Remember when mom always said not to play with your food? There is one place in Mineola that will let you skirt those traditional meal-time rules.
With over 17 years in the restaurant business and a life-long passion for board games a place as unique as the Game Master Grill would seem like a logical step for David VanderWerf. After he achieved his dream of a retail store, Game Master Games located in Hicksville, selling and teaching board games he noticed all the take-out food coming in with his patrons.
“How do we capture the food sales?” he asked. With a skillset solidly built from his tenure in the restaurant business and his brother Duane, the two set out on their own quest with the opening of Game Master Grill.
The restaurant offers a diverse menu containing food with game-themed titles like “Legend of the Five Wings” and “Catan Chips.”
One returning customer said that “I love the food. It’s just excellent. Me and my husband keep coming back,” recommending the soy marinated skirt steak and the Dominion Burger.
While waiting you can play some smaller strategy or dice games. One game is Quarto, which is similar to Connect Four and another is Quoridor; both of which are easily learned. If one prefers dice they also have a zombie dice game.
“We want to create a ‘real social network’ where you can come in for dinner and everyone isn’t staring at their cellphones.” VanderWerf said.
For more serious gamers the walls were lined with Dominion and Axis and Allies, both much more advanced strategy games. Have no fear though, the staff will teach the games. VanderWerf even taught his mom how to play Dominion.
“She’s 77 years old and Dominion is her favorite game to play,” he said.
A menu of games for sale is available in addition to the food menu and staff will even deliver the game with your food.
“I run into this everyday of the week where someone, 30 or plus says ‘I’m not really into games.’ So I say let me show you this in 2 seconds, and they say ‘This is fabulous’,” Dave VanderWerf said as he explained the game Quoridor. “You can see how instantaneously little games like this are interesting.”
It’s not just games either. Monday nights the restaurant is screening Game of Thrones, the acclaimed HBO series which has expanded.
“It started out as a book but now there is a board game, a trading card game and a role playing game.”