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Stoan

Meal Deals, and meal deals

242 posts in this topic

So I got the All-Season Meal Plan last year, and made the decision to try to eat every single combo the meal plan had to offer just to see what was a good deal on the Meal Deal. I didn't get around to accomplishing that feat (my wife is a picky eater), so this year with another Meal Deal, I am going to attempt it again.

 

My goal for the post is to essentially track, and discuss what meals are offered with the Meal Deal, how good of a deal they are, and what is the best Meal Deal in the park.

 

Most of my information I am just going to try to remember from last year, and there have been some changes to what the meals are this year so I will be overwriting them as I get around to eating them this year.

 

Feel free to chime in with thoughts and suggestions to what you feel the best deal is.

 

Current Favorite Meal(s):

Split: Skyline 3-way, coney combo. I like to split this with my wife. The 3-way is large, so she gets a decent meal, I eat the coney and the 3-way leftovers. So we both have a pretty good meal

Solo: Reds Hall of Fame Grill Tenders and Saratoga Chips combo. The availability of wing sauce for dipping tips this over the top of all other locations for me.

 

I ripped the list from KI's website.

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Festhaus In Oktoberfest (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-festhaus/)
  • 2 slices of cheese pizza and breadsticks

(Larosa's Pizza, pretty standard, pretty good. On busy days it is hard to go wrong with this since the pizza must flow, it will generally be fresh. On non-busy days I normally ask which one is the freshest, if they don't know grab the one with the most cheese. They suck at cutting pizza and the toppings fall off a lot. This applies to every location when it comes to taste, 3rd party vendors are nice since they have their own quality control which tends to be higher than the generic park foods)

  • 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and breadsticks

(See above)

  • Chicken tenders with fries (05/30)

(Very solid chicken tender combo. The breading is crunchy, and the fries are actually potato wedges. Festhaus tends to be one of the more crowded food locations, so the freshness can be promising, though on the other side of the coin they over-make so it could be bad, the middle ground is very small between the extremes.)

  • Burger with fries

(I almost never see anyone get a burger, so the one time I got one it was terrible. They just tonged out what appeared to be at least an hour old patty, tossed it on some boring bun with a piece of cheese that had no chance of melting. There wasn't enough mustard in the building to save this burger)

  • Gluten free pizza

(TBD, looks small, doesn't come with breadsticks)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

LaRosa's Pizza On International Street and in Rivertown (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/international-street-pizza/)
  • 2 slices of cheese pizza and breadsticks

(LaRosa's Pizza, near the entrance so great for a quick "I'm just going to KI for food".)

  • 2 slices of pepperoni pizza and breadsticks

(See above)

  • Antipasto salad and breadsticks

(TBD, new 2016 as far as I know. I'm not big is salad if I get around to it, it will probably be one of the last)

 
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Reds Hall of Fame Grille In Rivertown (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-reds-hall-of-fame-grille/)

*Will not fill souvenier cups. Even holders of the cup must pay full price for a drink. Fill your cup before sitting down, you can bring them in. Tips are expected. If it is crowded sit at the bar (open seating), or ask about sitting outside.

  • Handbreaded chicken tenders with Saratoga chips (04/16)

(My favorite tender combo in the park. The breading is the same as Festhaus and Snoopy Grill, but this place has hot sauce. They say it comes with BBQ or Honey Mustard, but skip that stuff ask for some side of the wing sauce. The saratoga chips don't need to be hot, they don't even need to be fresh, they are potato chips they are good all day. Plus the chips dip well into the wing sauce.)

  • Homer burger with Saratoga chips (05/14/16)

Decent burger, looks like it isn't pre-formed. Bun is a regular white bread bun, maybe a bit more dense than a store-bought bun, but nothing special. Comes with tomato, onion, lettuce and pepperjack/cheddar cheese. Since I am me, I suggest putting wing sauce on it, otherwise the burger isn't fancy, though better than any other burger I have had in the park.

  • Buffalo chicken salad

(TBD, I think this is new to 2016. I think last year was a buffalo chicken wrap. The two however are one of the few grilled chicken meals I know of outside of Soak City)

 
----------------------------------------------------

Chick-fil-A In Planet Snoopy (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-reds-hall-of-fame-grille/)

- Packets of Hot Sauce (Texas Pete)

  • Chick-fil-A sandwich with waffle fries

(Chick-fil-A chicken, Chick-fil-A taste. Same thing with LaRosa's when it comes to third-party vendors. They food is almost always superior in quality to other general foods. Still closed on Sundays, almost always busy. The sandwich is all you have come to expect from a Chick-fil-A sandwhich. A solid meal, though perhaps not exactly filling. Important note however, one of the few locations with packages of hot sauce (Texas Pete), worth stopping by just to grab a handful).

  • Chick-fil-A nuggets with waffle fries

(Same as above for the most part, except possibly less filling since it doesn't have bread to take up belly space, still a solid meal.)

 
----------------------------------------------------

Panda Express In Oktoberfest
  • Two entree plate and side

(If you like Chinese, this is your only option in the park. They give good portion sizes, and they have a lot of options. Not all the options you can find outside the park, but at least 5 different entree choices. I enjoyed the one time I made it to this meal)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Chicken Shack In Action Zone (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-chicken-shack/)

- Bottles of Hot Sauce (Generic Buffalo)

  • Hand breaded chicken tenders with fries (06/01)

- Honestly, I don't care for this location's tenders. The breading is different than all other locations. The pieces tend to be thicker as well. Served with "natural" fries, kind of like Wendy's. Even though the basket doesn't say they also serve it with a piece of Texas Toast.

