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malem

Island Smokehouse now open at Soak City

53 posts in this topic

Kings Island is serving up slow-smoked barbecue all summer long at the all-new Island Smokehouse, now open in Soak City. A few KICentral members took the opportunity to try out the new restaurant during Soak City's opening weekend.

Visitors can choose from signature meats including slow-smoked-on-site beef brisket, chicken wings, & pulled pork. Hand-breaded chicken tenders and fried shrimp are also freshly prepared. Combo prices vary, or those with dining plans can choose either the chicken tenders or shrimp with a side. A selection of grab-and-go salads and wraps is available a-la-carte for those seeking lighter fare.

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The only bad part about dining here is choosing what to try first. Though the slow-smoked meats were hard to pass up, I ended up ordering chicken tenders with smoked baked beans to make use of my season dining plan. I'm already looking forward to getting back to the park to try the other choices.

The hand-breaded chicken tenders are easily the best in the park. The concept and marinade are very similar to Chicken Shack, though the breading seems to be a new recipe with a bit more kick to it. I hope to see these elsewhere in the park, as they are very good.

For my side, I had the traditionally smoked baked beans. As a fan of smoked meat, I enjoyed the prouncouned smoke flavor and the mixed-in pork. My only (minor) complaint is that serving baked beans in a paper tub can make a bit of a mess!

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Fresh-made macaroni & cheese, corn bread pudding, and twist-shaped fries are also available as sides. Those who have dined at Kings Island's sister park Carowinds may recognize similar fries from Harmony Hall.

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Island Smokehouse is one of three venues at Kings Island with Coca-Cola Freestyle. An express beverage line is available for those just needing a drink.

Also new in Soak City are Coca-Cola Refresh Stations conveniently located near both wave pools. Guests with all-season souvenir bottles or the new season pass drink program can enjoy unlimited beverages throughout the park all season.

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Island Smokehouse is now open during Soak City operating hours, daily through August 20 & weekends through Labor Day. The restaurant is located near Tidal Wave Bay and the Tropical Plunge water slide complex, which is now open for its second season.


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Popped into Island Smokehouse today. The place is designed to handle major crowds.

 

Had the shrimp, 6 pieces and fries. Shrimp is cornbreading breaded, surprisingly well cooked, not rubbery and not undercooked. It was very sweet, not overly so, but sweeter than expected. Good meal really as long as you want to finish the meal a bit hungry.

 

I'll try the chicken tomorrow, but it is different than what it used to be. Looks more like chicken shack breading.

 

 

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^ That's the beef brisket. It wasn't listed on the menu board as of Saturday, so I can't be sure of the price. It's likely in the same price range as the other entrées:

  • Smoked chicken wing basket: $12.49
  • Pulled pork basket: $13.29
  • Fried shrimp basket: $12.99
  • Hand-breaded chicken tender basket: $12.69

Each basket includes one side (fries, macaroni & cheese, baked beans or corn bread pudding). A combo with a drink is $3.99 more. Gold and platinum passholders save 10%, as usual.

I haven't tried the smoked chicken wings or the brisket yet, but if they're even close to what Carowinds offers at Harmony Hall, we're in for a treat.

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I probably should try to kick myself into hiking out to Soak City for this on my next visit, mostly because going out to Soak City for a meal is a foreign concept to me. 

jcgoble3 and jdf21972 like this

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I am interested in how they prepare the smoked wings.   Low and slow (200-225) is great for brisket or pork butt but produces rubbery chicken skin.  I cold smoke most chicken for about 1 1/2 hours before grilling or frying.   However I quit smoking wings because buffalo sauce overpowers any smoke flavor in the meat.  

 

6 hours ago, Stoan said:

Good meal really as long as you want to finish the meal a bit hungry.

KI is just trying to help you maintain your "beach body". 

jdf21972 and jcgoble3 like this

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They are offering any meal as part of the meal plan. Each comes with either fries (fries yesterday, wedges today, the upgraded ones from Reds Hall of Fame), baked beans, or mac and cheese.

 

Picked up the chicken with wedges, and pulled pork with spicy sauce and mac and cheese.

Chicken is almost identical to Chicken Shack if not exactly, maybe a bit more peppery and spiced (not spicy, just more spices). Very good, nice and fresh, skin still falls off a bit too easy, and it is sometimes a bit cartilage-y. Wedges are plentiful, sight crispy wedges, big thick chunks. They were doing regular, not crinkle, fries yesterday so I'm not sure which will be the norm.

Pulled Pork was good, but unremarkable. Not enough crust, was sitting out a while so it started drying out. You can taste a hint of smoke in it but not much, if they cover the pot I'm sure it would benefit the flavor greatly. Two sauce options mild or spicy. Spicy had a sight kick (I like very spicy food so it might be more than sightly) pretty sure it's still just Heinz sauce. Mac and cheese reminds me of Marie Calendars or Bob Evans from the store, loaded with cheese and sightly overcooked macaroni, good pick for kids.

 

Massive amounts of food on both sides, very pleased with everything I've had there so far, only thing left are smoked wings which i hope to get before the special falls off. Not a fan of baked beans so look too someone else for a review on those. Pictures don't show it well, but each basket is probably nearly a pound of food each.

