Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dim Sum Sunday - Summer Blockbusters

If you want to get down and dirty with Summer Blockbuster food, you've got to go where the Blockbusters are playing and that means the cool dark theater of your local movie house. Oh my how things have changed.
Well, no, the markup on traditional movie snacks is the one true constant. That will never change. But there are options to a ten pound bag of stale greasy popcorn and gallon jug of high fructose corn syrup. Crank open that wallet and prepare for the VIP Room experience.My first stop of the weekend was the Power and Light District, the engine driving Kansas City's downtown renaissance. AMC Theaters, which was founded in Kansas City in 1920, decided to save and renovate the old Main Street theater.
As part of that renovation AMC split the viewing experiences into traditional auditoriums and Cinema Suites. Twenty dollars for a ticket for a reserved seat but that includes a ten dollar voucher towards their Cinema Suites menu. The menu is fairly extensive for movie grub. There's all the normal bits and bites of popcorn and candy but there's also hot sandwiches, appetizers, entrees, salads and desserts. Don't forget the free refills on the non-alcoholic drinks and the unending popcorn bowl.
Arriving later than I hoped put me in a bit of a bind. Fork and knife dining in the dark is not something I'm adept at so I decided to go simple on the food. In addition to the popcorn I chose the Chicago Brew Dog with Waffle Fries. They make the food to order so it's nice and hot when it arrives at your plexi-plastic swing arm dining tray.
The waffle fries were nicely fried and easy to eat while watching the movie. My hot dog was another matter. I had no quarrel with the juicy thick skinned meat dog itself but the Bun Incident ruined it. If your hot dog bun is split on both sides, it makes juggling your dog with it slippery condiments a circus act. I stabbed the bugger with a fork and ate it naked.The popcorn was equally disappointing. Stale with no hot butter. Not to mention the guilty feeling of not even being able to eat half the amount served. I will say that the red leather recliners were deep and comfy. Plenty of table and tray space for your food, salt, pepper and ketchup on side table and a naturally placed drink holder in the arm rest complete your dining package. And how was the movie The Proposal? Sandra Bullock wears some nice shoes...

Blockbuster Movie Food Night Two found me at the Cinemark Theater at the Plaza, Kansas City's landmark shopping attraction. Their VIP Room at the Palace is apparently their only venture into the dining movie watching experience. Their menu is limited to the regular concession choices and a handful of appetizers and desserts. They seem more geared to the bar experience more than AMC's Fork and Knife focus.
Again finger food seems to be a good choice for movie watching food. Southwestern Chili Eggrolls were hot both in spice and temperature. Ranch dip was the only choice of dipping sauce but there were more than enough sauce and rolls to share with your movie watching compadre.
Like AMC, Cinemark has the free refills on non-alcoholic drinks. Their popcorn, however, kicked AMC's stale butt right out the door. Hot, crunchy, buttery with just the right amount of salt, I did do some serious damage on that bucket and experienced no guilt whatsoever. Cinemark might want to think about upgrading their VIP Room experience. With AMC getting into the market, Cinemark's twenty dollar ticket with no food voucher, less comfy seats, smaller tray options and a much smaller menu puts them seriously behind in the drive for upscale movie patrons.
As for the movie, The Transformers, Rise of the Fallen, let's just say I'm not a fanboy geek but I would have to believe that even the fanboy geeks think the two hour and thirty minute run time of this Michael Bay monstrosity is about two hours too long. Happily I wouldn't know what fanboy geeks do think since both movie food experiences restrict patrons to 21 and older. Sorry crying babies, seat back kicking toddlers, and sullen teenagers, your mommy and daddy will have to take you some place else. Movie waiter, where's my apple sauce?


Dani said...

This was great Shamu!! Thanks for taking us along. :) Happy DSS to you.

I'm up.

Big Shamu said...

Dani's Dim Sum is so cute. Make sure you check it out.

LaDivaCucina said...

Stale popcorn?! There is NO excuse, that's really all those concession stand minders have to get right, make fresh popcorn! grrrr!

I laughed when I saw that you got the Southwestern egg rolls I saw those last week when we went to see Star Trek and thought...eeeww. How were they? We saw a preview for Transformer and it rattled my brain to watch it, can't imagine an entire movie of that!

We went snorkeling and La Diva ended up making some quick Thai stir fry and racking my brain for a Thai movie to post, the Killing Fields and many other movies were actually filmed in Thailand but too depressing to put with my lovely lemongrass shrimp and cashew stir fry. So, I got nothin'!

Buzz Kill said...

As has been the case lately, I've got nothing. Went to a local baseball game yesterday (Camden Riversharks) and by the time I got back I was toast from the sun and the beer. I barbequed a steak but couldn't think of a movie to go with it.

I will, however, relate a movie experience that the Mrs. and I had about 15 years ago (that I still remember). We were visiting her parents in the Lakewood, FL area and decided to go to the movies to see Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. We got to the theater (the name I can't remember) and it is set up like a night club. Tiered levels with small, round tables and chairs for 2 or 4 and a full size movie screen with dolby sound. They had a bunch of bar food (burgers, fries, wings, etc.) and beer! Did you hear me, I could get a bear in a glass mug and drink it while watching the movie. I remember thinking at the time that this was revolutionary and that someone should franchise these places. Well, I never saw one ever again. So much for revolution.

Happy DSS!

LaDivaCucina said...

If you enjoy slagging the food network, check out my post!

Click here.

tee hee!

Susan said...

geesh !! we don't even have a good video shop in this little village. Wow ! your talkin' about some fancy movie watching. Transformers ?!?

On a completely different topic do you know about this relatively new bloggy food site. I was paying my once every couple of weeks visit to and found he is one of a great group of contributors to this new venture. Looks great. You may already be hip to la good bite scene.

moi said...

How cool! As part of a book I once helped write about KC, I did a little promo piece on AMC theaters - cool company.

As for The Proposal: "Sandra Bullock wears some nice shoes..." tells me all I gotta know.