Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Knoebel's Amusement Resort: a Veritable Smorgasbord of Smorgasbordy Goodness!

My perception of amusement park food changed for good when I visited Knoebels Amusement Park in 2010.  I should qualify that statement: my feelings about amusement park food other than Disney park food changed.  Disney parks have scrumptious food; I often revel in memories of the Dole Whip, the Blue Bayou salmon, and my new favorite beverage, the Practically Perfect Punch (because it IS).  But some other parks serve corn dogs, hamburgers, maybe some ice cream novelties, and that's about it.  And most of it isn't worth writing about. 

Enter Knoebels and their wazoo assortment of Food of All Nations!  High-quality ingredients, pride in preparation and clever presentation is evident throughout the park.  And the variety!!  You could literally show up at opening, eat all day, maybe fit in a ride, and keep eating until close.  We didn't quite pull off a feat like that, but we did leave a little roly and slightly more poly.  Here's what we consumed on that fateful day:

We started the day with some potato cakes, at this man's urging.  Dig the vintage signage.  Knoebels is teeming with it:

After that, we saw that the Potato Barn was close by, boasting Tri-Taters,(little triangular fried potato jobbies),  and we're glad we took the time to check it out, because right nearby, the Food of My People, meaning the Polish people, the humble-yet-delectable pierogi:

  After a potatoey, cheesy, Poly (as in Polish, not as in vinyl) morning, we ran the park, riding ride after ride, visiting the glorious carousel museum, taking the sky ride up the side of a mountain, leaving the park hub bub behind for a tad.  But more foodie wonderfulness awaited our return.  Finally, it was time for lunch, and for that, we dove into the Food Court - World Section, and were greeted by this cheery ear of corn.
While we did not consume any corn, we did have a satisfying salad and pasta, radiatori, to be exact.  Impressive.  I mean, what other amusement park sells radiatori??  The World Food Court is impressive, with food from Asia, Greece, Mexico, Italy - on it goes.  And it's all flavorful, not fast food quality but nice, sit down restaurant quality.  Amazing.  Then, it was off to more rides, including the Haunted Mansion, which frightened me enough to seek out some of my book's signature, sugary treat:

No visit to Knoebels is complete without some ice cream, because their ice cream is some of the creamiest, most flavorful around.
(I've enlarged the above picture so you can get an eyeful of the variety you have to choose for your mouthful. Yes, you're reading that right.  Teaberry. Milky Way.  Cotton Candy, fer cry eye!  Oh, and take a look at the little girl with her pet beagle on the left side of the sign. As if the ice cream sign was personally beckoning me, from one beagle lover to another )

Here we are with our crazy chocolate peanut butter cup  and Milky Way mouthfuls.  As you can plainly see, Knoebels does not skimp on size:

Suddenly, I had a  hankering for licorice whips.  Don't know why, just did.  So I was happy to find Stony Gables, a small building formerly used as a vacation space.  It now houses a multitude of sweets, including at least a dozen different flavors of licorice whips.  I had a tutti fruiti one and got a root beer one for Ben.

So, now is the time I get to totally geek out on you.  I know you've had funnel cakes before; everyone has.  But Knoebels' cakes are dream-worthy.  And what makes the whole experience truly magical?  When you tell the sweet ladies making them that you're writing a book - and they let you inside the little building they work in and allow you to photograph them at their craft.  Sizzle, sizzle, yum, yum, YUM!:

A minute later, my baby Ben tucks in and all is right with the world..

And so our day at Knoebels came to an end, but not before taking some time to genuflect at the picnic pavilion,  decorated to look like a gigantic vintage birthday cake:

Yes, we couldn't help but congratulate ourselves at tackling the amazing food at Knoebels.  And we welcomed that nice long walk back to our car at the end of the day.

(To give you a clearer indication of their variety, you should really visit this link. Prepare to have your socks knocked off, and start your dieting NOW:

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