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Ping pong is on the menu downstairs at Game On

The Lyons den of entertainment welcomes another venue: a ping pong club. Blazing Paddles, downstairs from Game On! In the shadow of Fenway Park, is part of a worldwide trend of table-tennis lounges.

It’s more like a billiards hall than a dorm room, with 12 tables, many of them in walled-in areas reserved for groups.
Xander Miller
Private table tennis, complete with dinner and drinks.
Xander Miller

Maybe your only familiarity with the ping pong ball involves a red cup, but this is a sexier version. It’s more like a billiards hall than a dorm room, with 12 tables, many of them in walled-in areas reserved for groups. It’s $15 for a half hour, $25 an hour, and the fee is waived if you bring in a party.

It’s loud, but you can still talk. The wraparound central bar is still there, and the game can be seen on several screen TVs.

If you have a group hanging around a table, and only up to four people can play, you’re going to want to get some snacks, or some meals. Chef Jose Lopez has recently changed up the menu a bit; he ordered a new dough-maker to make a pizza that has a crust you want to chew on, and is using mozzarella instead of a mixture of cheese. As one guest noted, the cheese “doesn’t slide off” when you eat it.

The nachos are of standard quantity, and the black beans, scallions, jalapenos and sour cream is now topped with Monterey jack for a nicer tang. Ask for the guacamole — it’s chunky and heavy on the cilantro, and you can also add beef or chicken.

There is a full burger selection, including the chef’s prized Beantown Burger, smothered with smoked gouda, caramelized onions, crispy bacon, and Boston baked beans topped with a Jameson BBQ sauce and served on a potato roll. It’s a contender for area burger contests. A nice touch, all of the burger combinations are available on a veggie burger.

And of course, don’t forget about classic buffalo wings, made with Frank’s Red Hot and house-made blue cheese dressing.

For the lighter side, order a skewer of scallops and shrimp, atop a mixed-green salad with vinaigrette. If you like fish, ask for it; there’s salmon: pan roasted and blackened served with warm buttered couscous topped with a fresh cucumber salad; and not on the menu but available are tilapia and swordfish. Also ask for gluten-free menu items.

Desserts are a must. The molten brownie Sundae is a dark, fudgy mound topped with vanilla ice cream, caramel and hot fudge. The fried banana cheesecake is terrific, like eating a banana cannoli, topped with whipped cream and ice cream.

There’s a full cocktail menu with martinis and margaritas. For a kick to go with the buffalo wings, try the Sweet Heat margarita, made with Silver Tequila, Fresh Agave Nectar, freshly squeezed lime juice, splashed with equal amounts of passion fruit and Habanero puree. It gives a lingering heat that’s not too spicy.

For something a little more refreshing, the raspberry Palmer is Sweet Tea Vodka, Lemonade, Soda Water, Raspberry Puree and Lemon Juice.

Tired of ping pong? If it’s not a game day, rent out the batting cage, which is where the visiting team practices. It’s $5 for 10 swings. For some batting help, bring along a glass of Wally’s Green Monstah: pear vodka, muddled with fresh mint, fresh cucumbers & passionfruit puree, shaken & topped with grapefruit soda. garnished with sliced cucumber; or a Yawkey Way Julep: Makers Mark Bourbon, Simple Syrup and Mint.

But for the serious Ping Pongster, Blazing Paddles offers a Tuesday night intramural league, with coaches and referees. Individual membership is $125, and $600 for a group.
You can also buy ping pong accessories.

Blazing Paddles at Game On!
82 Lansdowne St.

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