Arlington Drafthouse – It’s What’s for Dinner. Or not.

I made my maiden voyage to the Arlington Cinema ‘n’ Drafthouse this weekend and was excited at the prospect of table service during the movie, and even more excited once I saw the menu. Unfortunately, the very swift delivery of my fountain-poured Coke product was the highlight of the dining experience.

I ordered “nachos deluxe,” which could have been a very nice meal of tasty nachos and all the fixings but instead was a small gathering of cheap movie house chips, melted Velveeta and some tiny dabs of sour cream and jalapeƱos and cheap salsa. It was a mushy mess with no fork to eat it with. Velveeta on my fingers has always been less of a problem than it seems like, but it was messy all the same.

My mother, who was in town for my birthday, had some chicken dish she said she couldn’t even taste (seriously) and my wife had the eggplant parmesan, which she said was somewhere between okay and good.

I had high hopes for this movie house but now am not sure I will return unless it is to simply watch a movie and have a few beers. Usually I give a restaurant two chances before ending the relationship but in this case I think I will break it off early. Three samples at once is good enough for me.

On the other hand, the Drafthouse has wine tastings, $1 movie admissions on Mondays and even monthly bus trips to Virginia wineries. Definitely go check it out but don’t arrive hungry unless you plan on filling up on beer and good movies.

7 Comments so far

  1. darpino (unregistered) on March 26th, 2007 @ 7:30 pm

    Yeah the food there sucks – except for the little pizzas (the little pizzas are messy goodness).

    Cheap movies with beer and special event like the ‘Hot Fuzz’ thing on friday make it worth the occasional trip tho.

  2. Don (unregistered) on March 26th, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

    I really want to like the Drafthouse but every experience I ever have there is sub-par. The service is never short of abysmal and the sound is crappy. I never have trouble making out dialog at the movies… except at the Drafthouse.

    I could live with the sound issue if they could manage to keep my damned beer full but in about 8 visits I think I have gotten a second visit from a waitress -once-. Otherwise it’s initial order, deliver and then -p00f- till they bring the check.

  3. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on March 26th, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

    Thank God they sell pitchers, Don, otherwise, it’s a one-beer movie.

  4. culocho (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 8:18 am

    Do yourself a favor and never injest anything there again. During a screening of Anchorman I had a giant rat run right under my chair. The place is infested and dirty.

  5. Carl Weaver (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 8:50 am

    Damn! Thanks for the information. Now I know to stick to beer in a bottle. Hopefully they can’t screw that up, even with rats.

  6. Max (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 10:48 am

    The Drafthouse changed ownership about a year ago, thus the wine tastings, etc. I used to work with the guy who bought it. I went there last summer and wasn’t very impressed either. Poor sound, gross interior, and as much as I wanted to like the idea of drinking beer at the movies – I didn’t. I thought the area was depressing too. Needless to say, there’s a good chance I’ll never go back.

  7. Victoria (unregistered) on March 27th, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

    The Drafthouse has come a long way in the past year. I agree that just one year ago, the food was atrocious, but there are a few items that have improved, and it is much, much cleaner than in the past. The new owners have made definite improvements and I say, give them some more time. One Mondays, the admission is $1. It is still a great place to go, get a pitcher of beer and watch a movie for much less than you would pay at a regular theater. Besides, have you ever eaten nachos or a hot dog at a regular theater? Gross.

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