AMC’s Dine-In Theatres: The Movies’ Last Stand at the Box Office?

November 17, 2010

AMC’s Dine-In Theatre seeks to re-invent the movie-going experience with in-theater dinging cocktails and waitress service right from your seat. But in the face of On-Demand streaming content and inexpensive, high-definition home entertainment technology, is the movie theater still viable?

Like many Americans, I love going to the movies. There’s something special about the entire experience, sitting in the dark theater with a huge screen, booming sound system, munching on popcorn, and being in a large venue where you’re sharing the experience with others.

Movie-going has been practically a cornerstone of American society — more marriages and long-term relationships have probably started from “dinner and a movie” than any other. I myself can attribute the first date with my wife to going to a movie some 16 years ago. I even remember what film we saw — Star Trek: Generations. The movie was so awful, I’m surprised I even got a second date.

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Atlanta Dining: Paschal’s

September 1, 2007

Paschal’s Restaurant
180B Northside Dr SW, Atlanta GA
(404) 525-2023

Web Site:

Every time I visit Atlanta I try to find the penultimate Soul Food restaurant, and on each dining attempt I get a little bit closer. Last time, we went to Mary Mac’s in the Poncey-Highland section of the city. On this last August 2007 trip, we were referred to the legendary Busy Bee Cafe by Atlanta blogger Blissful Glutton. Unfortunately, when we got there on a Saturday afternoon, we found it closed (although to her credit, she did say “why didn’t you ask me first!” when we informed her of our unsuccessful mission.). At the classic barber shop next door, the guys sitting on the stoop outside referred us to Paschal’s, another important soul food eatery which has its roots in in the Civil Rights movement.

During the restaurant’s heyday in the 1960’s, Dr. King and other Civil Rights leaders frequently met and and had strategy sessions over the Paschal brothers’ fried chicken and other classic soul food dishes. Originally located on Hunter Street (since renamed Martin Luther King Drive) it has now moved to a much larger and grander location on Northside Drive. The original restaurant is scheduled to be reopened in 2008, and the food service is to be operated by Busy Bee Cafe.

Paschal’s Dining Room

Paschal’s Restaurant is one of the grandest locations for dining on Atlanta Soul Food classics. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Atlanta Dining: Crawling The Buford Taco Highway

August 30, 2007

Atlanta’s Buford Highway is the ultimate foodie ethnic eats drag — here you’ll find scores of Mexican and Asian eateries, all of which have something special to offer. To help us narrow down the sheer multitude of places and keep us centered on good food, I enlisted the help of Jennifer Zyman, the Blissful Glutton, Atlanta INtown food columnist and one of Atlanta’s top food bloggers.

Buford Highway on the outskirts of Atlanta is the best place for cheap ethnic eats and shopping. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Atlanta Dining: JCT Kitchen

August 30, 2007

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JCT Kitchen
1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA
(404) 355-2252

Web Site:

After a disappointing meal at Watershed, Melissa suggested we take a look at JCT Kitchen, a similar modern Southern-style casual dining restaurant that had been getting raves from many local critics. Wanting to quickly make up for the night before, we headed toward Atlanta’s West Side and hit the restaurant during lunchtime.

JCT Kitchen on Howell Mill Road in Atlanta.

Lookin’ for some fine Southern eatin? Head no further than JCT Kitchen. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Georgia Dining: Watershed

August 24, 2007

Watershed Restaurant
406 W Ponce De Leon Ave
Decatur, GA 30030

Web Site:

Unlike other many other food bloggers out there in foodiespace, I’m not in the practice of doing negative write ups of the restaurants I visit. If I have a particularly negative experience or if I feel a restaurant just isn’t good, I simply would prefer not to write it up at all. That’s because I don’t consider myself to be a food critic — and I don’t pretend to follow the journalistic practices of a real newspaper food columnist. I’m a food writer who likes to try to reproduce the dining experience for the people who read my blog so they can make their own decisions about whether or not they want to visit a restaurant or order a particular dish. However, I also like to think I have a relationship with the chefs and restaurateurs who’s restaurants I write about, and I share my likes and dislikes with them when it comes to service issues, particular dish preparations, and so on — so sometimes, it’s necessary to play tough love in a particular writeup, especially if I know that a restaurant can do better.

