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Stoan

Meal Deals, and meal deals

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So I got the All-Season Meal Plan last year, and made the decision to try to eat every single combo the meal plan had to offer just to see what was a good deal on the Meal Deal. I didn't get around to accomplishing that feat (my wife is a picky eater), so this year with another Meal Deal, I am going to attempt it again.

My goal for the post is to essentially track, and discuss what meals are offered with the Meal Deal, how good of a deal they are, and what is the best Meal Deal in the park.

Most of my information I am just going to try to remember from last year, and there have been some changes to what the meals are this year so I will be overwriting them as I get around to eating them this year.

Feel free to chime in with thoughts and suggestions to what you feel the best deal is.

Previous Year's Reviews (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1uCiMBKutuBjKg-23n65zuFF_rXUI85TNmxKyV-z5STE/edit?usp=sharing)

Current Favorite Meal:

Gluten Free Pizza (best food I've had at the park so far, BBQ Bacon Grilled Cheese might win out if they ever give me non-stale chips)

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Chicken Shack (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-chicken-shack/)

Action Zone

  • Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders with Fries
    • Normally comes with a chunk of Texas Toast as well, though it isn't listed
  • Entree Salad with Breadsticks

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Chick-Fil-A (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-chick-fil-a/)

Planet Snoopy

  • Chick-fil-a Sandwich with Waffle Fries
  • Chick-fil-a Nuggets with Waffle Fries
    • 5-6 nuggets, and a bunch of waffle fries. It is Chick-Fil-A so like all other outsourced locations, they are pretty much exactly the same as outside the park. The breading is a little sweet, the fries are good and crisp. Nuggets are fairly small, so they are good for children who may not eat an entire chicken tender, and the breading is a bit less crunchy for tiny teeth.

*This location has Texas Pete hot sauce

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Coney Potato Works (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-coney-potato-works/)

Coney Mall

  • Gluten Free Chicken Tenders with Fresh Cut Fries
    • 3 Tenders, Potato Works fries. The star of the show is really the fries, so go here if you want good fries, with some tenders on the side. The breading on the chicken is cornbread-like(?), it doesn't really taste like corn although the texture is clearly corn. It wasn't bad, but it was very very bland. The fries on the other hand are what we have come to expect to Potato Works; monstrously large, not exactly crispy, but thoroughly cooked fresh fries.
  • Gluten Free Corndog with Fresh Cut Fries
    • TBD (honestly I don't know why anyone would get this)

* have never had a meal come out of this place in less than 10 minutes to be prepared for a wait. That doesn't include waiting in line, its like they make everything to order only it isn't fresh.

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Coconut Cove Cafe (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/coconut-cove-cafe/)

Soak City

  • 2 Slices of Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza & Breadsticks
  • Entree Salad with Breadsticks
  • Fresh Grilled Burger with Fries
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Fries

*No longer offers Chicken Tenders

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Festhaus (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-festhaus/)

Oktoberfest

  • 2 Slices of Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza & Breadsticks
    • LaRosa's again.
  • Chicken Tenders with Fries
    • 2-3 Crispy breaded tenders. Pretty much the same as the other locations in the park. Crinkle cut fries, and chicken its pretty basic.
  • Entree Salad with Breadsticks
  • Fresh Grilled Burger with Fries
    • Not fresh, I'd argue probably not even grilled maybe griddled. Cold burger with a choice of toppings; tomato, lettuce, cheese, bacon. Bacon was maple syrup bacon which adds an odd sweetness to the burger. If the cheese wilts in the slightest you got a good burger, I've never had one that came close to melting.
  • Gluten Free Pizza
    • Surprisingly good. You have to order it at the counter, then pick up later. Cooks in its own tray in an oven not touching anything else (not the roller ovens for normal pizzas). The dough I can only imagine is standard gluten free dough, crumbly, dry fairly flavorless. The cheese and pepperoni is tasty, but not crispy. The sauce is a little more bold than LaRosa's sweet sauce. Overall it was a very good pizza, and if you have about 10 minutes I recommend trying it at least once. By far the best Gluten Free meal I have had in the park.

