This was the first stop on our trip and really it couldn't have been planned better. After a couple hours in the car with four kids, they needed something to do beyond sitting in a chair for a couple more hours at a restaurant. We got there early on a Saturday when the place was very quiet. We were seated and the kids excitedly referencing the movie "Balls of Fury," grabbed some paddles and started playing.
I poked around at the private rooms, which are off on one side and I'm sure provide a great space for a birthday party, bachelor party or other event.
Everyone ordered something different, so I got to try several of their menus items, starting with fried cheese curds. Can't go to Wisconsin and not have those. It's been a while since I've had them, so I savored every bite of those awesome little morsels.
Among the other dishes, were a couple of the cheeseburgers, a pulled pork, a cordon bleu burger, an EVO Reuben and I couldn't resist the bacon mac and cheese on that brutally cold winter day. Very comforting and satisfying. I loved that the side options included not just fries, but also tater tots or sweet potato fries or cole slaw. I loved the sweet potato fries, which were dusted with a little brown sugar. The menu also includes soup, salad, some scrumptious sounding pizzas, wraps and a sizable starter/appetizer menu so that you can munch in between your rounds of ping pong.
Evolution Gastro Pong Milwaukee has been around for about 5 years and rebranded about a year ago. After 9 p.m. it becomes a 21 and over destination, but during the day it was completely family friendly and the crowd spanned decades, from young kids up to seniors. If you are planning a Milwaukee trip with kids, I would definitely add this to the itinerary. Even if you are just planning to drive through Milwaukee en route to another destination, this is an awesome spot to take a break, stretch your legs, grab a bite and unwind while the kids do something requiring physical activity to wipe them out for the rest of the road trip.
On a dreary and very cold single digit day, it was a great place for the kids to expend some energy. Tables can be rented by the half-hour. Cost is $24 an hour after 6 p.m. and $16 hour/$8 half hour before 6 p.m. On Sunday, ping pong rental is half-off all day. Reservations are suggested on Friday and Saturdays, but walk-ins are accepted. The venue has 12 tables.
EVO Milwaukee Gastro Pong
233 E. Chicago Street