There’s a reason why this post has no photos; If I had taken pictures of my meal I would have gotten kicked out of the theater. But more on this soon. . .
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is a Texas-originating chain of movie theaters that recently added a location in the Twin Cities suburb of Woodbury.
These days, many movie theaters have plush reclining seats and alcohol. Alamo offers these things plus local beers, a large menu and strict code of conduct. I found the seats here a little bit more comfortable than the typical megaplex.
I bought our tickets online. The website makes it really easy to choose your seats. The theaters are on the smaller side. When we arrived, we wandered into the theater and weren’t quite sure if we were supposed to check in at the front desk. The employees at the front desk directed us to find our seats in the theater and said they didn’t need to scan our tickets. No one ended up scanning our tickets.
Order beverages near the front desk and bring them into the theater or wait until you’re seated. This location serves 32 local tap beers. I was impressed they offer one of my favorites, Castle Danger Brewery’s nitro stout. My glass of merlot came in gigantic pour.
Prior to the film, servers stop by each seat to take orders. First drinks are brought out and soon after the movie begins, the the food. They’ve perfectly orchestrated dropping off the checks and making sure your credit card is run prior to the film ending.
After you place your initial order, you are encouraged to write orders on the pieces of paper on your tray and place them vertically in a slot on your tray.
Alamo Drafthouse’s menu offers a good variety of vegetarian and meat items. We had trouble deciding between all of the appetizers, sandwiches, entrees, and pizzas. We settled on sharing a squash and goat cheese pizza, the “really hot” chicken wings, and fried pickles.
The pizza was surprisingly excellent; a crisp thin crust topped with their five-cheese blend, goat cheese, and paper-thin shaves of squash baked until they turned crisp around the edges. The fried pickles are fried spears, not chips. We found them crisp and not greasy. I thought the wings were ok. The sauce has a good flavor and some kick but far from what I’d consider spicy. We both felt the skin could have been crisper, but, overall, Jake found them better than average.
Alamo carries ranch but not blue cheese. The ranch dressing tastes homemade. They did charge us $.50 to add it to the wings even though it came with the fried pickles.
The funny thing is that I couldn’t tell you what our food looked like because we couldn’t see it. With the meals arriving after the movie began, we could hardly see what we were eating. We floundered around trying to rip apart slices of pizza and dip chicken wings into sauce. I watched Jake grasp at an empty fried pickle tray and I dropped stuff on my shirt. The thought of trying to eat a big ,sloppy burger here in the dark is hilarious. Don’t let this stop you, though.
I got a kick out of Alamo serves popcorn in big metal bowls. Orders are unlimited. Butter isn’t that yellow squirt substance but clarified butter upon request. The only thing I wonder is if you can take the rest of your bowl home.
If you like to chat and check your phone during movies, the Alamo Drafthouse might not be for you. These rules are strictly enforced. The company makes it very clear that guess who talk and use their cell phones will receive one warning before getting kicked out without a refund. You are even encouraged to report disruptive behavior on the little order cards.
We had to watch our whispering but I appreciated that no one spoiled the experience. The last two concerts I attended were disrupted by people sitting next me who filmed entire songs on their annoying, glowing phones.
I also think it’s cool that the theater shows classic movies. They also host interactive movie parties for classic films with props. Two examples I see scheduled are Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Mean Girls. September’s calendar shows Halloween films like Carrie and The Faculty.
Ticket prices are similar to the major movie theater chains. Our evening tickets cost $11 + a $1.50 fee for each. On Tuesdays tickets are discounted to $5-8. Living Social is currently offering a deal of two tickets for $15. The theater also sends you a free ticket on your birthday if you sign up for the loyalty program.
In conclusion, should I try to check out some of the independent theaters around town? Absolutely. What I will comment on this particular experience is that we had a lot of fun and would certainly return. I’m most excited about possibly seeing some of my old favorite movies and trying more menu items.
Feel free to leave any comments below on Alamo Drafthouse, your favorite movie theater, or movie theaters that serve good food.