*Webpage says Potato Wedges, which is incorrect, it is crinkle cut fries

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JukeBox Diner (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-juke-box-diner/)

Coney Mall

  • Chicken Tenders with Fries
  • Fresh Grilled Burger with Fries
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Fries
  • Hot Dog and Fries

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LaRosa's Pizza (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/international-street-pizza/)

International Street, Rivertown

  • 2 Slices of Cheese or Pepperoni Pizza & Breadsticks
    • Its Larosa's Pizza. Sweet tomato sauce, nicely melted cheese, slightly crispy pepperonis. Breadsticks are no longer cheesey breadsticks, just buttered, which is a bit disappointing, but the pizza is the entree. Good meal, good deal, hard to go wrong.
  • Entree Salad with Breadsticks
    • Antipasto Salad
      • @Magenta Lizard - The classic antipasto with an assortment of cured meats, mozzarella (I think? Maybe provolone), olives, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and sliced hot peppers
    • JoJo's Salad

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Hank’s Mexican Grill (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-hanks-burrito-shack/)

Oktoberfest

  • Burrito
  • Burrito Bowl

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Panda Express (cpfoodblog.com/kings-island-food/kings-island-festhaus/)

Oktoberfest (Inside Festhaus)

  • Two Entree Plate with Side
    • Fried Rice, White Rice or Noodles, with two choices of protein. I chose Orange Chicken and Bejing Beef with White Rice on my trip. The White Rice is well cooked, not soggy not crunchy slightly sticky.
    • The Orange Chicken is deep fried chicken chunks coated in what I can only assume is orange syrup, super sweet almost unbearably.
    • The Bejing Beef is deep fried beef strips with peppers and onions. Surprisingly good, beef even not super fresh is pretty tender, the sauce isn't very sweet but has a bold flavor to it with a slight heat. Its going to be hard for me to try the other options while this stuff is around.

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Planet Snoopy Grill (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-planet-snoopy-grill/)

Planet Snoopy

  • Chicken Tenders with Fries
    • Its basic chicken tenders and fries. At least the time I went it only looked like they were staging 2-3 baskets at a time, instead of 20 of them. So it was surprisingly fresh. Good meal, probably one of the best tasting overall. Good amount of food comparatively.
  • Fresh Grilled Burger with Fries
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Fries
  • Corndog with Fries

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Rivertown Potato Works (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/rivertown-potato-works/)

Rivertown

  • Boneless Chicken wings with Fresh Cut Fries
    • 5-6 little nuggest, large helping of Potato Works Fries. Re-Branded Chicken Chunks from last year. No wing sauce available, no change to the breading, its the same meal but smaller and with a new name. I got 5 measly chicken bits on my meal, but a crap ton of fries. Not a bad deal over all I suppose, but as a diabetic, I would prefer more protein and less carbs.

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Reds Hall of Fame Grille (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-reds-hall-of-fame-grille/)

Rivertown

  • Hand-breaded Chicken Tenders with Saratoga Chips
    • Slightly different breading than other places in the park. Less surface area, little less crunchy, but more crispy. Its hard to describe, its just different. A massive amount of chips come along with it. Standard orders come with BBQ or Honey Mustard, both are the general Heinz stuff you find everywhere else in the park.
      • Pro-tip: Order with sauce from the hot wings.
  • Homer Burger with Saratoga Chips
    • @VortexJD - Sandwich was pretty good (although no tomatoes.. thought the menu said tomatoes were included.  I could be wrong).  Bun was really hearty, I liked it.  Chips were thick and either overdone or underdone.  Very few were done just right. 
  • Buffalo Chicken Salad

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Island Smokehouse (NEW!)

