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Where to eat? Lunch at Hersheypark Place

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Published: July 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

During our day at Hersheypark, my family and I opted to have lunch at Hersheypark Place, the table service restaurant located just steps from the park's front gate.

Hersheypark Place

Located in the former Tudor Grill building, Hersheypark Place offers an extensive menu that includes salads, wraps, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and other entrees such as pot roast, fish, steak and ribs. And if you come in the mornings, you can get a character breakfast buffet, too. With so many selections, I suspect that a family a four could exhaust all the ride options inside Hersheypark long before they could work their way through the menu at Hersheypark Place.

Here's what we tried:

My son just hit his teen years, so pizza's a warmly welcomed option at pretty much every meal, as well as anytime in between. So he chose the Pepperoni flat bread pizza ($11.25). We decided that the quartered pepperoni served on the flatbread were meant to look like Hershey's Kisses.

Pepperoni pizza

My wife and daughter each chose the $9.50 "Mix & Match" option pairing a half-sandwich and half-salad. Both opted for the Grilled chicken and smoked gouda panini while my wife took the house salad and my daughter the Caesar.

Sandwich and salad
Grilled chicken and smoked gouda panini with house salad ($9.50)

Several menu options were noted as "House signature items," and that's where I kept my attention. My choice? The Classic cheesesteak with fried potato chips ($13.95).

Cheesesteak

My son endorsed the pepperoni-kissed pizza, though the relatively sparse meat topping and cracker-thin crust didn't give the dish much opportunity to distinguish itself. Still, the robust sauce and mild cheese balanced each other well enough for my son to make quick work of it.

The salads didn't elicit much more than shrug, but my wife expressed pleasant surprise at the taste of the panini. The roasted garlic aioli, served on the side, gave the already flavorful chicken sandwich a nice additional kick, while amplifying the smoky gouda. The half-sandwich was plenty large enough for a satisfying meal, and it appeared that the kitchen simply filled the rest of the plate with the "half" salad, providing more greens and veggies than on many entree-sized salads we've seen our on trip.

My cheesesteak also delivered more food than I could finish. But I've got to give the kitchen due credit for nailing a great sear on the meat. The steak offered plenty of flavor without any gristle or fat, the downfall of too many sub-par cheesesteaks. The meat sat atop melty provolone and onions grilled just to the point of sweetness, but not beyond to a cloying caramelized state. The well-seasoned fried chips provided a nice textural contrast to the sandwich and its fluffy steak roll.

If we were to visit again, I'd like to try the "Fruit, Nuts & Berries" salad, with baby spinach, toasted walnuts, feta, Mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, and "chocolate fat free raspberry vinaigrette." Or the "Chocolate BBQ Burger," with bacon, cheddar and "Hershey's Chocolate BBQ sauce." So many choices!

Too stuffed for continue, we decided we would wait until our visit to Hershey's Chocolate World to get our chocolate dessert fix. But when our server brought the check, we realized we wouldn't be able to resist a little kiss good-bye from the restaurant.

Kisses on the check

Hersheypark Place accepts reservations via OpenTable, but we walked into a nearly empty restaurant with no reservations on a weekday just after noon, so I wouldn't hesitate to try getting a table without them.

Tomorrow, we'll "wrap" up our coverage of Hersheypark with a recap of our visit to Hershey's Chocolate World.

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Readers' Opinions

From 24.228.62.99 on July 25, 2013 at 8:58 AM
I was wondering if the place was gutted and given a new look or if the name and menu were the only things changed. When we visited the old resturant it was a little dated. Also how was the service?
From Russell Meyer on July 25, 2013 at 9:08 AM
The food looks a little underwhelming for a table service restaurant. If I'm ordering a sandwich from a table service menu, I would at least expect it to be served with fries or a hot side that requires a fork, not potato chips.

We typically eat at the kosher stand in the park or just go out to Red Robin (less than a mile away) when we're at Hersheypark. I know some people really like the food here (lots of diversity), but I've just rarely find myself eating in this park. Perhaps it's the seemingly unending choices and the indecision that they invoke. Perhaps it's the proximity of restaurants to the park's front gate. You can be riding Skyrush one minute, and 15 minutes later can be sitting down at a restaurant outside the park.

From Mike Gallagher on July 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM
I had the cheesesteak at Tudor Grill a couple of years ago. Thought it was very good. I'm picky with cheesesteak, though. I don't like the traditional American/Cheez Wiz. I prefer mozzarella, or provolone if the mozzarella is not available. I also don't get peppers, onions, or anything else (yeah, I'm weird..I don't even put anything on hot dogs.) When I got it, I asked for mozzarella and was accommodated. It really was a terrific sandwich, one of the better cheesesteaks I've had, and one of the better sandwiches I've had at a park.
From Robert Niles on July 25, 2013 at 8:58 PM
The fried chips were the "House Signature"-designated side, so I selected them over the French fries, cole slaw or onion rings also presented as options. I found it a little curious that none of the chocolate items, such as the salad or burger, were listed as Signature choices. Anyway, we ended up going to that Red Robin across the street for dinner, and everyone enjoyed it. Ultimately, if I were to do lunch at Hersheypark again, I'd probably opt for the food court at Hershey's Chocolate World instead.
From Joe Schwartz on July 26, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Another nice review Robert. My wife & I always eat diner at this restaurant when visiting Hershey Park. The food is decent & the price is right.

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