by Matt Jackson
Studio Movie Grill offers an experience so unique that it stands out from all other theaters. It takes two things everyone loves—movies and food—and fuses them together. It’s a simple but effective formula, and the Studio Movie Grill in Downtown Dallas employs it well.
Located right off Royal Lane, the theater has a hospitable air felt as soon as you walk in, especially if you go to a nighttime showing. The natural light in the building’s lounge is sufficient during the day, but come in at night and the interior lighting, combined with the overhead lights from the bar, immediately sets customers at ease. Purchasing seats and ordering food isn’t a complicated process at Studio Movie Grill, but for those new to the experience, the staff is there every step of the way to aid confused patrons. Buttons are on the counter before every seat, and one tap is all it takes to light it up and get any help you may need.
Studio Movie Grill’s Texas menu is nothing to scoff at. If you’re coming in expecting nothing but a step above typical movie cuisine—popcorn, candy, etc.—you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The menu is several steps above average, boasting a diverse lineup. It offers a variety of entrees, including the Classic American burger, the Spicy Shrimp quesadilla and Coconut Chicken Tenders. The starters satisfyingly complement the entrees; get some Cheese Fries loaded with bacon, green onions and Ranch to go with your burger or some Boneless Chicken Bites to warm you up for the main course. There’s a salad menu for those who desire healthier but still delicious options, customizable gourmet pizzas that you can order with thick or flatbread crust and even a Star Wars-themed brunch menu—”Bantha Breakfast Fries”, “C3P0-Melette Pizza”, and more—available before 2 p.m. on weekends. An interesting blend of tastes can be found in the drink menu: China Mist Iced Tea and Strawberry Lemonade or Coffee and Rockstar to help combat the drowsiness that can come with filling oneself up with food and sitting idly for hours at a time.
For a noncomplex but substantial meal, go with what I had: mac and cheese with Mountain Dew and a brownie sundae. In the mac and cheese, you’ll find soft but firm Cavatappi pasta, green onions, masterfully placed bits of crunchy bacon and a delectable three-cheese cream sauce that sticks to the pasta perfectly, with a side of toasted sourdough bread. Don’t worry about rationing the drink; there are free refills here. The brownie sundae is the meal’s cherry on top, sporting Ghirardelli chocolate, chocolate syrup, triple chocolate ice cream with some vanilla ice cream and sugary cinnamon chips to balance out all the chocolate.
This Studio Movie Grill is a brief 10-minute drive from campus, so it’s a cheap trip out there. It’s pricing isn’t at all bad; a ticket is a little less than $9 for students. The food isn’t outrageously priced, either. In fact, Studio Movie Grill has daily specials. A quick word of advice: go on Thursdays. Desserts are only $5 then.