The food at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is much better than it needs to be.
Once you settle into your seats at the Downtown movie theater, you are a captive audience — so the kitchen could get by with a basic burger and nachos. Instead, the bar serves a Brooklyn cocktail as good as you will find outside the Clover Club, the draft list runs to 40 beers, and the food menu features appetizers, entrees, and desserts that you would order even without a movie.
That food menu recently got an upgrade, dropping a few dishes and adding a dozen new items, including a chili-cheese dog, a steak salad, and a fried chicken sandwich, among other items. So I dragged a companion to a recent screening of Spike Lee’s “BlacKKKlansman,” where we could chomp our way through some new dishes.
The new Ethiopian-spiced Berbere Wings ($14) — created for “Black Panther” and added to the permanent menu — were a little dry, so I stole a slice of my friend’s Squash and Goat Cheese flatbread ($16), which was excellent. For dessert, I decided to indulge in the donuts ($9).
Readers, that ring of fried dough was the best thing I ate that week. Just the right amount of crunch, a soft, still warm interior, sprinkled with sweet cream, sitting on a (checks notes) “blueberry compote,” a tart jelly that cut right through the sweetness.
Alamo has strict rules against talking, texting, and cell phone use of any kind — and I was not about to miss the tense cat-and-mouse cop versus Klansman action on screen. So I cannot provide a picture of that fried perfection. Instead, I quietly elbowed my buddy to offer him a bite — and thus ensured that when the lights came up, there were only crumbs remaining.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema [445 Albee Square West between Fulton and Willoughby streets Downtown, (718) 513–2547, www.draft