and check it out, grab some of their great food and a golf club. I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
George W. Culver is Eater-in-Chief at I-Heart-Food.com and contributes to several online and print publications. He makes a pretty mean Thai Basil Fried Rice too.