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Edited by Stoan
Sightly less rushed spelling
jdf21972 and jcgoble3 like this

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@Stoan did I read what you wrote correct? Any of the meals are available on the Dining Plan? 

I was under the impression that it was Chicken Tenders or Shrimp.

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Normally only chicken and shrimp. There is a sign next to the ordering station that says something like "island Smokehouse special, wings and pulled pork are in the meal plan TODAY!"

 

So at least today they were, the sign was up yesterday but i was busy taking pictures to read it. So look got the sign in the corner where you order.

chugh43 and jcgoble3 like this

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3 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

Are all the BBQ items using just one sauce or is there a variety?

I think somebody said that you had your choice of mild or spicy sauce.

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I only saw the Pulled Pork getting sauced, which came from one of two pots, mild or spicy.

 

Wings are smoked and "naked". Chicken is just breaded. Shrimp is just breaded.

 

I am looking to head back tonight and try the wings, they look really tasty.

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I went on Monday with a my fiance and two other friends and we were all very happy with it.

I got the pulled pork, with no sauce. It was a little dry and salty, but that's actually how I like it (I'm weird, I know) so I enjoyed it very much. I had the mac and cheese and it was the best I've had in an amusement park by a mile.

My fiance had the fried shrimp and really enjoyed it too. She also got the mac and cheese and agreed that it was really great. She said that the batter was a little sweeter than what she is used to on fried shrimp, but that it was still very good.

One of my friends got the wings. I don't remember what side he got, but he got them with no sauce and said that they were one of the best things he's eaten at Kings Island in a long time.

Finally, the other member of the group got the chicken tenders and fries and was also very happy with them. They look very similar to the Chicken Shack tenders but the fries looked a lot better. He didn't comment much on the quality, so I was only able to sample with my eyes, haha.

My whole group had just been to Holiday World the previous Monday and we all agreed that the food was much better than Plymouth Rock cafe, which we all still really enjoyed. Hopefully that gives at least some here a baseline for comparison.

The waterpark was crazy crowded on Monday and the Smokehouse line moved very quickly. Zero complaints on that front. The only complaint that we really have is that one of my friends wanted to buy the season-long drink plan with the disposable cups and the cashier said that they don't sell that plan at that location and he could only sell the souvenir cups or an individual drink. This may be either a training issue or an intentional limitation imposed by the park, but if it's the latter, then I'm not a big fan at all and the park lost a $30 sale because of it.

Stoan, jcgoble3, electricsun and 1 other like this

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Update: got the tenders today. A little bland, not as good as Chicken Shack is on a good day. They are, however, very moist. I would probably like them a lot if I liked barbecue sauce, but served plain, they are just a little bland. But most definitely not dry.

Also, hypothesis confirmed: I can get here from work and back within my one hour lunch break. This is useful since I'm an awful cook and I'm trying to cut back the eating out budget a bit.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

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Im wondering if they will have occasional meal plan specials like that to get people to try out other options and perhaps come back and buy them rather than meal plan the others, seems like a good idea to me.

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Probably not a small percentage of the GP will not really grasp that it is an occasional "Special" and get irate when they are denied the PB or Wings next time.  

"Dynamic Pricing" may work with parking and certain upcharge rides but I foresee guest dissatisfaction if they start doing that with the meal plan.  

jcgoble3 likes this

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Perhaps they're testing it out, to see if more options can be included long-term. Making large quantities of fried chicken tenders is going to be easier than making large quantities of smoked wings.

King Ding Dong likes this

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I also think I read on a CPFoodBlog article that parts of the menu will be changing. Perhaps they only permanent offerings are the chicken tenders and shrimp and therefore those are the ones that get put on the sign on the door, while it's easier to just make a cheap posterboard sign to indicate that you can get the other items when the menu changes.

King Ding Dong and jcgoble3 like this

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I had it yesterday and it was amazing. It was a bittersweet moment to realize that the pork was only a special because it was one of my favorite foods at KI yet, and the fries were superb.

About the special meal plan offers, I had assumed those were part of the grand opening to entice people to try everything and not just the chicken/shrimp. Once the place has been there for a bit and everyone knows what the food tastes like, normal operation would kick in again.

malem likes this

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Man I want to eat this stuff... but I also want to ride Banshee and Diamondback. :goes back to filling out myfitnesspal journal for the day:

jcgoble3 likes this

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1 hour ago, silver2005 said:

^You can't do both?

Well as of right now I don't really fit on either of those coasters. I could spend the calories on some barbecue but then i feel like I'd be hungry a bit later.

FoolCrzy and jcgoble3 like this

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Pork is pretty low-calorie for meat (if you bypass the sauce), and protein tends to be filling. Eat just the meat without the bun, and probably skip the sides (beans would probably straddle the calorie/filling ratio the best of the sides they offer tho, if you're worried about being too hungry afterward).

 I'm still craving the corn pudding, probably going to need to have some again tomorrow. Does anyone know if the Smokehouse opens at 11?

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It sounds like pulled pork and wings aren't "only if the sign is out". Sign was nowhere to be seen when I went this weekend, and wings were on the plan.

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