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In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP)

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
1/14/12 at
7:01:49 PM

Those of you who've been with me at parks (and some who haven't) may recall that it's pretty rare for me to eat a full-fledged "meal" (for want of a better word) while in the park. I might get a pretzel (or a piece of Jen's churro..over her dead body!) to hold me over. I'll always eat a big breakfast, and maybe eat after leaving, or leave at mid-day, hit a Friendly's or something, then come back. I might also have sandwiches in a cooler in my car if I'm at GAdv.

I don't eat Chinese food, except for a couple of menu items, and rarely. I've been trying for years to find Orange Chicken as good as I used to get at a place I used to visit here in Jersey. Golden Corral came close.

A couple of weeks ago, I found out (through Jeopardy, actually) that Panda Express, the Chinese "fast-food" chain, not only sells it, but it's their most popular item.

I finally tried it today. Three words: Pretty Darn Good.

So I looked at GAdv's and Cedar Point's web sites, knowing that Panda Express has outlets at those parks, as well as others. I wanted to find out if Orange Chicken was on their menus. There were no menus for the individual restaurants on the sites.

So my question is obvious: Can anyone say whether I would be able to find Orange Chicken at those locations? And understanding that amusement park prices are higher for food than those in the "real world," how much should I expect to pay. A good-sized bowl with white rice was $4.99 today.

Thanks in advance, folks.

Mike

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/14/12 11:19:00 PM

Mike, you know that I usually eat at Panda Express at CP... in fact, that's where I got that bump on the head a few years back (even showed you the branch that hit me as I recall). I've also eaten at the Panda Express at KI and Universal. You get a lot of food for under ten bucks... if you skip buying a drink, as everyone already knows. But to be honest I can't say for certain that I've ever seen Orange Chicken at any PE.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 1/15/12 5:16:53 AM

Mike, here's the info for Cedar Point:

http://www.allmenus.com/oh/sandusky/240406-panda-express/menu/

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/15/12 7:26:52 AM

> Mike, here's the info for Cedar Point:

> > href="http://www.allmenus.com/oh/sandusky/240406-panda-express/menu/">http://www.allmenus.com/oh/sandusky/240406-panda-express/menu/

According to that, they DO have it on the menu, but I don't exprct to be making it to Cedar Point this year. I'm gonna assume that GAdv will have it as well. Thanks, Judy.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/15/12 9:51:09 AM

> Mike, you know that I usually eat at Panda Express at CP...
> in fact, that's where I got that bump on the head a few
> years back (even showed you the branch that hit me as I
> recall).

I hoped you'd respond, because that was the only reason I even remembered CP HAD a Panda Express! Enjoyed hanging with you that day...it's one of the good park memories I mentioned on the other thread. Our ride on Gemini was out of control...in a good way!

Mike

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/15/12 10:54:22 AM

It's hard to believe that was nearly five years ago!! But anyway back to you original question... I really like PE and wish there was one nearby. The only one near me is at KI, so when KI is closed, no PE. The only other one in town was at a mall that has a history of bad luck and shut down several years ago.

If there were a PE near home I would probably eat there several times a month. Based on the prices at other PE's the three course (two entrees and a side, usually lo mein) is under ten bucks, and as I recall their prices at CP and KI are about the same. Makes for a reasonable meal in a place where just about everything else is pizza or deep fried. Unfortunately I must avoid highly seasoned food and fortunately PE marks their selections as spicy or hot and I stick with choices that are neither. So it may be possible that they do indeed offer orange chicken but I've always passed if it was so marked. Hopefully they'll offer what you want at Gadv.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/15/12 11:35:36 AM

>>> the three course (two entrees and a side, usually lo mein)
> is under ten bucks,

$6.25 here in Bayonne. I just got the bowl (1 entree and side.) A portion that was bigger than it appeared when being put together was only 4.99

So it may be possible
> that they do indeed offer orange chicken but I've always
> passed if it was so marked. Hopefully they'll offer what
> you want at Gadv.

Someone responded on another forum responded that they do although prices are much higher than those you mentioned at KI. It's not very spicy, that's one of the reasons I like it. And I just get plain steamed white rice with it.

Mike

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/15/12 6:11:14 PM

This thread got me thinking... so I looked up PE's locations and found that now there's now one about twenty minutes from home. I don't get to that part of town often but I'll keep it in mind next time I'm near there. Thanks for reminding me how much I like PE!

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by gad198 gad198 Profile at 1/17/12 10:04:17 AM

> This thread got me thinking... so I looked up PE's
> locations and found that now there's now one about twenty
> minutes from home. I don't get to that part of town often
> but I'll keep it in mind next time I'm near there. Thanks
> for reminding me how much I like PE!

