I’m a 90s kid. I grew up playing old school Nintendo and Sega Genesis…. think Mario Cart, Sonic and James Bond. The second I walked into @Nerdvana, I was overcome with a giant wave of 90s nostalgia. I got to relive my childhood as an adult, eat some seriously good food, and drink fancy cocktails while I rescued the Princess and beat Bowser. If you love old school video games, great food and cocktails, then Nerdvana is your dream come true.
In addition to having giant video games to play at the bar and in common areas, you can pick the booth with your favorite old school game and play with your group. I relived my glory years while attempting to play 007 with the same intensity the 20 year younger version of myself had.
Nerdvana isn’t playing around with their cocktail menu. It’s chock full of fancy drinks for even your pickiest friend. And come on, who doesn’t want craft beer and house-made cocktails while battling their friends on HALF OFF cocktails during their killer happy hour. Here is the low down on my favorite, but check out the full spirits menu here.
Whenever I try a new place for the first time, I always ask the bartender what the “must have” cocktail is. He steered me in the direction of “The Eldrid”, a fancy cocktail made with Dripping Springs Texas vodka, elderflower liqueur, fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh thyme, and raspberry puree, topped with soda. This cocktail was so refreshing, and not overly sweet. This will be the first thing I order on my next visit.
I had to try this next cocktail because it’s called a “Diamond Butt Stallion”, and no, I’m not kidding. I couldn’t leave without trying something so ridiculous. I actually liked this sweet, milkshaky concoction of Luxardo limoncello, Smirnoff fluffed mashmallow vodka, hand crafted lemon infused simple syrup, fresh cream, and rainbow sugar rim. If unicorns had a signature drink, it would be the Diamond Butt Stallion.
This next martini, “The Calypso Twins” was strong, not too sweet, and so delicious. Belvedere mango passion vodka, Three Olives peach vodka, Amaretto Di Saronno, fresh squeezed orange juice and mango puree come together beautifully to make a cocktail that’s easy to drink and not easy on the alcohol. Just how I like em.
In true lush form, my sampling had to continue. Next up was the “The Kristige”. I loved the sweet and spicy combo in this cocktail. Made with three olive pineapple vodka, hand crafted habanero infused simple syrup, muddled mango, fresh squeezed lemon and chili salt rim, this cocktail had just the right amount of “kick”.
We got to sample a wide variety of menu items at Nerdvana. The food is fun, original, and diverse. Chef Mike infuses every scratch-made dish at Nerdvana with his own flare, and with dishes from all around the world, there is truly something to please every pallet.
We started with a few items from the Multiplayer menu section.
The only item that I didn’t love was the Honey Braised Pork Belly. The dish is comprised of tender slices of slow cooked Pork belly with Latin slaw and chicharrones. I’m not a big chicharrones fan myself, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you might really enjoy this one.
I was excited just to see the name “Handouken Beef” on the menu and immediately caught the Street Fighter reference. How fun! This dish is made with seared beef medallions paired with pickled veggies and spicy ginger vinaigrette. It’s a spicy one, so order with caution if you struggle with hotter fare, but we both really enjoyed this one.
Next up was the Gumbo Deconstruction. I’ve never had a deconstructed gumbo, so I was excited to check this one out. It comes with grilled chicken, seared shrimp, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, griddles rice cakes with creole gumbo, and it is one hearty combo. The flavors were rich with some mildly spicy undertones.
We got to try one item off of the Hand Helds menu section, the Chicken Melt. This was my favorite item that we sampled. It seems pretty simple; a fried chicken breast, sliced smoked ham, dill pickles, Swiss cheese and ground mustard on French brioche, but it was incredible. The sandwich was filling, cheesy, and the fried chicken was perfectly cooked. While I was getting down on the sandwiches, my friend devoured not only her salad, but mine too. Apparently the salad it comes with is pretty tasty because Nicole was about to eat the salad off our neighbors’ plate as well.
First up was a pan seared striped bass. This dish is a hearty combo of Texas fresh bass fillet topped with yellow coconut curry sauce on a bed of spicy sautéed Swiss chard and basmati rice with fresh tomato salad. The fish was very mild, and the spicy swiss chard added a nice touch to the meal.
Of the campaign items sampled, the Chicken Fried Steak Medallions with house made garlic potatoes and grilled corn off the cob with a classic pan gravy were definitely our favorite. This entrée pays a nice homage to Southern soul food, but with Chef Mike’s own touch. Every part was enjoyable. The potatoes were rich and creamy. The grilled corn was packed with flavor, and the chicken fried steak was cooked to perfection.
The Bourbon Pecan French Toast was so delicious that we devoured each of our plates within seconds of receiving it. The thick cut cinnamon roll brioche French toast topped with house made bourbon pecan maple syrup, chopped local pecans and fresh whipped cream is melt-in-your-mouth good, and I can’t wait to go back to get this again.
No meal is complete without dessert, or Cheats as Nerdvana refers to it.
We tried Claptrap’ Strawberry Shortcake, a flaky biscuit filled with fresh sweet strawberries and topped with vanilla cream. The biscuit was buttery and the vanilla cream was just the right amount of sweet. This dessert is a big win.
If you’re looking for a place that mixes great food and fun in the most nostalgic way, Nerdvana is the place you’ve been waiting for.