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Alamo Drafthouse

I hesitate to even bring this up because I'm such a fan of the Drafthouses. And to be honest, I've never expected fine dining when eating in the dark. But I've noticed over the past few months that the food has gone from being marginal to downright inedible. I think I had one of the worst hamburgers I've ever eaten while watching Toy Story 3 at the South Lamar location. Subsequent forays into the menu have resulted in the same below lackluster experience. And the locations don't seem to matter. I've had horrible food at all of them. Anyone else had similar experiences?

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
1120 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX

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  1. I agree. I generally go to the Lake Creek location and I'm at the point where the beer (and occasionally the Guinness milkshake) are about all that's worth ordering. Against my better judgment, I tried the Diggler Dog last night. The dog was sizable, but not quite done enough, and loaded with far too many raw onions, which were kind of hard to pick out in the dark.

    1. I had the pimento cheese sandwich the other day that was on special at Alamo South and thought it was really good. The marinated cucumbers were awesome on it.

      Time before that, I didn't order food food, but they did regrettably forget to butter my popcorn, which was sad.

      2 Replies
      1. re: addlepated

        I LOVE that pimento cheese sandwich (and the homemade potato chips that come with it). I wish they'd add it to the regular menu. I've had bad luck with some of their vegetarian options. The Kick-Ass tofu sandwich sounds good but is just awful.

        1. re: Musidora

          They've got it at the Village location as well, and I agree that it's awesome. I emailed them to suggest they add it to the regular menu. Y'all should, too--we can make this happen!

      2. i am completely over eating at the lake creek drafthouse.

        we visited 5 times in may/june.
        the quality of the food, particularly the hamburger, was noticeably worse.
        i'm accustomed to having servers get my order wrong on occasion (even though it's written down, sigh).
        but the food was just downright awful: the burger was gristly and just had a horrible texture/flavor.
        i figured it was particular to this location, since they are separate from the others in austin.
        guess not...

        the service has declined at this location immensely, too.
        the last time we were there in june, a server knocked an empty beer glass over and it landed on my kneecap, causing me to yelp in pain.
        it happened because he was rushing, and he turned to say "you okay? sorry" while rushing off again.
        the damn thing made my kneecap swell up and i was limping for a day.

        3 Replies
        1. re: dinaofdoom

          They've raised their prices too, which makes the Lake Creek location more expensive than any other location in town. The only thing I'll order there is the Wild at Artichoke Hearts pizza or a $5 milkshake. Service has been decent for me at least. I learned from a server that if you ask, they'll give you sides of pizza sauce and parmesan cheese for your pizza.

          I usually drive a little farther to the Village location. I like their Kick-Ass Tofu sandwich, which started out as a special but became a regular item. It's a tofu bahn mi sandwich basically. It could use some more sambal mayo spread, but it's still pretty darn good. Lots of crunchy veggies that always fall out on me and a side of wonton chips.

          1. re: verily

            since i live in the parmer/620 area, it's just sooooo close but i am debating on switching to the village location even though i hate driving in that area.

            the tofu banh-mi sounds delish!

            i agree that the artichoke hearts pizza is good, and that is actually the ONE item they didn't eff up in the past few months.
            we split it as an app w/ some beer because we weren't super-hungry.

            1. re: verily

              I sent an email to Alamo, Lake Creek, with a link to this thread... I love going for a movie there and I want them to BE GREAT. Here's the reply:

              Hi Rene,

              Thanks for writing to let us know about your concerns regarding our menu.
              We are in the process of updating our menu, so please give us another try in the near future. We appreciate any feedback- positive or negative!

              Thanks so much for your time and patronage.

          2. I was at lake creek a few weeks back and ordered a chicken strip basket, great I thought. I have ordered these in the past at s. lamar. I get it and the chicken looks like "fillets" of fish instead of crunchy strips...it was not the best. Definately different from what i have ordered in the past at s. lamar.

            1. I'm in the same boat as you. We go there at least twice a month and both the S Lamar and Village pizzas have gone downhill fast. It's such a pity, as they were some of my favorite pizzas. I was hoping it was just a rough streak, but apparently it's a food quality change. The crust and cheese are really not pleasant any more...

