What new street food would you like to see at your favorite theme park?
Published: September 30, 2009 at 7:42 PM
I wish that more theme park would embrace seasonal and street food. When I was in high school in Indiana, late summers brought fresh grilled corn at the state fair and fresh strawberry shortcake at the annual Strawberry Festival downtown. Disney's Epcot has proven that food festivals can draw visitors to theme parks. More parks should hook up with local farmers and vendors to bring seasonal treats into the park, then promote the heck out of the fact.
When I think of fall snacks, I think again of driving down to Brown County in Indiana to watch the leaves turn... and getting some freshly fried biscuits with apple butter. I haven't found anyone outside central and southern Indiana who makes them the same way, but I crave them every fall.
A paper plate of these biscuits, with a dollop of apple butter on the side, would make a perfect theme park snack at Halloween time. (It's fried dough, people! Theme park food is all about the fried dough.)
While I'm on the topic, here are two more items I'd love to see on a food cart at a theme park near me. Like the churros now ubiquitous at parks around the country, both are Mexican-American street-food staples: easy to prepare in bulk and highly addictive.
Otherwise known as "Mexican Corn," an elote is corn-on-the-cob, grilled with butter, mayonnaise, chili powder and cotija cheese. The fresh taste of the corn balances the sharp chili and the rich mayo and cheese perfectly. And it's served on a stick, making it a perfect fit in theme parks.
Known by many other names, I'm talking about bacon-wrapped hot dogs here. In L.A., you'll usually find them grilled with jalapenos, though I am told that a New Jersey version finds them served over a fried egg. Disney served a version of these on a cart in Adventureland years ago, but I haven't seen them recently. To be most successful, the dogs should be made available with whatever's the most appropriate regional option.
What other regional street-food specialties would you like to see at your favorite theme park?