take your 'critical foodie' hat off for a second. I'm not going to really deconstruct the burger I had and rant about it not being Lafrieda or the pasta my wife had wasn't authentic Italian...
Laurie and I went to the new AMC Dine-In Theater in Menlo Park Mall last night. First, it's 10$ each for the movie, then 15$ each for the seats, that goes for credit towards your food. There are 2 options, one is the 'suites' theater the other theater is called 'fork&knife' maybe? A little less comfortable, and is 18+ instead of 21+ I think...either way that 15$ goes towards your food. So...either you order nothing and it's 15$ or you order food, and they give you 15$ credit. (most people had trouble understanding this, for some reason)
I'm not going to write a full-on 2 page review, I'm just going to say a few things:
-Best thing ever invented
-Will not need to pirate a movie anymore due to not wanting to tolerate 12yr olds in a movie theater
-I walked my The Glenlivet 12yr scotch from the bar (yes, the bar) to the theater and sat down in my leather recliner.
-It's assigned seating, pre-made reservations, so no waiting in line, waiting to find a good seat, blah blah blah.
-Food was very acceptable, all things considered. WE GOT AN AMUSE BOUCHE. really. ha.(ok it was a little cup of caramel corn) AND they gave us Ghiredelli Chocolate Mints as we were leaving.
-They gave us heated CLOTH wet towels towards the end of the flick.
-PRICES were great, cheaper than say, Applebees. 4.99 beer. 21$ for a bucket of 5 beers. 6.99 unlimited popcorn. Average dish price, 9.99. Menu can be seen here: http://www.amctheatres.com/dinein/cinemasuites/
-Service was OUTSTANDING. Our server, Dre, was more attentive, nicer, and knowledgeable about all items on the menu (including drinks) than most wait staff at many restaurants in NJ. No joke or over-exaggerating here.
-Was the opposite of 'distracted' as I normally am in movies. I actually forgot I was in a theater with other people and went to scratch my nuts.
-Basically everything every 20-30something yr old person hates about movie theaters...they've fixed for you, and then added alcohol and decent food.
Here's how I'd play it. Buy tickets/reservations on-line the night before. See a 'fun' movie. Don't see Shindlers List. We saw the Green Hornet. It was...the movie equivalent of diner food. Go there early, get a drink at the bar. Take drink into theater. Order some apps, maybe a burger and fries, and a strawberry shake. Yeah they have salmon, and a few other dishes that may tempt you, but realize you ARE in a theater so expect about the same quality of food you'd get from a decent NJ Diner. No more no less. You know what I get when I go to diners? Burger, fries, and a strawberry shake. If you're feeling spunky a bucket of 5 beers. Kick back in the recliner, and watch a movie with your date. Order some popcorn about halfway through perhaps...maybe some dessert!