Yeah, they finally opened up the one on Glenway Ave a few months ago. I live over in that direction and suffice it to say that I'm a regular visitor. PE is my favorite chinese food here in the city outside of Szechuan House in Sharonville. If they ever open up a location off of Mason Montgomery or Fields Ertel Rd. they'll see plenty of me after visits to KI!

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/17/12 10:53:22 AM

outside of Szechuan House in
> Sharonville.

I guess that's pretty close to KI, because Sharonville is the site of my Motel 6 of choice when I visit KI. I think you left me a message there once...

Mike

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 1/17/12 2:45:32 PM

> I guess that's pretty close to KI, because Sharonville is
> the site of my Motel 6 of choice when I visit KI.

The Motel 6 that lies in the glow of the White Castle up on the hill?

Re: OT: Cinci Local Stuff by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/17/12 2:58:39 PM

> Yeah, they finally opened up the one on Glenway Ave a few
> months ago. I live over in that direction and suffice it to
> say that I'm a regular visitor. PE is my favorite chinese
> food here in the city outside of Szechuan House in
> Sharonville. If they ever open up a location off of Mason
> Montgomery or Fields Ertel Rd. they'll see plenty of me
> after visits to KI!
>

... I guess that makes us "Homies". We live in Mt Airy, primarily because it's convenient to "pill hill", but other than the occasional trip to Monfort Heights or Glenway Crossings, that's about all I know of the west side (I'm an Anderson native).

... Hopefully we'll get a chance to visit PE while they're still open. Gawd the economy has been hard on small businesses. We have patronized China Chef on Colerain for over a decade but even that has been going downhill.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/17/12 3:50:50 PM

> I guess that's pretty close to KI, because Sharonville is
> the site of my Motel 6 of choice when I visit KI.

> The Motel 6 that lies in the glow of the White Castle up on
> the hill?

The one and only(?)!

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 1/18/12 11:10:04 AM

I might get a pretzel (or a piece of
> Jen's churro..over her dead body!) to hold me over.

I'd give you a piece of my churro any time! It would give me a valid excuse to buy another one! :~)

Jen (anxiously waiting for April 5th to get a churro!)

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/18/12 11:41:00 AM

> I might get a pretzel (or a piece of
> Jen's churro..over her dead body!) to hold me over.

> I'd give you a piece of my churro any time! It would give
> me a valid excuse to buy another one! :~)

Like you need an excuse...

In all fairness, I will say...to the entire URC community... that Dr. Quinlan, to the best of my recollection, has offered yours truly a portion of her churro on each of our visits to GAdv. I'm sure she would have done the same at Cedar Point if I hadn't gone gallivanting off to the Great White North following our awesome front seat ride on Millennium Force in 2010.

Mike

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: OT: Cinci Local Stuff by gad198 gad198 Profile at 1/18/12 4:30:26 PM

> > ... I guess that makes us "Homies". We live
> in Mt Airy, primarily because it's convenient to "pill
> hill", but other than the occasional trip to Monfort
> Heights or Glenway Crossings, that's about all I know of
> the west side (I'm an Anderson native).

Yeah, I'm not far from you at all. I've lived on this side of town now for four years and I NEVER ventured over to the west side when I lived closer to KI. The west side of Cincinnati might as well be its own city because it's very rare that folks from other parts of town come this way. I will say that living close to downtown does have its advantages (no traffic, most everything is within 15-20 minutes).

Getting back to this thread, I'm surprised that there's not a "best food/places to eat near (fill in the blank) park" thread yet (or best hotel for the money thread). I almost look forward to the food near many parks as I do going to ride the rides!

To Mike, yes, the Szechuan House I mentioned is right across the highway from the Motel 6/White Castle power combo. It's actually right behind the Waffle House there, and the food there is really, really good. We've been going there for more than twenty years and is still my favorite chinese food anywhere. The way to go there for maximum value is the lunch buffet they offer during the week. It's busy there but it's always worth it. The next time you run through this area we'll make sure and take you there. Yum!

Re: OT: Cinci Local Stuff by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/18/12 7:24:13 PM

>> To Mike, yes, the Szechuan House I mentioned is right
> across the highway from the Motel 6/White Castle power
> combo. It's actually right behind the Waffle House there,
> and the food there is really, really good. We've been going
> there for more than twenty years and is still my favorite
> chinese food anywhere. The way to go there for maximum
> value is the lunch buffet they offer during the week. It's
> busy there but it's always worth it. The next time you run
> through this area we'll make sure and take you there. Yum!
>
You just had to go and mention Waffle House, didn't you? I thought we were friends. You've got a "mean streak," don't you? :) Oh well, April and VA are on the horizon.

