The Taste of Knott’s – Inside Knott’s Berry Farm

My colleague blurted, “Knott’s Berry Farm has the best amusement park food in all of USA”, when I mentioned about the Knott’s Berry Summer tasting menu event I had the privilege of attending in July. I totally concur.

Over the years, I would see the roller coaster structures from the freeway as I would drive down to Orange County CA but I never had the chance to go in. This summer I found myself at Knott’s Berry Farm, not once but twice. The first time I went to Soak City for my daughter’s Preschool graduation field trip (seriously? When did 4 year olds go on graduation trips?). The second time was when Knott’s Berry Farm invited me to taste their new menu. I was EXCITED. I was so excited that when I got to the event, I forgot the memory card for my camera and my cell phone was dead. GREAT! (not) Luckily, the event organizers provided us with some pictures and I took some with my husband’s camera.

My first reaction as I walked to the event was surprise at the number of distinct food establishments at Knott’s Berry Farm. As the evening went on I learnt that Mr. Knott’s created the amusement park to give people something to do while they waited in line for the Fried Chicken at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant. The famous fried chicken was served at the tasting event and it was really good. Did you know that Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant serves an average of 1,000 chickens daily? It is the world’s largest full service, single location chicken restaurant. Furthermore, the fried chicken recipe hasn’t changed since 1934.

The chicken, predictably, was good. I mean, I expected it to be good: how could you serve so much of it if it was bad? It was flavorful, not mushy.

In addition to chicken, there are plenty of tasty options. At Fireman’s Brigade BBQ (located in Ghost Town) you’ll find slow-cooked ribs and flank steak sandwiches. My husband said the flank steak was pretty good.

The meatball sandwich contained meatballs that were great, but the bread wasn’t all that. So for sure get the meatballs but put the bread aside for later. Just get some pats of butter and eat a bread/butter snack later on in the day.

I was surprised to find Ahi Poke on the menu. It was on wonton crisps. It was pretty tasty. I would definitely have it if I was feeling peckish but not ready for a full meal. I didn’t like the riblets much but I think they are an acquired taste. The bruschetta (and remember it is pronounced broos-ketta, not broo-shetta) was nice for an appetizer.

The veggie burger (really a vegetarian black bean burger) blew me away. It was downright delicious. Whenever I try to go veggie, I end up with some sort of sad-looking, tasteless veggie patty that has been sitting in the back of the freezer. But this one, it was delicious, good enough to stand on its own. You can also get honey-garlic salmon with salad, which was pretty good.

They also had deli sandwiches, veggie wraps and pizza. The sandwiches were good, the wraps and pizza was OK.
We wrapped up with the funnel cake. I had never actually had this fairgrounds staple before. It was tasty and it was waaaaay too much food. You can share this with like 3-4 friends if you like. You can get it a la mode or with pie.

All in all this is one amusement park where you can sit down and eat a good meal at fairly reasonable prices. Many of the food options are under $10.

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