Violet Crown Cinema

Move over, Jujubes

Restaurant Review
Photo by John Anderson

Violet Crown Cinema

434 W. Second, 495-9600
Daily, 11:30am
Restaurant Review
Photo by John Anderson

We're amazingly lucky here in Austin. We have the exceptional group of Alamo Draft­house Cinemas with their good food and personal service. Then there is the upscale iPic Theaters with its reclining seats and upscale ambitions. The locally owned Violet Crown targets folks who are sitting at the Arbor, watching an art film and wishing they had food like at the Alamo and reserved seats like the iPic. Perhaps they're also wishing for stadium seating and a cocktail. The Violet Crown has all of this. It even has four hours of free parking, so no one should mind going Downtown.

Each of its four theaters are small with 50 seats. Tables are school-style flip-up items that work great if you aren't overweight but can be uncomfortably tight for some. There is no theatre service at the Violet Crown. You order out front, then either eat at the tables there or carry your food and drinks into the theatre with you. One warning: The plates are quite large, so schlepping both a drink and food could take more than one trip, and you may not then have much room on your flip-up tray.

The quality of the food is quite good. Our favorite was the cheese plate ($12), a trio of artisanal cheeses from the geniuses at Antonelli's, along with bread, berries, and a smidge of honey. A hungry person could make a filling meal from the ginger-pork tapas ($8) and an order of french fries ($4). The tapas are bread topped with pulled-pork on mozzarella, with tomatoes and a ginger sauce, while the fries are coated in chili powder and onion powder, then served with lemon-garlic aioli. The two make for a yummy combination. The Chicago Dog ($5) comes as advertised, loaded with celery flavors and crunchy pickle textures. We were especially impressed with the oh-so-traditional Margherita pizza ($9), with its cracker-thin crust and perfectly light topping of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. And as for the movie (Melancholia), we enjoyed the high quality of the projection and the excellent sound. Highly recommended.

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