BEST BOWLING ALLEY - 2005
Airport Bowl - CLOSED
There are 30-odd bowling alleys in the Twin Cities metro area, and the most astonishing thing about most of them is how overwhelming they are from a sensory perspective. This is especially true of the big places. You know, the ones with 32 lanes, full-service bars, dozens of TVs, and overloud music. The sort of place that gives your epileptic friend seizures. Don't the fools in charge know that a bowling alley is supposed to be a laid-back place? (Ask yourself: Would the Dude, from the greatest bowling film ever, The Big Lebowski, want to bowl here?) If you are chasing excitement and loud music, don't go bowling. Go to a rock show. Or an orgy. But if you are seeking a particular state of 10-pin slacker Zen, bowl in a place that promotes a feeling of inner peace. For our money--both literally and figuratively--the best lanes are typically the small, quiet, out-of-the-way ones. Places with hamburger grills and 3.2 beer. Places with mellow customers. Places with liberal open-bowling hours. Places with low, low prices. In these regards--and the intangible virtues of a generally pleasant vibe--we find no place better for complete relaxation and utter enjoyment than Airport Bowl. To be sure, it is a modest in size--just 12 lanes. But that makes for a nice cap on noise. Come in after 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and it's open bowling at an eminently reasonable $1.75 per game. Thursday night open bowling is the real steal: 99 cents a game.