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IndyGuy4KI

Coney BBQ and 2018 Food Reviews

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I have little experience with tri tip but with brisket there is a fine line between done and overdone where it just falls apart like a pork butt.   It takes skill and experience to test them becuase time and temperature are not the same between one hunk of meat and the next.  I cooked a 16lb brisket last week and it was done in about 16 hours (actually a tad overdone) but I have had some take 28 hours.  Same with pork butt but it is more forgiving.  

This has to be even tougher when you have 50 of these cooking in those big rotisserie’s.

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18 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

Island smokehouse had no mac n cheese at 11:30. Said they were out. Went to Coney at 4ish for dinner and no tri tip. Again said they were out.

I am one of the biggest cheerleaders for KI, but was quite disappointed by food service today.  I did not think it would change overnight, but I had hoped the new chef would have started turning things around at this point.

My husband had bad experience yesterday, a 1130 they had no ribs and only dried out looking tri tip, also back to giving 1 hushpuppy.

We wanted to do jukebox for dinner, walked in and it was filthy, condiment bar had no tomato or onion, group of workers in the back just standing around and then when we asked about tomato the worker looked and mumbled something we couldn't hear and acted like we were bothering him, we took that as a sign to go somewhere else. It's a shame because the company that was doing the cooking there til memorial day was really good.

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We went to the festhaus Saturday during the rain storm.  We had our chicken tenders meal within minutes.  The fries were piping hot and the chicken was a little dry for me but overall it was well done.

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My husband had bad experience yesterday, a 1130 they had no ribs and only dried out looking tri tip, also back to giving 1 hushpuppy.
We wanted to do jukebox for dinner, walked in and it was filthy, condiment bar had no tomato or onion, group of workers in the back just standing around and then when we asked about tomato the worker looked and mumbled something we couldn't hear and acted like we were bothering him, we took that as a sign to go somewhere else. It's a shame because the company that was doing the cooking there til memorial day was really good.
Is Jukebox back to having KI employees running?

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1 hour ago, PKIVortex said:

Is Jukebox back to having KI employees running?

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Yes the day after Memorial day KI employees started

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Jukebox was solid today. My family and I had 4 diff meals - I got the Smokehouse burger and it was awesome! Then my son and I went to ride WindSeeker and he was just not quite tall enough - so close though! Sorry@Vortexbfforever if we caught you off guard but I recognized you pretty easily. The pigtails Lol My son was kind of relieved he wasn’t tall enough since he’s been nervous to ride Banshee.

 

 

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First "bad" meal at Coney BBQ. It wasn't bad, the quality has just declined since my last visit last month. Service was excellent and I do recommend the baked sweet potato. It was really good!

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They had a strange new offering when I went yesterday, too. BBQ sauced meatballs. 

I wouldn't recommend them. 

They also appeared to have wings as well. 

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If I could just get two or three sides instead of one side and one of the meat selections, I would probably never want to eat anywhere else in the park. None of the entrees have become a must-have for me yet. 

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It was my 6th visit to Coney BBQ Sunday and my 6th bad experience - the macaroni was dried up and had no taste at all and the hush puppy was hard as a rock like a golf ball.  I am not recommending this place to my friends after multiple bad experiences.  On a positive note over at the waterpark for dinner at the Smokehouse I had the best chicken tenders and hot sidewinder fries that I have ever had at the park.

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I had excellent food at BGW williamsburg.  Why is ms keats so much better than coney bbq?  You have seasonal employees working at both.  

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I refuse to eat at coney any longer, since every time I'm disappointed in the food. My husband still does and every time he has issues. I go across to subway and meet at the tables. It's sad as coney was really good opening weekend. It seems like quality and consistency just keep getting worse each week.

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On fathers day the tri tip was flavorful, but was quite dry. I don't understand the inconsistency of the food if they are all cooked the same each day. Other than making meals for my family, I do not profess to know what it is like to make food for thousands of guests each day. What are we missing that it can not be the same level of quality each day?

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1st thing which is obvious is experienced skilled managers on duty.   Sometimes one of the Chefs will jump in and help out but it is clear qualified management is not always on duty.  See my post about the entire line held up for a full 10 minutes becuase they ran out of mac and cheese.

2nd sides, estimating amount needed, sitting to long in the Cambros and not dumping it when it is deficient quality.   I have heard employees talking to each other at other locations about getting yelled at by managers for letting food go bad dumping it.   

3rd, it is hard getting consistent quality with BBQ even with quality equipment.   I wouldn’t dream of walking in there and telling them I could turn out consistent meat.   I have said this before, when slow cooking things like brisket, pork butt or ribs it is not done after a certain number of hours or when it reaches a set internal temperature.   Every hunk of meat, pig and cow is different.  It has to be closely watched and tested with a fork for tenderness as the process nears its end.  Doing that on a big rotisserie with 50 hunks of meat must be a lot of work and I bet they don’t do that.  Cook them to long and they start drying out and crumbling apart or in the case of ribs fall off the bone at which point it is like pulled pork (if using the Texas crutch) or dry out if naked.  

There is a reason the competition BBQ circuit is so big, it takes skill and if you watch any of the TV shows even the top pitmasters biff it now and then.  

