Category Archives: Bar Food
When I say “Bar Food”, I mean “Food Served in a Bar,” typically served with alcohol.
I’m going to give Venetian Theaters 3 stars. It’s on the same level of quality as the Studio Movie Grill, with a number of things that are better and worse. I’d imagine that if you live in Dallas, you probably have been to a Studio Movie Grill. As a result, I’m going to do a lot of comparing between the two.
I apologize to those that aren’t familiar with the Studio Movie Grill, but SMG kind of sets the average in Dallas for this kind of entertainment. I’ll also mention AMC’s “Fork and Screen” as well. (I have not yet been to their cinema suites.)
Let’s start with what’s better at Venetian Theaters, and then we’ll get to the things that aren’t quite as nice.
Great / Better than Average:
-It’s a family owned business, and it shows. The staff is very friendly and have gone the extra mile. They dress their employees very well, and they’re very welcoming and cordial upon your departure. They’ve got AMC and SMG LICKED here.
-I’ve only been here once, but the food seems to be quite good. I may have just ordered a good dish (built my own pizza), but it seemed like the food was a step above where SMG is. I’d say it’s on par with AMC here.
-Their chairs are much nicer than Studio Movie Grill, though not as nice as the custom-made AMC chairs.
-The stadium style seating works well no matter where you’re sitting. You only have “counter” style seating in these theaters, so you don’t have the “back of the row” table option, like SMG offers. I don’t care for the back of the row tables, as in those cases, the stadium seating doesn’t work well, and you have waiters walking in front of you to boot.
-The “down lighting” is effective for getting around the theater and getting into and out of your pockets / picking out your credit card / etc. (I.e. – there’s ample lighting pointing down underneath the counter where your food is.)
-It seems like they have a pretty cool bar setup.
-The servers seemed to be pretty attentive.
Not So Great:
-The rows are narrow and don’t allow for you to have much space in front of you. There’s a bumper that prevents you from rolling back to get more room. I’m not that big of a guy (wide or tall), but if I was, I’d probably have a pretty substantial problem with the seating.
-The “down lighting” does not light up your food at all, making it difficult to eat your food. You have to use the lighting of the movie to help see where your food is. If you have finger food (like chicken tenders), this makes things somewhat difficult.
-The fresh paint and varnish smells are still somewhat intrusive upon eating.
-They need to do something with their lobby. They probably will, in time.
I noticed some other reviews complaining about where the switch was that you need to use to order food. I didn’t find it obtrusive at all.
I think I’d be lacking to mention in my review that there’s a TON of potential here. I will be back, and it will be interesting to see what improvements are made.
Also, I didn’t take advantage of it, but keep one eye on Groupon. I think they periodically put out the “movie ticket and drink” deal for $6.00 a head on Groupon (again, similar to the SMG.) This is probably worth doing if you’re on the fence and want to try Venetian, but aren’t sure.
One more parting tip… I’ve never been to one of these types of places where the theater wasn’t like a meat locker. It’s always freezing in these types of places… Make sure to bring a fleece or something that you can put on / take off during the movie so that you’re comfortable.
I can’t believe that Quaker Steak gets 2 and a half stars on Yelp as of this writing. I disagree. I’d probably give it 3 and a half stars, but I’m going to round up to four. Buffalo Wild Wings in Lewisville is the closest direct competitor (I guess Frankie’s is also) and I believe this is better.
Let’s get the nasties on the table first. I’d probably give this one and a half stars. The “car” concept is kind of cool, but I’m not wild about how it’s executed. I don’t particularly care for NASCAR. This is certainly a “blue collar” atmosphere without the breastaurant effect you’ll get from Twin Peaks and Redneck Heaven in Lewisville. (The food is better also, but I’ll get to that later.) The downside is that unless you’re sitting in the bar or in a booth, I think you’re stuck in the plastic lawn chairs that they have. This is a bummer… and probably the biggest bummer of the restaurant. Also, I’m not wild about the thought of eating under the car, as I’m always thinking about how it could fall on me or leak oil on my food. Gross.
When you receive your check, you receive a moist towelette and each diner receives a red Twizzler. (I can never get the damn wrapper open… I’ll bet I’m not the only one.) The twizzler is worth mentioning here because it kind of adds on to the blue-collar theme. I think the twizzler is pretty funny, actually.
Either way, I’m okay with the whole “blue collar” theme, but I think it could be executed better, primarily by buying some real chairs. :-/
I’d give this a full five stars. I believe their dishes are fairly creative and imaginative, and there’s MANY options. There’s so many things on it, the menu kind of reminds you of the cheesecake factory. This is an awesome thing for a wing joint. The sauces / flavorings help to add to this, by allowing you to further customize your meal.
(Just to set the relative bar of expectations, I think Hooter’s wings (and food in general) TOTALLY suck. A wise man named “Rock” once said, “No one goes to Hooters for wings.”)
The sauces are quite good. I’ve had a lot of the sauces, and I’ll rank them here. Quick note: I really like SWEET and/or HOT BBQ sauces. I know that my taste isn’t congruent with everyone else. Let’s go in the order of how they list them… in increasing spiciness on the Scoville scale. Note that I haven’t tried ALL of their sauces yet.:
Ranch – Your standard ranch. I like their little ranch containers here. I think they look cool. But they are somewhat small. Make sure to get a few of them.
Original BBQ – Tasty, but nothing to write home about.
Dusted Mango Habanero – (This is actually a “dry rub” and not a sauce.) EFFING AWESOME. I’d get this again. Goes great with the ranch.
Louisiana Lickers – Like the Original BBQ, I’d say this is tasty as well, but nothing to write home about.
Thai ‘R’ Craker – Also EFFING AWESOME. One of my favorites.
Arizona Ranch – Very good, but not as good as I was hoping. I was expecting this to be my favorite. It’s up there, but it’s not my #1.
Buckeye BBQ – This is excellent. It’s a great compromise of spicy and sweet, with a little more spicy. This is also one of my favorites.
Atomic – I’m not a huge fan. Sure, they’re really spicy. I like spicy. But I don’t like the vinegar-y buffalo-sauce tasting spicy all that much. This has too much of that with too much heat.
Triple Atomic – This is better than the Atomic sauce. It’s actually kind of sweet for about the first half a second you can actually taste it. Then, the ghost peppers take over and you start to cry. Literally.
My only complaint here is that I kind of wish they had a honey BBQ sauce to rival Buffalo Wild wings. Overall, I’d give this 4.5 stars out of 5.
The servers here appear to be nice, enjoy their job, and are willing to talk about the menu. I’d give this 5 stars / full marks as well.
I think without discounts, the price is actually better than their competition. I think that WITH discounts, they truly have a leg-up.
Take advantage of the nightly specials, and get on their mailing list. They send you a lot of e-mail, but in those e-mails, there seem to be some nice coupons.
Don’t tell them I said this, but I think the “worst seat in the house” is a lot better than some of the other seats in the house. In fact, I’d kind of recommend it, because you get a good view of the TVs by the bar. If you sit at this table, you’ll get 10% off your check. I find this to be totally worth it.
In my opinion, better than going to their competition in Lewisville because the food is just as good (and priced more reasonably) and you won’t leave smelling like the bottom of an ashtray.