Best food in the park?

At most Nuke 'N Pukes, the deep fried and flame grilled items are generally going to be fresh. Possibly even the pasta. It's the side items, vegetables, sauces, stuff like that which can generally be pre-portioned to be microwaved and served that you have to watch out for. For me, the bigger problem is that it's all pre-portioned, which means everything has broccoli in it whether you want it or not, just because that's the corporate chef's favorite vegetable. Meanwhile, the smell of it turns my stomach.

And stay away from the steak sandwiches at those places if you're expecting a cheesesteak, because that's not what you'll get. Apparently they don't have a flat-top grill (!) so you get a piece of flame grilled meat (good start...) dressed with onions, peppers and mushrooms out of a microwave pouch. It's not bad, but it's not what you were expecting, either. On the plus side, at least it's one thing whose vegetable component doesn't contain any shpxvat broccoli.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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I just had to bring this topic back. A lot of people complain that the Food in the park is junk or it's good! How come? Personally I love Cedar Point's collection of food choices. I love Los Gatos, Famous Dave's, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A, Midway Market, Tofts, and new this year Sweet spot. So I just don't get it.

I'm a big perch fan and have been curious as to how the perch sandwiches taste over by GK?

Pete's avatar

The perch is good, I got it all the time last year when it was on the meal plan. I believe the perch is frozen before cooking, but it is still good.

I love the burritos at Los Gatos and this year the Chuck Wagon has burritos in the menu that you can put together kind of like at Chipotle.

Coasters has pretty good burgers and grilled chicken. I like the pizza from the food stand on the main midway also. Beaver Tails are quickly becoming a must have whenever I'm in the park. They have some specialty stuff like turkey legs that is really good.

I think some people have expectations that are too high. It's mostly fast food, not 4 star restaurant food. For what it is, I really don't have many complaints now that it is a good deal with the season dinning plan.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

It's got nothing to do with expectations (or your other favorite word...entitlement) as it does with facts. It's 2 star food with 4 star restaurant prices and 1 star restaurant efficiency.

Plus, it seems lines this year have been longer than ever.

Pete's avatar

You mean like every other entertainment venue in that country that marks up food, like stadiums, movie theaters, concert halls, amusement parks, ski resorts, etc? I guess you need to go to a 4 star restaurant to get 4 star food at 4 star prices, not an amusement park. That way you can feel "entitled" that you got what you paid for.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

noggin's avatar

Yeah... businesses taking advantage of a "captive" audience is not a surprise. You can pack a picnic to take to the park, you can grab a meal near a stadium, but the park and the stadium are only too happy to take advantage of offering customers the convenience of a quick, easy meal.

I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

codeGR's avatar

Famous Dave's, Panda Express, Chick-fil-A are chains so I don't consider them when discussing best food options in the park.

Cheese on a stick.

Btw, The Platinum Pass French Fry deal (2 fries and 2 drinks for $7) ain't too shabby either.

Carowinds beats all East Coast CF parks for non chain food hands down. Even more so when you factor the dining plan options into it. CP so far has been on the very low end. Even Dorney has them one upped a bit.

Pretty bad for being the flagship park.

CPfan1976 said:

Cheese on a stick.

Btw, The Platinum Pass French Fry deal (2 fries and 2 drinks for $7) ain't too shabby either.

I have always wanted to try cheese on a stick but am worried I am gonna have a heart attack after haha.

The cheese on a stick is more like a gooey white Velveeta cheese instead of a stringy Mozzarella. My family thinks they are gross.

I think the cheese on a stick is gross as well. My sister and brother love them and I don't get the obsession. I can take a bite at the beginning, getting mostly the coating with a touch of the cheese, and be good for the year. Any further in and it's a mass of over salted goober guck. If they're fresh then they're hot as Hades and run everywhere. When it cools down it resembles the texture of the paste you used in grade school. I miss the BBQ place that used to be located near where the MF is now. It was located behind the GW when the GW was located behind the train station. Does anyone else remember this place? Great ribs, chicken and corn on the cob that was all cooked in back of the service counter where you could see the grill masters at work. My family and I made it a point to stop here for lunch every time in the park. The closest taste to this that has come back around are the grilled turkey legs. Not the same but close.