I probably wouldn't be too interested in the "real" Chinese food at Szechuan House, but I might give it a shot. We still gotta get you a NY deli-style pastrami sandwich. I've found a couple more places in Jersey that fit the bill.

And as far as a food/hotel thread, I think it's been done, but I didn't search.

Now I'm hungry again.

Mike

Re: OT: Cinci Local Stuff by coastinj coastinj Profile at 1/19/12 7:55:23 AM

> > To Mike, yes, the Szechuan House I mentioned is right
> across the highway from the Motel 6/White Castle power
> combo. It's actually right behind the Waffle House there,
> and the food there is really, really good. We've been going
> there for more than twenty years and is still my favorite
> chinese food anywhere. The way to go there for maximum
> value is the lunch buffet they offer during the week. It's
> busy there but it's always worth it. The next time you run
> through this area we'll make sure and take you there. Yum!
> > You just had to go and mention Waffle House, didn't
> you? I thought we were friends. You've got a "mean
> streak," don't you? :) Oh well, April and VA are on
> the horizon.

> I probably wouldn't be too interested in the
> "real" Chinese food at Szechuan House, but I
> might give it a shot. We still gotta get you a NY
> deli-style pastrami sandwich. I've found a couple more
> places in Jersey that fit the bill.

> And as far as a food/hotel thread, I think it's been done,
> but I didn't search.

> Now I'm hungry again.

> Mike
>

I used to live in western hills for a bit and I ventured all over the city. My favorite Chinese establishment was in a Kmart shopping center on the northern section of Harrison avenue. If its still there, but I haven't had PE sense 2008 when I visited Florida.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/20/12 9:23:03 PM

> This thread got me thinking... so I looked up PE's
> locations and found that now there's now one about twenty
> minutes from home. I don't get to that part of town often
> but I'll keep it in mind next time I'm near there. Thanks
> for reminding me how much I like PE!

When I discover something I like that I haven't had from a particular place before, the real test for me is whether it's as good the second time. Panda Express passed that test tonight. Looking forward to trying the one at GAdv. I wonder if Jen will let me have it on Opening Day, or if she'll be rushing for a nooner with her (repaired?) green King...

Mike

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 1/21/12 1:24:08 PM

> When I discover something I like that I haven't had from a
> particular place before, the real test for me is whether
> it's as good the second time. Panda Express passed that
> test tonight. Looking forward to trying the one at GAdv. I
> wonder if Jen will let me have it on Opening Day, or if
> she'll be rushing for a nooner with her (repaired?) green
> King...

> Mike

Only if you're a good boy and you behave. If I'm not forced to ride 5 consecutive times on ET you may have your lunch, LOL! And KK BETTER be up and running opening day or you may want not want to spend the day with me because I will be extremely unhappy!

Jen

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by Mikey_Mad Mikey_Mad Profile at 1/21/12 1:44:06 PM

Panda Express? Subway? Now you have hit on a sore point with me. Those franchises ensure a certain amount of quality at an inflated price, but when I go to an amusement park I expect "that amusing" kind of food. Its part of the experience. This trend towards letting franchises do the concessions is another step towards the homogenizing of parks. Get a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass and you can see how similar the "feel" of their parks is. Heaven forbid that Cedar Fair ever replaces Knott's Berry Farm's chicken dinner with KFC, there would be a riot.
For me, bring on the cheese drenched fries (Friar Tucks), cotton candy, bad pizza and all that other fun food. Some parks are quick in and out, Kennywood for example then I get my hand stamped and head out for Taco Bell or MacDs for normally priced food.

Mikey Mad

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 1/21/12 9:29:04 PM

Being that Kennywood is my home park, I'm their biggest critic. The food at the park is overpriced, but it's good. It's not on the same level as BG Williamsburg, or Knoebels, or Epcot, or Dollywood, but it's well above average when compared to other parks. As a teenager we would walk to McDonald's, because we would try to save money in order to visit the park multiple times in a summer. Now we eat inside the park. Potato Patch Fries are the bomb and their funnel cakes are the best. My grandfather always looked spears to their fish and chips. He said it was the best he had ever eaten.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 1/22/12 10:29:06 PM

> Potato Patch Fries are the bomb and their
> funnel cakes are the best.

Proud Mama moment ... my son, Eric, spent 3 summers earning his college tuition by mixing the finest funnel cake batter ever and heaving sacks of potatoes. Have you ever imagined what a teenage boy smelled like when he came home from that type of work? It wasn't pretty!!

