Bowlers have little time to waste waiting for meals at bowling centers.
Most are there to bowl.
Nancy Willson, manager of Brenn's Pub at Colony Park Lanes North in York, said food needs to be served fast and sold cheap.
At Colony Park, all orders are prepared in the same kitchen. People may order meals from the snack bar or in the pub, and eat at their lanes.
Willson said food preparation must be efficient to accommodate a variety of guests, ranging from birthday party-goers to seniors to league bowlers.
She said the pub caters to the guests' diverse palates.
It serves homemade soups Monday through Friday. On Tuesday, about 75 seniors bowl, and the kitchen prepares their favorites - chicken and rice, and tomato bisque soups.
"Few bowling centers offer homemade soups," Willson said. "A better variety is what I like to call it."
Throughout the years, food served at bowling centers has changed.
Colony Park - open for more than 20 years - used to serve fewer items, including hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza. Today, its menu lists several sections - sandwiches from the grill, ¼-pound burgers, wraps, salads and subs.
I ordered a bistro turkey BLT wrap because I was curious about the sauce. The menu said it adds "a little kick."
The wrap was served on a whole-wheat tortilla and packed with freshly carved turkey, bacon, lettuce and tomato. The bistro sauce had a Dijon base with a spicy twist.
I enjoyed the turkey most; it was thick and tender. I'm not a huge fan of bacon, but I'm trying to order without asking for modifications to keep my Cheap Eats experiences more true-to-menu. I pulled most of the bacon off, so it sort of defeated my point. Overall, it was a good, no-frills wrap. If I were there to bowl, it would've been a nice, quick lunch.
Those who aren't bowling might go to the pub to watch sports, or play pool or cards.
Framed NASCAR pictures and nine TVs line the pub's walls. Willson said Brenn's Pub is home to York's Raiders Fan Club. When Joann and Terry Brenneman bought the center, Raiders memorabilia decorated one of the pub's walls, so they left it that way. Willson said about 50 plus people show up on game days.
A few customers sat at the bar overlooking the lanes on a Monday afternoon. I didn't see many bowlers.
Willson said it's busier when leagues play, during parties and when specials are offered. The pub hosts a pool league Thursdays, and offers Texas Hold'em on Fridays and live music Saturdays.
Nothing on the menu costs more than $7.99. The pub also serves up week-long specials, such as 75-cent hamburgers, two slices of pizza for $1.50, and 50-cent wing dings.
"We have to keep the food filling and low in cost," Wilson said. "People will actually comment on our menu and say, 'Wow. That's a great menu.'"
Cheap Eats profiles local restaurants with meals for less than $10. Suggestions are welcome. Reach Leigh Zaleski at 771-2101, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
LOCATION: Brenn's Pub at Colony Park Lanes North, 1900 Pennsylvania Ave. in York
LEIGH'S PICK: Bistro turkey BLT wrap, diet soda ($7.52)
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
PRICE RANGE: $1.29 to $7.99
ACCEPTS: Cash and credit (no American Express)
KID'S MENU: Yes
DETAILS: Visit www.colonyparklanesnorth.com or call 846-0454