              3 Replies
              1. re: amysuehere

                Took the teenagers to a movie at the Village a few weeks ago and the pepperoni pizza was so bad that my 15 year old son only had one slice. That's an expensive mis-order for me. That kid eats like a horse, non-stop and for him to refuse to eat a medium pizza .... it has to be bad.

                I remember people saying that their pizzas were some of the best in town, when they first opened. I hope they figure out what the issue is.

                1. re: chispa_c

                  I know what's wrong; they've cheaped out on the cheese. Used to be very high quality and now it doesn't even make it to the next day leftovers without completely breaking down.

                  1. re: amysuehere

                    The crust seems crappier to me now, too.

              2. i went to S. Lamar last weekend and got a Cheeseburger w\ fries. Aside from the 9.99 i paid, i had no complaints, although i knew going in that it'd be expensive, but i think the prices went up again.
                Aside from cooking the bacon crispier, the burger was ok.
                My wife had the big fat greek wedding pizza (or something like that) and she liked it.

                3 Replies
                1. re: TroyTempest

                  the lake creek location is not owned by the same people who have the other austin locations so maybe that is why my burger keeps getting crappier.

                  and i totally agree-- it's not a cheap burger, for what it is, and what else you can get in austin for the same amount.

                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                    I ate at lakecreek yesterday, It was pretty terrible.

                    1. re: ieathereforeiam

                      well, at least i know it's not me!
                      thanks for the update.

                2. Bummer. I've never had any problems with the food at any of them, but then again, I always just get a pizza or something like the basket of cheese strips.

                  1. thing is, even with the incredibly lousy food, it is still the only movie theater I go to. the beer is always cold and the service is solid. I also appreciate their pre-movie programming and their clever non- first run showings.

                    but yeah, even the chips and queso are inedible.

                    1. I'm with ya. I love going to Alamo to watch movies and have a few cold ones. Used to order food every time I went, but I stick to popcorn now *if* I order any food at all. It used to be more reasonably priced and tastier. With all of the great food options in this town atm, the food at Alamo is now a pretty bad deal.

                      1. Just wanted to weigh in my agreement for the food at Alamo being so bad I now refuse to order anything other than the simplest of things.

                        Got the falafel once, it was runny on the inside, actually returned that.

                        Got a pizza once, and they took one spice WAY too far... can't remember which now.

                        So many bad experiences, I'll maybe get a dessert, or just pass on eating entirely. The food at the Alamo Drafthouse is disgusting.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ImAFriendlyGuy

                          i actually got dessert once - the fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

                          I am not a a picky chocolate chip cookie eater... As in i don't really have a preference for chewy or crispy, chips or chunks. The cookies I got at Alamo Village were baked to an even dark brown burnt, but not blackened and were crunchy in the bad way. that is not how i like any cookie.

                          stick to the fried mozz sticks, root beer float, or $5 shake. (And don't sit next to anyone who has to use a knife and fork throughout the movie.. aaargh.)

                          I do hear good things about the Highball, though and have a friend that provides local produce to them..

                          1. re: topodrinko

                            I have only been to the Highball for dinner & dancing but the food I thought was quite good (not great but decent for the price overall, and interesting). Unfortunately they let the dance floor get a little sticky though. I haven't been for a while but will probably be going again in the next few weeks.

                            1. re: danny_w

                              i have enjoyed the high ball for bowling and snacks, but good lord it's expensive.
                              they also have really overly waxed/greasy bowling balls that was getting on my shirt.
                              it made the fancy-shmancy nut bowl they gave us impossible to eat.

                              part of me wants to write the alamo to see what they have to say about all this.
                              another part of me sees the bad reviews spanning date ranges and locations, and figures it won't do much good.

                        2. They're seeking feedback about their menu(s) now, so dig in everyone!


                            1. Went to the Drafthouse Village recently, and have to report that the food has definitely gone downhill. The burger I had was overcooked, with a stale bun straight out of a "6 for 99 cents" HEB package. The fries used to be seasoned and good; now they're basically thick-cut Ore-Ida from the freezer.