It was a bad idea to go see the movie Gravity at the Coyote Drive-In (223 NE 4th St.). The drive-in is great, but a movie like that needs a more cinematic setting — and one that can’t be ruined by some jerks blaring Tejano music and constantly turning on their headlights. There’s nothing worse than watching Sandra Bullock scramble to save her own life in zero gravity to a soundtrack of accordion music that sounds eerily similar to cats in heat. Luckily, the ushers eventually stepped in.
Regardless of whether the movie is good, the drive-in gets an A-plus for providing a cool overall experience. I didn’t really have high expectations for the snack bar — and for the most part it’s not that great. But I was surprised to find a decent hummus ($6). The delicious garlicky spread, served with pita bread, was a welcome sight on the menu. There’s also a cheese plate and something called a Louisiana meat pie ($6). What’s it stuffed with, pelican meat? I didn’t want to risk it.
The Coyote cheeseburger ($8) with Hatch green chiles, roasted red peppers, bacon bits, and cojita cheese caught my eye. Too bad — the flat, overcooked burger was school cafeteria quality, as were the previously frozen fries. The pepperoni pizza ($8) was no Fireside Pie, but it’ll get you through a movie.
The bar has a fantastic beer and wine selection, offering several Texas craft brews and a few big-name glasses of vino (Mondavi, Stag’s Leap, Acacia). If you’re really in the mood to celebrate, the bar also sells bottles of Veuve Clicquot ($85). (I’m trying to imagine a celebratory occasion that would involve both a drive-in movie and champagne.)
The Coyote snack bar might have gotten a little higher rating in my book if I hadn’t partaken of another dinner-and-a-movie experience a few days earlier — “The Movie Tavern (2872 Crockett St.) is a ‘must try,’ raves anonymous Fort Worth Weekly food critic.”
The Tavern’s menu is way more ambitious than that of a snack bar. It offers choices ranging from kobe beef sliders ($11.79) to shrimp skewers ($10.99) and, of course, all of the usual movie concession fare.
If you go to the Tavern, or any movie theater, stay as far away from The Counselor as humanly possible. I swear I got dumber every minute I watched that waste of film. Or, if you go, as a consolation prize order the spicy fried pickles ($6.99), served with ranch dressing. I inhaled the crispy saucers like fried discs of crack. More of a concession stand traditionalist? Go for the Nachos Libre ($8.79). Not only are these nachos unrelated to the gelatin-like globs of “cheese” and stale chips served at most movie theaters, they’re also better than those at, say, Chili’s or any of the Brinker chain restaurants. They’re loaded with beef, pico de gallo, avocado, cheese, and black beans and topped with sour cream and jalapeños. Where’s the Veuve Clicquot when you need it?
Chow, Baby likes this trend of edible food being served at movie theaters, but I need to remember that I’m a food critic, not a movie reviewer. It’s hard enough to take notes on nacho quality while keeping up with the story line. How does Kristian Lin do it?
Contact Chow, Baby at firstname.lastname@example.org