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I'm not expecting world class food at an amusement park.  Yesterday was the first time I have had any semblance of a problem.  The bright lining was that the service was excellent.  The employees were all engaged and didn't have the "I don't want to be here" look or attitude.  At the Rivertown Freestyle location, I was there around 4:05 and the cashier had exactly that issue.  He kept talking to himself saying "I can't do this, where is my supervisor.  I'm supposed to be done at 4."  There was no one behind me and he went behind the wall as I was using the Freestyle machine.

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The sweet potato was good today.  The tri tip sucked as usual.  They need to take the chef major promo down that says he cooks from the heart.....

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5 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

The inconsistency of the food if they are all cooked the same each day.

They aren’t cooked the same.  That’s the issue. Either management can’t instruct them how to cook or the employees can’t follow directions. 

I’m guessing a lack or caring from all involved is the root of the problem.  Apathy will ruin the best of things. 

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A lot of the problems at Kings Island, across the board, has to do with not having good management. Most of the employees are enthusiastic, if inexperienced, at least at the beginning of the season, but good management is needed to corral that energy into good workers, who know what they are doing. 

The problem with getting good management stems from the same argument I made before about why Reds had such a hard time getting and keeping good waitstaff. If you are good at waiting tables or at employee management, there are any number of places that would hire you in a heartbeat. Why would someone who could work anywhere (and likely get pretty good pay) want to work at a park where they are considered a seasonal employee, and only be able to work however many months out of the year, not to mention that they don't receive many of the benefits that are often offered with a full time full year position?

There are a select few who are either devoted to Kings Island, have other employment in the off season, or are semi-retired and like to have a few months off (unpaid), or are otherwise willing to accept the drawbacks to working at a seasonal park. But to be ok with or desire at most part-time employment for a fair portion of the year and to also be good at management isn't a terribly common combination. 

I don't know the solution, and I know that if there is one it isn't simple. Giving commiserate benefits and salaries as they would get at a year-round job to employees that won't be working part of the year doesn't seem entirely fair to Kings Island. But expecting high performance while offering part-time level respect and benefits isn't fair to the people who do their job very well. 

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Select management being kept on part-time through the winter? Gives them the benefit of overall increased pay, increased training, increased loyalty. Just run them through classes and training once a week even while the park is closed, one or two managers per location? Part-Time seasonal employees will never care enough to try harder.

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Something I think would also make sense is to have at least two people working at each of the freestyle/refill locations at all times, but especially on weekends.

If you had thirty people in line all day long it would be hard to stay motivated.  Even if they upped the drink plan cost by $5 a year to hire more workers, I think most everybody would be fine as long as the lines were shorter.

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I would easily pay $50 a year for a drink plan per family member if they always kept both Freestyle locations open added a staffed dedicated stand in Action Zone and one farther back in Coney Mall.   Asking for one in Xbase would never happen.  

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28 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

I would easily pay $50 a year for a drink plan per family member if they always kept both Freestyle locations open added a staffed dedicated stand in Action Zone and one farther back in Coney Mall.   Asking for one in Xbase would never happen.  

I think we can all agree that the addition of several Freestyle machines at the Coney Mall location seriously helped with the lines. Still some work needs to be done as far as ice and drink availability, but I’m happy with the progress so far.

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Highlighting a bright spot. Today at Panda the food was great as usual but the service was even better. We had ordered orange and sweet fire chicken but they ran out of orange. We then said we would take all sweet fire. We paid got our drink and then headed for the napkins and the girl from the register brought out a small portion of the orange chicken for us because it had came out just as we were leaving the line. Great service and going the extra mile.

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Coney bbq was good today in my opinion. I was excited to try it out, and was not let down. Had pulled pork and Mac and cheese and was happy with the outcome. 

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They have a baked potato casserole as a side today. It is worth the price of admission. Get it now. 

 

Edit it to add this is atvthe Coney BBQ. 

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Had the rotisserie chicken today with fries and a complimentary hush puppy. Got a good amount of fries and a huge amount of chicken. Very good tasting and the quality was great. 

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I went thru Coney BBQ yesterday and did not eat there.  There is a marked change in the pulled pork.  When I ate there last week, it was different.  It smelled like bacon (I love bacon!).  It had the same smell yesterday; and it looked almost like chunky hamburger.  The chicken quarters looked small and wrinkled.  The corn on the cob looked dried out.  The smoked sausage looked good.  Maybe these recent experiences have been related to the time of day and the fact that the park was relatively dead.  I waited until closer to park close to get some Street Pizza.  It was really good.

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Really the chicken is the only thing I've had that is consistently good. Everything is so wishy-washy on quality. But give me one of the more cooked chicken, even cold-ish is delicious. I think I'm going to start declining on the sides unless I see actual steam from the corn, none of them are particularly impressive or enjoyable. The mac and cheese maybe for my kids.

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Didn’t make it to Coney BBQ tontight but had the pulled pork and cole slaw at Island Smokehouse mid afternoon.  The pork was just fine with decent flavor.  Being critical it was just a tad soft and the bark was very mushy but that is understandable given the holding time they have to deal with.  Was pulled to an acceptable consistency and not completely shredded into mush like many people do.

The slaw was incredibly bland, while crispy it had absolutely no flavor or personality to it. It was almost like mayonnaise and cabbage were the only ingredients without even as much of drop of vinegar or a grain of salt or pepper.  

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Chef Nate just posted this from his Twitter @KICHEFNATE, this looks delicious!  Anyone going to go and try it?  

 

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