Back when I worked at Kennywood (imagine that!), I ate Potato Patch fries on a daily basis, sitting at the bottom of the noisiest hill of my beloved T-Bolt. Evening snack was always a twin-twirl soft ice cream cone. When the park was too crowded to venture to the employee caf., there was always pizza right outside of Kiddieland. Funnel cakes were also nearby, but always a no-no for me, though. Something about working downwind of that stand on hot summer days, especially when the honeysuckle was in full-bloom, kept me from ever munching on those greasy sweets.

Longer breaks usually involved a trip to the employee caf where food was plentiful and cheap. Where else could you down a meal for less than $2 while sitting next to none other than "Hugo the Human Canonball", still dazed from his 4:30 launch across the Kennywood Lagoon.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by gad198 gad198 Profile at 1/23/12 1:02:45 PM

> Get a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass and
> you can see how similar the "feel" of their parks
> is. Heaven forbid that Cedar Fair ever replaces Knott's
> Berry Farm's chicken dinner with KFC, there would be a
> riot.

I agree with the first statement, and partially agree with the second. The restaurant at KBF is certainly an institution. However, the chicken dinner at Knott's was just OK in my opinion. The chicken is above average but the side dishes they offered all lacked significant flavor. The best part of the meal for us were the biscuits and jam they brought out ahead of time. I had high expectations for this meal but probably rates as one of the biggest disappointments for any meal I had last year.

> For me, bring on the cheese drenched fries (Friar Tucks),
> cotton candy, bad pizza and all that other fun food. Some
> parks are quick in and out, Kennywood for example then I
> get my hand stamped and head out for Taco Bell or MacDs for
> normally priced food.

As you alluded to, most of the time it's a value proposition. When I'm at a non-local park I generally gravitate away from the chain restaurants anyway, but will always do so if there are chains inside the park with the obligatory mark-up. There are only a few things I've stumbled across at parks that are noteworthy food items that I would consider "must gets" each time I go and they are:

* boneless buffalo bites at Cedar Point (at the stand right across from Thunder Canyon)

* chicken tenders at Carowinds

* any barbecue offering at Busch Gardens

* cinnamon bread at Dollywood

* potato patch fries at Kennywood

There's also one other thing that factors into the whether to eat in the park or out of the park decision, and that is the half-price sites that are everywhere now (Groupon, Living Social and the like). Most of the restaurants we've eaten at the last few years while on the road have involved these kind of deals. I've eaten at some fabulous restaurants for about what I would have paid for an in-park meal. Interestingly enough, we actually got a 2-for-1 deal on the aforementioned Knotts chicken dinner through the LA area Entertainment website. It takes some time to scour through the offerings in other cities but I definitely think it's worth the time.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by RobLec RobLec Profile at 1/23/12 2:51:52 PM

> Back when I worked at Kennywood (imagine that!), I ate
> Potato Patch fries on a daily basis, sitting at the bottom
> of the noisiest hill of my beloved T-Bolt...
> Longer breaks usually involved a trip to the employee caf
> where food was plentiful and cheap. Where else could you
> down a meal for less than $2 while sitting next to none
> other than "Hugo the Human Canonball", still
> dazed from his 4:30 launch across the Kennywood Lagoon.

I get to eat my lunch (or dinner) right behind Diamondback's lift hill. Employees are prohibited from eating at park food outlets while in uniform, but the cafeteria does offer burgers and pizza. The younger folk seem to subsist on nacho cheese fries. On those days when the daily special is unappealing or sold out, I'll grab a chicken salad, but LaRosa's pizza is a last resort.

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 1/23/12 8:56:54 PM

> I get to eat my lunch (or dinner) right behind
> Diamondback's lift hill. Employees are prohibited from
> eating at park food outlets while in uniform, but the
> cafeteria does offer burgers and pizza. The younger folk
> seem to subsist on nacho cheese fries. On those days when
> the daily special is unappealing or sold out, I'll grab a
> chicken salad, but LaRosa's pizza is a last resort.

I love posts like these last two from Rob and Judy..park employees, past and present, sharing their experiences working in a park and what their days are/were like. Kind of like URC's own version of the ADVENTURELAND movie.

Mike

Re: In-Park Food Question (SFGAdv/CP) by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 1/24/12 7:58:43 PM

> I love posts like these last two from Rob and Judy..park
> employees, past and present, sharing their experiences
> working in a park and what their days are/were like. Kind
> of like URC's own version of the ADVENTURELAND movie.

So this past K-wood employee will tell you that, YES, people really did dress like the folks in Adventureland back in the days when she worked there, and it wasn't pretty!

JudyP who is finally healthy enough to spend the evening writing park opening dates on her new calendar