ATTLEBORO – There is nothing like a meal with a view – in this case a view of an ice rink. When that view comes with tasty food and fantastic drinks, it makes for one delicious hat trick at The Barn.
Located in Attleboro, The Barn is a casual family spot set inside a massive complex called the New England Sports Village, a dream turned reality for owner Alex Fitzpatrick and her family, who found family time was scarce as they carted their young athletes between practices and games.
“We realized one parent went one way, another went the other way. Nobody saw each other. We decided, what could we do to bring the family back together? And the New England Sports Village was born.”
With three hockey rinks, a full-service gym, and pro shop, they were not done.
“We are the only amateur arena in the country to have a Dunkin’ Donuts inside,” Alex poined out. “We have a Yogurt Beach, which is a great little frozen dessert shop with great fresh toppings.
“It’s an idea of bringing all of your sports and all of your kids under one roof and having things that an entire community needs.”
When the community needs some food, they go upstairs to the facility’s restaurant, The Barn.
“It’s called The Barn because we are in a hockey arena, and back in the day they used to call ice arenas barns. The menu is burgers, pizzas, salads. We have some entrees, steaks. Good, old-fashioned hockey food,” Alex said.
So whether you need to load up before you strap on your skates, or reload after a long game, The Barn has you covered. There is no better way to start than with some fried pucks and sticks.
“Fried pucks are special fried pickles that have a special seasoning on top,” she explained. “Then a side that we have, the hockey sticks, which are a mozzarella stick. You’ve got to have both here.”
For the ultimate way to carbo-load, there is the poutine – but this version really takes it up a notch with fried cheese.
“The traditional poutine dish is French fries with cheese curd and gravy. Ours is fried cheese curd, which just adds that little extra something special, and it’s delicious,” Alex described. “It’s a dish I have dreams about, not gonna lie.”
For Alex’s kids, there is only one way to start your meal, and that is with some wings. While they love the Salt ‘n Vinegar, Mango Habanero and Garlic Parm, these boys always seem to go for the Sweet Asian Chili Wings, one of The Barn’s biggest sellers.
“We call them Cooper’s wings, actually, because he eats them pretty much every day. They are a nice, sweet, tiny bit of spice, kind of Asian flavor wing.”
A great way to feed the whole team is with one of The Barn’s brick oven pizzas, made with love in a 750-degree revolving oven.
“The pizza oven is very special. It’s usually up at around 750 degrees. It cooks a small pizza in 90 seconds and a large pizza in three minutes,” Alex said. “Everyone who’s so hungry after getting off the ice is ready to be fed, and fed fast.”
There are classics like pepperoni, and creative pies like The Roasted Roadway.
“The Roasted Roadway is one of the best pizzas in the place. It’s a red pepper béchamel sauce with cheese, banana peppers, and then they top it off with fresh spinach and prosciutto when it comes out of the oven, and drizzle some balsamic glaze on top,” described Alex. “It’s like nothing that you have ever tried. It’s a very special pizza.”
If you didn’t get enough of that great wing flavor during your appetizer course, you can order the Buffinator.
“Every good sports bar has a buffalo wing, and ours just happens to be on a pizza as well. It’s a creamy buffalo sauce with cheddar and mozzarella cheese, and it comes out with whole pieces of chicken on top. Everybody goes crazy over it. ”
If you are looking for a delicious face off with some tasty opponents, look no further than the entree section, with offerings like the Bourbon Steak Tips served over pilaf with some veggies, or the Drunken Pasta smothered in a creamy vodka sauce and spiked with shrimp and chicken.
There are belly-busting sandwiches like the Reuben, loaded up with pastrami on thick cut toast; or a certified Angus Shaved Steak Sandwich smothered with American cheese and onions on a torpedo roll. But nothing beats a burger, and while they offer a few versions, Alex always suggests you go with The Basic.
“It’s a juicy patty that comes perfectly cooked, with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard. It’s juicy and delicious.”
Beyond the food and the fun, what the barn really represents is family, whether or not you are into hockey.
“We really wanted to figure out a way to bring our family together, and what we did was bring the entire community together,” Alex said. “The whole place feels like a family, and that’s so special to us. That’s really what we wanted to do here, and I think we’ve accomplished it.”
You can find The Barn at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro. That is at 1395 Commerce Way and online at nesvbarn.com.
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