3snoH un=l's avatar

We have to go to the perimeters to get decent food, Famous Dave's, Hibachi, Perkins. For all day, we usually pack a lunch and eat at the car. I cannot have a steady diet of burgers, fries, hot dogs, and chicken fingers. Too many places that serve that same food in the park. Fast casual is the fastest growing restaurant trend, like Piada. McDonalds and Wendy's are constantly trying to clean up their menu because people want to clean up their diets. I might check out that new burrito station if it's anything like Chipotle. I'm not interested in an all you can eat buffet, that defeats the purpose of trying to eat healthy because one has a tendency to overeat because of the price. I don't see a difference in Carowind's offerings and Cedar Point's. I saw Dorney did have a sushi stand, great to have for on the go.

Upside-down Fun House

AlexGillman's avatar

I'm just curious, how are the prices at Chuck Wagon?

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There's two types of fried cheese. What we get at the Point is a stick of mystery yellow product surrounded by thick corn batter. If the cheese ever has a chance to melt then the outside is burnt. These don't get a good rating from me. But I'm ruined.

The best cheese I've found by far is from a stand that plays fairs and festivals in Ohio. The people are from Mansfield and they show up in Columbus for Pride, Comfest, and they set up at the Ohio State Fair right across from the building where I work. (danger!) The cheese is good Swiss, and the batter is light and thin, almost like tempura. It's absolutely fantastic, melty and crunchy. With a little mustard? Heaven. The trailer stand is silver and grey and the sign overhead is black and it says Steak on a Stick, Cheese on a Stick. (the steak is good, too, chunks skewered then grilled) So fans of fried cheese should look for these folks at your fair or festival. If you're lucky they'll be there and you'll leave that CP cheese behind.

And Raptor Ravenous, I absolutely remember the BBQ stand at the Point. We would joke that they were grilling seagulls in there, but it really was good. I've often wondered why they don't do something like that still, but my guess is since Marina Steakhouse closed, the chain joints in its place have had a lock on that type of meal. Speaking of Chuck Wagon, when they served "Western Foods" they had ok BBQ with picnic style sides. But they went to pizza and salad for a while, and now you say it's Mex. Oh well.

If it was seagulls being served up then consider me sold, haha! I think maybe they closed due to the side effects of the grills. I remember being choked by the smoke walking in the area if the wind was blowing a certain direction. Who really knows; it was some fantastic food though.

Anything served at the Chuck Wagon Inn now has to be better than what was offered years ago. A cold opening week at the park 20 years ago and just craving something warm and down home to eat. We see CWI has beef stew. Well... not sure what that was but it wasn't any beef stew I've ever seen. Dinty Moore was a four star compared to this stuff. A couple bites and done. Let's just say my family has nicknamed it the Up Chuck Wagon ever since. This particular incident makes me think of a topic to start. Hmm...

I think of CP or any other amusement venue as a place where I'll be overcharged for less than stellar food choices if I choose to eat there. If I get pleasantly surprised then I take note. If I plan a trip to places like this I plan for the fact that I'm either packing a lunch or not eating healthy. I also plan to bring extra money because I know my purse strings are going to get ripped clean open and I'm going to have to dig deep. If we get hungry we eat at a place that's near us wherever we are in the park. It's about the amusement factor after all right? Got to get back to the rides!!

noggin's avatar

Same here. If I'm going to an amusement park (or a museum, or a movie theater, or anyplace else where your choices are limited once you're inside) I assume food will be subpar, over-priced or both, and relish the occasions when I'm pleasantly surprised.

Trips to Cedar Point involve breakfast and late night snacks from whatever I bought at Kroger (because I'm odd, we don't have Krogers in Chicago, and I like shopping at Kroger, so I always hit the Kroger in Sandusky), and one... well, two.... okay, yes probably three servings of french fries with chili and cheese.

Trips to Six Flags up in Gurnee usually involve an early afternoon saunter to McDonald's for a meal.

I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

Pink's hot dogs and the perch sandwich are pretty good. The chicken tenders and the chili cheese fries are good. The walking taco is very tasty and I like the nachos and tacos at Los Gatos.

codeGR's avatar

Carowinds does have much more variety in food selection, particularly because of Harmony Hall. Lots of different options there.

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