Soak City

  • Hand Breaded Chicken Tenders with Fries
    • 3 Tenders, some kind of fries (they alternate I think?). The tenders are very similar to Chicken Shack, breading looks to be hand dipped, it is a bit peppery, not super crispy, it also falls off the chicken really easily. It was very moist, with the volume of people it was also very fresh. Fries when I first went were regular straight fries, when I went second it was curly wedges similar to Red's Hall of Fame upgrade wedges. Overall its a lot of food, good value, good flavor.
  • Fresh Shrimp with Fries
    • 6 breaded shrimp, some kind of fries. The shrimp was very well cooked, not rubbery still tender and not under-cooked, the size of the shrimp varied in size greatly as well, so you may get more, you may get less. The breading with the already sweet shrimp makes it a bit more sweet than expected. Fries when I first went were regular straight fries, when I went second it was curly wedges similar to Red's Hall of Fame upgrade wedges. Nothing akin to cocktail sauce for the shrimp though. Overall its a medium amount of food, I was still hungry at the end, very good flavor though, decent value.
  • **Pulled Pork with Fries and Coleslaw
    • Maybe 1/3 pound of pulled pork, slightly less fries than other meals, and a side of coleslaw. The pulled pork sits in a big pot on the hot table with no lid, so depending on the foot traffic it might be very dried out. The flavor is nice, although not as smokey as I would have expected for their advertised "12 hour smoked". The sauce is as best I can tell generic, though you have two options; spicy or mild. The spicy sauce actually has a bit of a kick to it, the mild probably not. Fries when I first went were regular straight fries, when I went second it was curly wedges similar to Red's Hall of Fame upgrade wedges. Nothing akin to cocktail sauce for the shrimp though. Overall its a medium amount of food, I was still hungry at the end, very good flavor though, decent value.
  • **Smoked Wings
    • TBD

**Not normally part of the meal plan, but it appears they will occasionally run specials which will include them.

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Tom + Chee (NEW!)

Rivertown

  • Classic Grilled Cheese with Bag of Chips
    • Good meal. Compared to the BBQ Bacon option, there is more cheese. Its just a plain ole' grilled cheese, Texas Toast and 4 slices of cheese. Perfect for a picky kid or something to munch while you walk around the part.
  • BBQ Bacon Grilled Cheese with Bag of Chips
    • Good meal, maybe a little small. Two slices of bread, two slices of American Cheese, a wad of crumbled bacon, a squirt of sweet BBQ sauce, and a bit of crushed BBQ chips. Then a side of chips to boot! Overall it was good, the chips were silly stale since they were just in an open container that was sitting there since they opened. Fresh chips or even no chips would have been it better. But tasty anyways.

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Skyline Chili (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-skyline-chili/)

International Street, Coney Mall

  • Two Cheese Coneys with Fries
    • Its 2 cheese coneys and fries, just like if you got them at Skyline. Hot dog, bun, chili and cheese.
  • 3-Way with Fries
    • 3-way and crinkle cut fries. Its Skyline chili, with Skyline spaghetti, and Skyline cheese. Overall it's a good amount of food and quite filling and tasty.
    • Could not be more disappointed with the change to fries from a single coney. The fries while not bad are just not the same value.

*Coney Mall no longer has "order takers", it is an automated ordering register. Scan your card, pick you food. The confusing part is when it asks for drinks, if you have the drink plan, scan your cup don't pick the cup option or it tries to sell you a new one, and there is no back button, you have to start all over again.

*Sekrit Menu? International Street if you are adverse to hotdogs, ask for a chili cheese sammich. Some of the workers knows what this means, some don't. You swap the hotdog for a wad of cheese. Giving you a bun, cheese, chili, and more cheese on top.

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Subway (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-subway/)

Soak City, Coney Mall

  • 6 Inch Sub and a Bag of Chips
    • It is Subway. I haven't eaten it, but I would imagine it tastes exactly how it does out of the park. Filling and uninteresting.
    • Soak City location appears to have a toaster oven for hot subs. I haven't seen the same at Coney Mall.

 

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04/14/17 - BBQ Bacon Grilled Cheese, Larosa's Pepperoni Pizza.

05/06/17 - Festhaus Bacon Cheese Burger, Chicken Tenders. Stole other people's reviews but at least sourced them, don't be mad.

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I had on the soft open a Burrito Bowl with Chicken from Hanks with chips and Salsa.  I will say that I was very pleased with the amount of food you get as I compared it to something similar in my neighborhood called Hot Heads Burritos.  The only thing I can say that made it over the top spectacular was that I used my salsa that was on the side for my chips in my bowl and I thought I was in Heaven.  Great meal, great service at Hank's and I just love and I can't emphasize enough that I LOVE having unlimited drinks this year.  I have decided that I will carry it with me as much as possible and then get a locker for it to ride Banshee, Firehawk and Flight of Fear.  Most everything else has bins.   

