by Kristin Casagrand
Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade because I love “throwback” things. I have always thought nostalgic-feeling places are neat. For this reason, this week I will be talking about the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater.
I would like to start out with the disclaimer that I do not think the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater has the greatest food on property. But the experience of the restaurant certainly is fun, unique, and something you will talk about for many years!
I remember my first visit to the restaurant when I was little. I walked into the dark, huge open dining area and thought it was the coolest place. I especially like how Sci-Fi creates the feeling that you are actually outside, back in the 1950’s, at a real drive-in. With drive-in theaters being hard to find anymore, the Sci-Fi experience really is a unique experience for families to share together. It allows kids to get a glimpse into what mom and dad (or grandma and grandpa) might have done “back in the day.”
The restaurant is setup in a big movie set kind of sound stage with “car booths/tables” facing a focal movie screen. A reel of old science fiction and horror movie trailers are played throughout the dining experience, with the occasional cartoon thrown in. Each table or booth is setup next to a standing speaker, much like you would find at an actual drive-in. Car hops serve you your food while you sit in your cars and watch the screen.
Now onto the food. The menu is pretty standard fare: burgers, sandwiches, onion rings, chicken, pasta. It’s your basic diner or grill food, but with a Disney price tag. Last time I was there I got a smoked turkey sandwich with fries and a “black and white” milkshake. I was content with my meal and enjoyed the overall experience I had. However, I know Sci-Fi is not everyone’s “thing” and some people may be underwhelmed by the food. You might want to just go to Sci-Fi for dessert and head somewhere else for dinner. Then you get the same drive-in experience, but can go somewhere better for your main course. Try a milkshake, the hot fudge sundae, or the peanut butter chocolate cake! All in all, Sci-Fi Dine In Theater is worth a try once for its fun atmosphere, so make sure you make it there during one of your trips for lunch or dinner.
This week’s recipe is for the peanut butter chocolate cake dessert….brought to you by http://allears.net/din/recipes/rec_sfcpbcake.htm.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake—Sci-Fi Dine In
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup prepared chocolate pudding
Devil’s Food Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling-hot water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, warmed in very warm water for 10 minutes
Method of Preparation:
For chocolate-pecan streusel:
1. Combine flour, sugar, butter, pecans, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer until blended and crumbly.
For peanut butter filling:
1. Combine peanut butter, sweetened condensed milk, and pudding in a medium bowl. Whisk until combined.
For devil’s food cake:
1. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
2. Combine boiling-hot water and cocoa powder in a separate medium bowl, whisking until smooth. Whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Happy baking y’all!