It is said that a fine dining restaurant should be able to function well and replicate the experience of the Executive Chef or Chef de Cuisine even if the chef happens to be elsewhere that night. For the most part, I agree — I’ve had particularly good meals in many restaurants of well-known chefs, where the Sous or even the line cooks did a really great job in representing the dishes and paid close attention to quality. In the case of the very popular Watershed modern New American and Southern-style restaurant in Decatur, Georgia (bankrolled by singing duo Indigo Girls) they really dropped the ball in terms of attention to quality and preparation during my most recent visit, when partner and Executive Chef Scott Peacock was away in New York (presumably for the most recent James Beard event). I will now explain this in detail.

The Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Georgia.

Watershed Dining Room.

Chef out of town that evening? No problem, right? Wrong. Click on “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Atlanta: The World of Coca-Cola

April 1, 2007

With everyone presumably enjoying their KFP Coca-Cola this week, I thought I would give everyone a little tour of the World of Coca-Cola, the musuem dedicated to everyone’s favorite soft drink in downtown Atlanta.

The World of Coca-Cola is a large, Soviet-style building that looks kind of like a huge crypt or mausoleum, which is fit for holding the remains of a figure of history.

The Atlanta capitol building sits right across the street.

Here’s the main entrance, with a huge spinning metal globe, complete with lighted Coke emblem.

Coca-Cola is not just a soft drink, its a part of our history. Have a look at the World of Coca-Cola by clicking on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below.

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Atlanta Dining: South City Kitchen

March 26, 2007

South City Kitchen
1144 Crescent Ave NE, Atlanta, GA
(404) 873-7358

Fellow food shutterbug and Atlantean Melissa Goodman, AKA Gifted Gourmet invited me to Sunday brunch at South City Kitchen, one of Atlanta’s most popular modern-style Southern restaurants. Set in a beautifully restored 1920’s bungalow right in the middle of downtown Atlanta among the city’s skyscrapers, the restaurant serves updated and interesting twists on Southern classics. It was a really interesting contrast to the “Meat and 2 veg” hardcore Southern cuisine I had eaten at Mary Mac’s a few days before.

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Atlanta Dining: Mary Mac’s Tea Room

March 22, 2007

Mary Mac’s Tea Room
224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA
(404) 876-1800

Web site: 

One of my objectives this week was to have a sit down, traditional Southern meal in a classic setting. While I have had some good Soul Food examples in Florida and New York City recently, they were both modern restaurants, and the last time I had a truly exceptional Southern/Soul Food experience that could be considered to be truly classic would be at Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans, back in May of 2005. Willie Mae’s was destroyed by flooding three months later as a result of the levvee breaches following Hurricane Katrina, and it is in the late stage of being rebuilt — so I probably won’t be able to have another meal in there for at least several months. When I heard of Mary Mac’s Tea Room, a similar, but more upscale (and much larger) Southern/Soul Food restaurant in the Poncey-Highland section of Atlanta, which has been around since the 1940’s, I jumped at the chance to eat there.

Fried Chicken, Cornbread, Okra and Tomatoes. Click on the “read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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Atlanta Dining: The Varsity

March 17, 2007

The Varsity
61 North Ave NW, Atlanta, GA

I’m in the Atlanta metro area this week. Having heard about The Varsity on a number of travel and food shows on TV, I knew I had to make a pilgrimage to this place. Now in its 80th year, the legendary fast food restaurant is most known for the fact that it is the largest operating drive-in restaurant in the world — Sonic couldn’t even try to hold a candle to this place, even if it tried.

As it turns out The Varsity has a branch in Alpharetta, right across the street from the Marriott Suites where I am staying. So what exactly would possess me to drive over 20 miles south down GA-400 to go to another one? Read on.

The original Downtown Atlanta location of The Varsity.

The big V sign can be seen very clearly off the highway. V for Victory! I found it!

Are you ready for some legendary Atlanta hamburgers and hot dogs? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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