It has been years since I’ve been to a drive-in theater. For me, the nostalgia of drive-ins has always been more interesting than the actual experience. A drive-in involves a lot of real estate that just sits idle during the day, so I appreciate that some drive-ins are adding non-movie events to support their revenues. The Silver Moon Drive-In in Lakeland – which seems to do an impressive job of lining up first-run releases – also operates a “swap shop” every Saturday and Sunday. My wife and I, game for new dining experiences, visited recently and had breakfast at the drive-in’s snack bar.
We didn’t really see any “swapping” going on, it was really just individuals selling merchandise. Something along the lines of a community yard sale. It wasn’t really our cup of tea, but if you enjoy yard sales it could be a pleasant experience. Having only been the one time, we can’t comment on how much the sellers or merchandise vary from week to week. We could imagine it getting brutally hot during the summer months, so bring a hat and maybe a bucket of ice to dunk your head in.
The snack bar seemed to only offer their breakfast menu rather than the pizza, hot dogs, etc., that they also serve during movies. It was cleaner than I expected, which says more about my low expectations than anything. Of course, the snack bar was built with movie-goers in mind, so there’s not much in the way of seating, just a couple of picnic tables outside.
The young man who took our order was not paying close attention but he was friendly enough. We both ordered the breakfast special, which comes with 2 eggs, bacon or sausage, grits or potatoes, and toast. We both asked for scrambled eggs and bacon. I ordered potatoes and my wife ordered the grits. Coffee for my wife to drink and hot chocolate for me.
Again, our expectations were pretty low, maybe that’s why the food tasted surprisingly good. The bacon was a bit over-cooked but still tasty. We each received 2 slices of toast and it was pre-buttered. With a little pepper, the eggs and potatoes were actually quite good. The hot chocolate was a little watery but not bad. The weak link was the coffee, which my wife did not care for.
So it’s probably not for everyone, but we had a good time at breakfast and checking out the swap shop. And the best news – our total was only $10.50. So we got a decent breakfast at fast food prices and a stroll around the drive-in as a bonus. The Silver Moon Drive-In is on New Tampa Highway (U.S. Route 92) in west Lakeland.