DEFCON Dinner and a Movie: Hash Browns Require Etiquette, and a Glass of Water
My first summer in Houston was pretty much spent at the Dollar Cinema. We moved in July, and hadn't had the chance to make any friends yet, and our mom was scandalized by the price of, well, pretty much everything. Moving from a small city to a large one can have that effect. Everything we would normally have done was too hot, too far away or too expensive. The Dollar Cinema was a godsend. Yes, it had sticky floors (soda, I'm hoping and praying) and was still showing Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in the summer of 1993, but it beat a bunch of whiny northern-transplant kids complaining about the heat and boredom.
Photo by Nicholas L. Hall The best bad decision.
It was in a half-abandoned shopping center tucked into the corner of South Gessner and 59, right next to a store that seemed to specialize in Paula Abdul tapes and parachute pants, and an off-brand 99¢ store that started my brief obsession with veladoras. Mom would smuggle in Starbursts and Reese's Pieces in her giant purse, and for less than ten bucks win a couple of hours of (relative) peace.
We've carried on that tradition, making the trek out to Westheimer and Eldridge Parkway once every few months to see a nine-month-old movie on a flickery screen with crappy sound and uncomfortable seats. It's a good time. When we're doing it right, we swing by The Burger Guys before or after. When we're not doing it right, the kids gorged on popcorn but the adults still rumbly, we argue.
Last week, senses dulled by a movie whose best moment was a geeky inside joke by way of a Nathan Fillion cameo, we weren't doing it right. We drove past a dozen or so restaurants, unable to find consensus. We parked in front of Masala Wok, looking over the menu online and pondering whether or not our picky eater would make us regret it. We contemplated simply going home and eating sandwiches. Then, we backtracked five minutes or so and went to Waffle House.