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Subway In Coney Mall & Soak City
  • Six inch sub and bag of chips

(Subway. If you like cold sandwiches, then yay! If you don't, then boo! I will say I got this combo a number of times, it travels well and they tend to be pretty quick. I'll pop in, get a sandwich and eat it when I get home instead of dealing with people at the park. Not much more to say than, it is a sandwich)

 

Last time I was in the Subway in Soak City, that location (unlike the Coney Mall location) had microwaves and toasting ovens for hot sandwiches, plus a couple of extra sub choices (things that are normally served hot, like chicken). So it might be worth checking out when Soak City opens for the season.

 

That said, if you want to take a sandwich home, you're wasting money by getting it at the park. There are many, many Subway stores near Kings Island, where you can get a much, much larger selection for far, far lower prices.

 

(I'm constantly amazed at the number of families that clog up International Street LaRosa's at the end of the night to buy whole $25 pizzas to take home, when they could stop at a LaRosa's outside the park and get a much better quality version of the same thing for around half the price.)

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I had on the soft open a Burrito Bowl with Chicken from Hanks with chips and Salsa.  I will say that I was very pleased with the amount of food you get as I compared it to something similar in my neighborhood called Hot Heads Burritos.  The only thing I can say that made it over the top spectacular was that I used my salsa that was on the side for my chips in my bowl and I thought I was in Heaven.  Great meal, great service at Hank's and I just love and I can't emphasize enough that I LOVE having unlimited drinks this year.  I have decided that I will carry it with me as much as possible and then get a locker for it to ride Banshee, Firehawk and Flight of Fear.  Most everything else has bins.   

 

Flight of Fear has an area for loose items, the exit goes right past it (by the kid waiting area) on the left. You can ride Flight of Fear then pick your stuff up after riding Firehawk.

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^ I wouldn't recommend leaving anything of value there, especially for an extended period of time. A $2 savings could quickly become a new $25 drink bottle purchase.

 

This might be a good place to mention the water bottle refill stations, now located at the water fountains near most park restrooms. They hygienically fill bottles or cups with chilled water, without mouths or soiled drinkware touching the nozzle.

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^ I wouldn't recommend leaving anything of value there, especially for an extended period of time. A $2 savings could quickly become a new $25 drink bottle purchase.

 

This might be a good place to mention the water bottle refill stations, now located at the water fountains near most park restrooms. They hygienically fill bottles or cups with chilled water, without mouths or soiled drinkware touching the nozz

 

I've never had any problems but then again I rarely do it (never carry much) and only get on Firehawk when the line is short.

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Subway In Coney Mall & Soak City

  • Six inch sub and bag of chips
  •  

(Subway. If you like cold sandwiches, then yay! If you don't, then boo! I will say I got this combo a number of times, it travels well and they tend to be pretty quick. I'll pop in, get a sandwich and eat it when I get home instead of dealing with people at the park. Not much more to say than, it is a sandwich)

 

Last time I was in the Subway in Soak City, that location (unlike the Coney Mall location) had microwaves and toasting ovens for hot sandwiches, plus a couple of extra sub choices (things that are normally served hot, like chicken). So it might be worth checking out when Soak City opens for the season.

 

That said, if you want to take a sandwich home, you're wasting money by getting it at the park. There are many, many Subway stores near Kings Island, where you can get a much, much larger selection for far, far lower prices.

 

(I'm constantly amazed at the number of families that clog up International Street LaRosa's at the end of the night to buy whole $25 pizzas to take home, when they could stop at a LaRosa's outside the park and get a much better quality version of the same thing for around half the price.)

 

 

I will have to check out Soak City Subway then, I much prefer toasted (extra toasted) sammiches to cold.

 

Also with I agree with the "why buy in the park" assessment. I personally have the Dining Plan, so I just walk around the park to get my sweet Fitbit steps, a free drink and something to munch on.

