Published: 07/01/2010 by Patrick Mucha

Maybe it’s just me, but I often wonder how war heroes of Ancient history would react if they were somehow transported through time and dropped in the center of the bustling AMC Theatre Complex in the Burbank mall.

Alaric, the Visigoth king, was said to be destined to conquer the Roman Empire, but could he conquer the long lines for tickets to 8 o’clock shows at the AMC?

Sun Tzu wrote the Art of War and was a specialist in military discipline, but could he instill any discipline in the hordes of high schoolers skipping class for a bite at the Cold Stone Creamery?

We could speculate on their reactions all day, (or just queue up Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure on Netflix for an inside look at Hollywood’s interpretation), but it’s probably safe to say they’d at least be overwhelmed by all the hustle and bustle of mall-related food commerce.

But that doesn’t mean you have to be! Deep in the heart of Burbank’s Mecca of retail and restaurants lies the outdoor AMC complex, directly at the intersection of First St and E. Palm. Here are a few places that can make your night at the movies complete without ever straying more than a few steps from the AMC ticket booth.

Food and Drinks
Barney’s Beanery:  This sizeable and nostalgic bar/restaurant is something between a sports bar and pop culture museum.  Many famous Hollywood celebrities frequented the original location, and it’s even said that Janis Joplin’s car was found parked in front of the original in West Hollywood the night she died. Full of iconic American memorabilia and boasting one of the largest and diverse menus of any restaurant in the world, Barney’s is a great casual place to grab a bite or have a drink before catching a movie in Burbank.

Quick Tip: Can’t Decide? You can’t go wrong with the Kobe burger!

Buffalo Wild Wings:  Buffalo Wild Wings, or BW3’s as it is still affectionately called by patrons who remember the days the original franchise served “weck,” (East coast loose-meat sandwiches similar to a French dip,) is a popular nation-wide chain sports bar known for it’s buffalo wings and 14 varieties of signature sauce.  With over 30 TVs and an enormous layout, Buffalo Wild Wings neighbors the AMC and is a great place to have a beer or catch a game before a night at the movies.

Quick Tip: Tuesdays are 55-cent wing days! Expect bigger crowds, but also cheap eats!

Fast Food
Chipotle: Not a fan of alcohol or just looking for some cheap food to sneak into the theatre?  Check out Chipotle just across from the AMC ticket counter. This national chain of Southwest-inspired cuisine is named after a smoke-dried jalapeno and delivers a spicy alternative to movie theatre cuisine at a fraction of the cost… just be careful because things can get messy when smuggling burritos in your girlfriend’s purse.

Quick Tip: The Barbacoa burrito bowl is a tasty option that weighs in just over 500 calories. 

Z Pizza: The first Z Pizza was opened locally in Laguna Beach, and this California native chain offers 100% organic wheat flour in all of their dough, and fresh MSG and additive-free ingredients on top.  Plus, it’s fire-baked on hot bricks so it cooks fast.  Z Pizza has something for everyone, including several varieties of vegan and gluten-free cheese. You might want to just grab a slice before the movies though, as this also doesn’t transport well inside of a purse… trust me, I’ve tried.

Quick Tip: If you’re eating on the cheap, two slices of pepperoni and a drink is only $6.95.

Crepe Maker:  This small chain serves French-inspired cuisine after a vacationing couple came back from France and wanted to help lighten up our American diets a bit with some Euro fare.  Crepe Maker slices up bits of meat, veggies, cheeses and just about everything else you can think of in a light, thin pancake of sorts for a different taste and calorie count than the typical American cuisine you may be used to. Try it for a light alternative to the usual burger and fries.

Quick Tip: They also have dessert crepes that are a great alternative to traditional ice cream if you’re watching your figure. 

Something Sweet
Cold Stone Creamery: What could be more romantic than a movie date and going out for ice cream afterwards?  Cold Stone Creamery is not just a clever name—they do actually swirl in your favorite toppings into delicious ice cream treats on a frozen granite stone. 

Quick Tip: Got a birthday coming up?  Try one of their ice cream cakes!

Pinkberry: For those who want an ice cream date on the lighter side, Pinkberry offers the less-indulgent side of frozen treats, serving their signature blend of frozen yogurt without all of the sugary additives that most ice cream uses to add on the sweetness… and calories! Choose from original, pomegranate, chocolate, mango, coconut and green tea flavors, then select a variety of fresh cut fruit or other sweeter toppings for a healthier frozen treat.

Quick tip: Pomegranate and fresh fruit is a great low-cal dessert that’s surprisingly sweet

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