Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

One of our favorite restaurants to visit while at Hollywood Studios is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. For table service, the food is maybe a half step up from most counter service restaurants in terms of selection and quality, but we absolutely love the theme here. Being big MST3K fans, we eat up the cheesy movies that are played on their approximate 45-minute loop, and we can quote pretty much the whole thing.

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Of course, sitting in a dark restaurant doesn’t make for the prettiest food photos, so we tried to illuminate with the iPhone’s light to attempt to get better results than a flash (plus we wanted to work quickly so as not to disturb other diners). Matt completely threw a curveball and ordered the Salmon (!) BLT. He inquired with our server about it, and she noted it was really quite good. She even said that, since he’s kind of picky about cooked salmon, that if he didn’t like it, he could change it out for something else.

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The sandwich is served on a crusty French Roll with Arugula, Vine-ripened Tomatoes, Bacon, Red Onion, and Chili-Chive Aioli. With a side choice of Cucumber Salad or French Fries, Matt stuck with the latter. (We knew from past experience that the Cucumber Salad is pretty bland, but that may have changed as it’s been a while.)

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Surprisingly, Matt really did enjoy this sandwich. He had nothing to lose in ordering it, and it was better than he expected. The salmon wasn’t dried out nor was it overly fishy, and was complemented by all the other elements of the sandwich. I tried a bite and, while I wouldn’t order it myself, I didn’t regret it (I think all the other sandwich toppings helped to mask the salmon a bit for me). Going into this order knowing Sci-Fi’s food reputation for not exactly being the greatest, it was a pleasant surprise.

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I ordered something we’ve both wanted to try for some time, The Famous All American Picnic Burger. The Flame-broiled Angus Burger Patty is topped with a Grilled Hot Dog, Sauerkraut, and Sauteed Onions, and “crowned” with a Pickle Spear. I too got mine with fries.

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This sandwich is pure American gluttony at its finest. Actually, execution wasn’t that great, and I really would have liked more sauerkraut as there was hardly any on there. And some condiments, because otherwise it was just a meat-bomb once I nixed the bun after a bite (low-carb until the end of January; I picked at two or three fries). Some good notes were that the burger wasn’t dried out despite its gray appearance, and the hot dog didn’t seem to be one of the icky chicken ones they serve elsewhere in the parks. The char added some flavor to what would otherwise be quite bland. If I was in the mood for a burger, I’d go with the Build-Your-Own Angus Chuck Burger.

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Here’s a look at the menus (click for larger):

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Even though the food isn’t be the best on property, or even in Hollywood Studios, we are more than happy to visit for the entertainment and cheesy ambiance of the restaurant. Our server was attentive and accommodating, and we left pleased by the overall experience. If you’re looking for awesome food, your money will be spent better elsewhere, but if you are hungry for a lunch or dinner that’s unlike others on property, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is definitely worth a look.

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9 responses to “Dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater

  1. We’ve enjoyed the atmosphere, but rarely the food. The picnic burger has been on our radar (now I know to ask for extra sauerkraut!) and the salmon BLT would definitely be a possibility for Nick. Thank you!

  2. If it wasn’t for the atmosphere, we wouldn’t go there (except for the blog). As long as you know that the food isn’t going to be 5-star dining, it’s fine. The picnic burger needs, well, stuff on it so it actually feels like a burger. For the Salmon BLT, don’t going in expecting bluezoo quality and Nick might find it acceptable. Hey, Matt didn’t send it back! 😉

  3. I enjoy the Sci-Fi Dine-In ambiance very much as is. If they swapped out the loop for MST3K clips I would never, ever leave. (Riff Trax are also acceptable.)

  4. We totally Riff Trax the movies while we’re there! 🙂

  5. My husband and I always order the picnic burger and split it. It’s more than enough for the two of us (and we aren’t small people). We usually just order some onion rings to go with it. YUM. My kids will sit still the entire time we’re in the restaurant because they love the movies so much, which makes this our favorite restaurant at the Studios. LOL

  6. Yes, the picnic burger IS a lot of food. There would have been no way I could have finished it on my own without nixing the carbs! Even without them, it’s a lot of protein. It’s great to hear you children enjoy the show; I can imagine as a parent that it can be a much needed break! 😀

  7. I ate here in September and was pleasantly surprised. During previous visits I thought it was just average, however in September it was fantastic. I had the Chicken Pasta and I ate every bite! It was so good! Two people in our party had the steak and commented that it was the best they had for a steak that trip (they also had steak at House of Blues, Rainforest Cafe and Captain’s Grille for comparison). I would go again!

  8. The last time we went to Sci Fi, we went so my husband could order the picnic burger. He really liked it. He doesn’t like what he calls “rabbit food”, aka lettuce, tomato, onion, on his burgers, so he was really happy. He devoured the whole burger.

  9. Erica – It’s always great when an typically average restaurant impresses. Glad you all had a great meal!

    Jennifer – Sounds like they designed that burger with your husband in mind! 🙂