Tuesday, 17 April 2018

OUTTAKES - Buffalo Boneless Bites

Hey it's Tuesday which means Cineplex theatres have cheap night and discount movie admission! As a Scene card member, I got even cheaper admission, Scene points going toward a free ticket, and a discount at the concession stand. I also cleaned up playing TimePlay. But back to the concession stand ...

There's been a revolution in cinema snacks that have gone beyond the popcorn and candy fare. The movies are competing with Netflix and piracy streaming, so the theatres themselves are getting make-overs with bigger sound, better pictures, recliner seats. The VIP cinemas have recliners with tray tables where you can get served to your seat a burger, jalapeno poppers, club wraps etc. You can even get beer and wine. And at this location, you can even order Cineplex food at home with UberEats. It's crazy.

My schedule is unorthodox, so I get a chance to hit up matinees, or sometimes, a morning flick. When I got to the movies, I almost always get popcorn, but since this was just before lunch, I was feeling hungry for something more substantial.

I headed to OutTakes - the 'food-food' counter at the movies. Since it was a morning movie, the place was pretty empty. I scanned the menu board - they have poutines, burgers, hot sandwiches, but one thing caught my eye:

OK so it's not wings, but boneless wings will do in a pinch. They have 3 flavours, Sweet Thai, BBQ and Buffalo. The ads are all for the Buffalo, and to be honest, that's what I was interested in. They also had a snack combo that was the chicken, pretzel bites, and mac and cheese bites for just about $10, but I went with the Buffalo Boneless Chicken for $7.99.

The staff member told me it would be about 7 minutes because none were ready (again, it was the morning). I heard the fingers go into a deep fryer and sizzle away. I walked away and got some popcorn (at another stand) but when I returned, the chicken was ready. I watched as they were placed in metal bowl and sauce from a squeeze bottle was drizzled, then tossed over top.

Out came a little cup - so very unceremonious, so kinda sad looking. The presentation was really underwhelming.

Fortunately, the chicken itself was more impressive. The tenders were all different shapes and sizes, which is nice to know they aren't preformed chicken patties. The above photo shows one of the larger pieces and clearly not a 'bite'. Actually this was awkward to eat with just a fork out of a cup. There were 5 pieces in the little cup.

The chicken was crispy, tender, and relatively saucy. The breading on the outside gave a nice little crunch. The chicken was moist and tender. Just as a chicken tender/finger, these were really good.

The sauce was lightly tossed - not very wet, but not dry either. It tasted like commercial Buffalo sauce, but a good quality commercial Buffalo sauce. When I say that, I mean it's obviously not fresh melted butter and hot sauce, but it doesn't taste bad like some poorly made sauces.

Of course I got popcorn - layered with butter. Can't watch a movie without it. I also add a Dill powder shaker to enhance my popcorn experience.

Would I get the Buffalo Boneless Chicken Bites again? Maybe. They were good boneless bites no doubt with their crispy breading and tender meat and decent sauce, but for $8 for 5 pieces, I'll probably pass as a regular snack.

 I know food prices are expensive and inflated these days, but what most people don't understand is that a movie theatre doesn't make money on the movies themselves, your admission money goes to the movie studios. The concession stand is where the theatre makes it's money. So yes popcorn and pop are overcharged, but that's the price to pay for a superior movie experience ( I just don't understand people that prefer watching a movie at home). Also, don't be the guy who smuggles in a can of pop and cracks it open during the movie. Mini rant over.

Oh, what movie did I see you ask?  A Quiet Place. Really recommend it - great atmosphere, superb use of sound and silence, and a unique take on alien apocalypse thriller.

Cineplex Theatres - Food & Drink

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