Small Bites is a weekly food news column in C-VILLE Weekly.
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Imagine making a reservation for a seat at a movie theater, knowing that your meal could match the movie you’re watching—and it’s all delivered to you. That reality exists at Alamo Drafthouse at 5th Street Station, which opened July 20.
The theater features seven screens, with rocking theater seats and recliners. Reservations and walk-ins are welcome, but make sure to arrive a half-hour before the show. A waiter greets moviegoers to take food and drink orders, and continues to serve you throughout the film.
Creative Manager James Sanford says that when he first joined the Austin, Texas-based company he was surprised.
“My jaw literally dropped when I opened the menu…you could get just about anything you wanted,” he says.
Popular dishes include the banh-mi hot dog, shrimp po’ boy and the Southwestern tofu quinoa salad. Alamo uses local ingredients from vendors such as Cavalier Produce, Shenandoah Joe and Albemarle Baking Company. The menu also includes milkshakes (adult and kid-friendly) and a cocktail and beer list from its bar, Glass Half Full. Sanford says about 80 percent of the beers are Virginian, including Devils Backbone Brewing Company, South Street Brewery, Hardywood and more, with rotating taps.
He says Alamo Drafthouse isn’t looking to replace Violet Crown Cinema, it’s just offering another option for dinner theater.
“So much of our food is not just there as an accessory; it’s actually tied into the film and connects cocktails [and] menus with movies,” Sanford says. “The food becomes just as much a part of the evening as the film.”
Tiffany Davie, owner and chef of Miss Tiff’s Catering (and also known as the “Macaroni and Cheese Queen”) is doing a trial run of her Spanish, soul food and Caribbean eats at The Ante Room.
“It’s still young, [but] we’ve been getting really great responses,” she says. “It may work, it may not, but it’s a great location, great exposure and connection to the people in Charlottesville.”
Her famous mac ’n’ cheese is on the menu, of course, along with fried chicken and international dishes like jerk chicken. The same fare can also be found on her catering menu.
“This is what I love to do; this is a God-given gift,” she says.
Local acupuncturist and chiropractor Dr. Doug Cox is healing with honey. A self-described “novice beekeeper,” he started his hives three years ago to produce honey to sell to the public; proceeds will go to the Virginia chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project. His business is Hero Honey, a name his active-duty son-in-law suggested.
This is the first time Cox is donating the honey, because it takes about three years for the hives to produce enough nectar. He’s also gotten other local beekeepers to donate their honey to the cause.
He will start selling Hero Honey out of his office the second week in August. He has about 20 orders so far, but there’s a limit of one bottle per customer.
“I’m going to sell out immediately,” he says.