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Pizza place mixes up fun

Take a bit of the bling of a Las Vegas casino, toss in a splash of sports bar boldness, heap on plenty of pizza parlor personality and add in dollops of fun and you've got the Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone.

For me, it was sensory overload but in a wild and wonderful way.

The Game Zone has 58 games, more than 40 televisions and a full sports bar among its amenities.

The new Divine Dining Group concept, at 959 Lake Arrowhead Road, is among the businesses at The Galleria. It used to be Umi Pacific Grille.

The smells of pizza and sauce-and-cheese-drenched pasta hit my nostrils as soon as I walked through the door, followed by all sorts of noise.

Children were screaming in delight. Adults were laughing. Games were sounding off with various sounds. And televisions were blaring.

If you have a headache, stay away until it passes. However, if you want to eat good food and have a good time, take the kids, your special someone or whomever and go to the Game Zone.

Michael Benton, 24, of North Myrtle Beach, and his sister, 23-year-old Crystal Benton, were there.

Crystal Benton bought her adorable 4-year-old twin boys, Makake and Caleb Malepeai, with them.

"I played more games than they did," she said.

Her brother was drenched in sweat after getting down on the Dance Dance Revolution Extreme game, in which players dance their way to gaming greatness.

"The Game Zone is two places in one," Crystal Benton said. "There is food and entertainment for kids and adults who want to be kids."

The menu is the same as at other locations of Ultimate California Pizza. Pizza prices are from $6.20 for a personal cheese pizza to $19.99 for a large steak and shrimp pie called the Blackened Surf & Turf. Right now, I'm loving the Malibu Greek Salad. Served over seasoned flatbread with hummus, it includes mushrooms, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, broccoli, cucumbers and sundried tomatoes. It costs $6.99. An array of party and event packages is available, with prices ranging from $10 per person to $20 per person.

Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Call 449-1160.

Frosted Flakes dessert

Kellogg's Frosted Flakes was one of my favorite cereals as a kid.

Creme brulee is one of my desserts of choice when dining out.

So I was delighted to learn that Tina Spaltro, pastry chef at Waterscapes in the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes has made a lovely creme brulee combining two of my beloved foods.

She steeps Frosted Flakes in vanilla bean custard cream and then strains the mixture to create the taste of the cereal sans soggy flakes.

The result is fabulously delicious. The Frost Flake Creme Brulee, which costs $9, is topped with several chocolate-covered corn flakes and is accompanied by Spaltro's chocolate chip biscotti.

The dessert was the perfect finish to my lunch of Tres Quesadillas - one each of the following: cheese, grilled chicken and jumbo lump crab. Those quesadillas were yummy. That lunch entree costs $11. Along with the creme brulee, it is a part of the lunch menu.

This is where I have lunch when I want to treat myself, and I'm never disappointed.

Waterscapes is at 8121 Amalfi Place. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Call 913-2845.

Lunch fondue for two

The Melting Pot in Myrtle Beach is known as a romantic spot, which is why I avoid it.

What single woman wants to be around couples in a restaurant known for lovers?

Nevertheless, I am obligated to tell you all about The Melting Pot lunch, now from 11:30 a. m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

A lunch version of the Big Night Out dinner is being offered for $38, which is designed for two people, said General Manager Sean Fredericks.

The entree features filet mignon, teriyaki marinated sirloin, chicken breast, shrimp, one of six cheeses and chocolate fondue for dessert.

The Melting Pot is at 5001 N. Kings Highway, No. 104. Call 692-9003.

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