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Updated a few meals with new thoughts. Some of the meal descriptions are misleading on the side-item. Even though they all say fries, they aren't always fries (tots or wedges)

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If you have 4 meal plans, you can get 8 slices of pizza, 8 breadsticks, and 4 sauces.. And at that point it's just easier to get a pizza box and throw the sticks inside with the pizza. I did this on Saturday when I had only 2 meal plans... Just asked for a box so I could carry them home.

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Also, this weekend there was an brief issue using my meal plan. Manager came over and said I hadn't waited long enough and that I'd be able to use it again at 6:23pm. Knowing that I had not used it at all yet, I asked them when I last used it... They said 3:23pm... It was currently 3:24pm so obviously they had scanned my pass on that transaction. Ultimately it all worked out and since there was no one else in line it was a good time for the cashier to learn... But it showed me that the system is actually set up to require a 3 hour wait (not 4 as I had previously assumed).

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When I was waiting in guest relations for another reason one day this season, there was a guy complaining that after waiting 45 min in a line, when he went to pay he was ten minutes short of 4 hours so they wouldn't let him pay for his meal with the dining plan. (Seriously, you get in line a full hour before you know it is your time and then get mad at them that they weren't /slow/ enough?)

I think that when they told you it couldn't be used until 6:23 they did the math wrong in their head, or were possibly misinformed about how long it is between meals. I think the system only gives a "last used" time, or rings it up if the allotted time has passed. It doesn't say when it can be used next.

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As of last season, the forced wait time between meals was shorter than the advertised time of 4 hours. This helps with delays caused by food lines; if you get in line for your first meal at 4:50pm and can't pay until 6:01pm, you'd otherwise be out your second meal. That said, there were also times last season where meals were denied after waiting more than 4 hours. I recall one day with lots of uneaten pizza in the trash at Rivertown LaRosa's.

 

To be safe, I always check the time to ensure that a full 4 hours elapses between when I "pay" and when I go for a second meal.

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Given the huge success of the meal plan seeing the cost rise this past weekend was no big surprise. Long food lines leads me to think the park over sold the dining plan and will now cause more problems or bigger price increase next year due to recent guest issues.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

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Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

Sorry I know it is still on the menu and that you can order then with a meal.  What I mean is can I get the potato wedges with the meal plan, I am even willing to pay the extra $2 if needed.  That was where everyone suddenly had an issue when I asked.  Last year you could get the wedges but you would be charged the extra $2 although you still got the annual pass discount which worked for the entire original meal price so the cost was pretty minor.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

See http://www.KICentral.com/forums/index.php/topic/26752-tutorial-how-to-upload-photos-caution-several-large-image-files-ahead/ for info on how to post photos.

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Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

Sorry I know it is still on the menu and that you can order then with a meal.  What I mean is can I get the potato wedges with the meal plan, I am even willing to pay the extra $2 if needed.  That was where everyone suddenly had an issue when I asked.  Last year you could get the wedges but you would be charged the extra $2 although you still got the annual pass discount which worked for the entire original meal price so the cost was pretty minor.

 

 

If nobody answers this by this weekend, I will check it out. I know it worked last year like  you said, personally I prefer the chips and they aren't an upsell.

 

Also Chicken Shack's breading is definitely different than all other tender breading. At least of the ones I have tried this year so far, which I think is almost all of them except Potato Works.

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I tried Outerhanks for the first time this past weekend it was not good at all. It was filling but that's about all it was was good for. I would rank it dead last of all the burrito places I have tried. 

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Just curious, I've not ate at Hanks in a while, what made it not good at all? 

The one time last year I waited in line and left (there weren't trays and the staff couldn't figure out what way was up) I happened to look at the meat, it seemed like it was shredded chicken but it was so incredibly saturated in the pan in whatever liquid it sat in, I decided I couldn't stomach it. I saw them place a hunk of chicken on the burrito and it was dripping with whatever that liquid was. I'd rather my burrito not leak water.

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Hanks is hit or miss. A lot of it depends on how many of the different salsas they have available. So far it seems like by Saturday afternoon they are out of most of the salsas. It's no Chipotle, but it's very filling.

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I was surprised last year with how Outhank's turned out, mostly because I expected it to be undercooked and minimal. I think what saved it for me is I took my Chipotle approach and got double rice, which helped soak up how ridiculously wet the meat was.

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