« Christy's Landing | Main | CJ's Restaurant »

Chuck E. Cheese

In a word: So it's come to this.


The specs: #0085
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; review at Kidogogo; Chuck E. Cheese web site; Chuck E. Cheese's on Urbanspoon

Latest Chuck E. Cheese news and reviews

Beth, John, JM, Nichole, Sean, and the kids helped eat two pizzas: one cheese and one sausage & mushroom. Kayla ate a chicken sandwich.
The bill was about $60, or $7.50/person, including lots of game tokens.
Beth, JM and Nichole gave Chuck E. Cheese a B-; Sean gave it a C+; Kayla gave it a C; and John gave it a D (see our grading rubric).

It seems unfair to rate Chuck E. Cheese based on the quality of the food. That's just not what it's there for. For a great many people our age, Chuck E. Cheese is an icon of childhood. This has led to strange hypertext experiments and a generation's deep-seated attraction to Skee Ball. (Finally, a game JM can win!)

Skee ball

And air hockey.

Air hockey

Oh, and the actual kids (thanks Sean and Beth, for bringing the family and lending our group some cred!) seemed to like it too.

That said, as John succinctly put it, the pizza fails. On our pizza quality spectrum, no one rated it above the 75th percentile. Kayla's chicken sandwich had an inexplicable piece of sausage in it. She said it was better than McDonald's sandwiches, however.

Between sets of the animatronic band, the videos yielded plenty of surreal fodder too. Footage of Chuck E. Cheese shopping among the bulk bins at what's clearly a co-op? Larry the Cucumber singing the praises of SUV ownership? According to Sean, when he brought the kids there around Christmas the carols were of a distinctly non-secular nature. This was surprising, to say the least.

Chuck E. Cheese does win big points for cleanliness and a helpful and welcoming staff. But you can never go home again, and returning to Chuck E. Cheese twenty years older was a strangely saddening experience.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I agree it is hard to go home again. I took my nephews to the big Cheese a few months ago I remember it being bigger and the animals looking so much more real. But at last that is when Chuck E. Cheese was Showbiz Pizza. Oh the good old days!

I would of had the salad bar if I had seen they had one when I hurried myself in to join everyone. The salad bar looked to be average fare, well enough. But, as Nichole summed up, I didn't come for the food, but the excuse to play skee ball. :)

And yes, Larry singing about his love of SUV's was a bit of a shock to the system... Having finally taken a peek inside of the local Whole Foods for a portion-of-sales to benefit a particular nonprofit day, that's exactly the sort of place that Chuck E. Cheese appeared to be shopping at. It's unfortunate the food served doesn't reflect this...

I remember them having balls when I was a kid for some reason, besides the skee ball favorite. Those, besides photo booths and Pac Man, pretty much sum up my 'arcade' memories. I only went a handful of times, this already surpassed by beyond-childhood visits, which I find funny. The 'prizes' are still a let-down, but the ticket 'munchers' are a great new addition to the experience.

I remember a girl losing her retainer in the balls. At the time it didn't seem gross at all.

They switched to Pepsi today. Heresy!

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design