  • Crispy chicken salad with Texas toast

(TBD, never got around to this one)

 
----------------------------------------------------

Skyline Chili On International Street and in Coney Mall (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-skyline-chili/)

- Packets of Hot Sauce (Skyline Brand)

  • Two cheese coneys and fries

(My least favorite of the two skyline meals. When I want Cincinnati Chili, I want Cincinnati Chili I don't want plain french fries. Out of the park 3 cheese coneys is a combo, why did they drop it to 2 coneys and put some boring fries with it. Easier to eat and go than the 3-way, but to me, not a better combo)

  • 3-way and cheese coney

(I can't even remember how many times I got this combo last year, at least 20 times. One of the best combos in the park, assuming you like Cincinnati style. Protip: Coney Mall tends to give bigger portions. This combo alone usually fed my wife and me, toss in a few bags of crackers and my 1 year old was happy as well. 4 out of 5 stars)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Juke Box Diner In Oktoberfest (http://cpfoodblog.com/kings-island-food/kings-island-juke-box-diner/)

*This isn't in Oktoberfest, not sure why the site says it is

  • Fresh grilled burger and fries

(Better burger than Festhaus, still not very good)

  • Chicken tenders and fries

(Middle of the road tender meal. Not as good as Reds Hall of Fame, not as unique as Chicken Shack. Comes with standard fries)

  • Grilled chicken sandwich and fries

(TBD. One of the few non-deep fried meals in the park, worth a look)

  • Hot dog and fries

(Its a hot dog... its a hot dog)

 
----------------------------------------------------

Coconut Cove Cafe In Soak City
  • 2 slices of cheese pizza and breadsticks

(LaRosa's Pizza. same as always)

  • 2 slices of pepperoni

(LaRosa's Pizza. same as always)

  • Chicken tenders with fries

(Same chicken tender combo as most other locations. This place also serves buffalo something, so hot sauce is available on request)

  • Burger with fries

(TBD)

  • Grilled chicken sandwich with fries

(TBD)

 

----------------------------------------------------

Planet Snoopy Grill In Planet Snoopy
  • Chicken tenders with fries (05/26)

(Standard generic tenders for Kings Island. Crispy Breading and fairly small portions. It appears all baskets at this location are now served with tater tots, and not fries.)

  • Burger with fries

(TBD)

  • Grilled chicken sandwich with fries (06/01)

(Kind of meh, the grilled chicken tastes like it was microwaved, then tossed on a grill simply for burn marks. It had no crisp to it, and was chewy, but it isn't deep fried, so there is that. Served with tater tots, as with all other baskets from this location)

 
----------------------------------------------------

Coney Potato Works In Coney Mall
  • Gluten free chicken tenders with fresh cut fries (5/15)

The chicken tenders remind me of lunch at school. They are shorter and thinner than other tenders in the park. However they give you 4 instead of 3 to make up for the size difference. The taste cheap, and probably are cheap, the closest thing I can think of to the breading is Wendy's. It isn't crispy, it isn't crunchy, it is just there. The fries of course are Potato Works fries, fresh, natural cut fries, honestly the star of the meal.

  • Gluten free corn dog with fresh cut fries (04/23)

(Not sure why anyone would get this over the tenders. You have the choice between 3-4 tenders, or a single corndog. The corndog itself isn't very good, the hotdog is moist and tasty, but the breading is corn based, too thick, and I am reasonably certain it is microwaved. The one I ate had zero crisp to the outside, so it was either old and heatlamped, or frozen and microwaved. Disappointing all around.)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Subway In Coney Mall & Soak City (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-subway/)
  • Six inch sub and bag of chips

(Subway. If you like cold sandwiches, then yay! If you don't, then boo! I will say I got this combo a number of times, it travels well and they tend to be pretty quick. I'll pop in, get a sandwich and eat it when I get home instead of dealing with people at the park. Not much more to say than, it is a sandwich)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Outerhanks In Oktoberfest (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-hanks-burrito-shack/)
  • Burrito with chips and salsa

(Its like Chipotle, only with less quality control. The portions are large, the food is filling, the ingredients are generally tasty, however they don't monitor minor aspects very well. My meat still had full bay leaves in it, my rice was lumpy, and the beans are overly wet. Minor complains, to an otherwise decent meal)

  • Burrito bowl with chips and salsa

(Like above, but without a tortilla, my preferred method)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

Snake Pit In Rivertown (http://cpfoodblog.com/park-food-guides/kings-island-food/kings-island-snake-pit/)
  • Philly cheesesteak with bag of chips (05/21)

Mediocre meal really, the bag of chips with the sandwich is mildly filling, but I wouldn't say particularly flavorful. The best selling point here is also the biggest risk, since this food option isn't something they can simply deep-fry or re-heat the employees have to actually cook it. Which means the food is made to order unless the place is under heavy load, which is almost never is. This also means you can vary your mileage significantly, as the cook's skill plays a part in the flavor. When I had it they used a LOT of butter, so the meal was mostly butter flavored meat, and the bread was a butter sponge instead of toasted.

 
----------------------------------------------------
 
Soak City Grill Cart
In Soak City
  • Grilled all beef hot dog with choice of chips, pasta or potato salad

(TBD)

  • Grilled bratwurst with choice of chips, pasta or potato salad

(TBD)

  • Grilled Italian sausage with choice of chips, pasta or potato salad

(TBD)

 
----------------------------------------------------

 

  • Chicken chunks with fresh cut fries

(Pretty much chicken tenders, but smaller. Not corn based breading, and the same great fries. Good combo, or at the least better than the other potato works)

 

----------------------------------------------------

 

*05/03/16 - Updated Festhaus tenders combo. They are wedges, not fries. Updated Chicken Shack Tenders. Updated Planet Snoopy Tenders. Updated Planet Snoopy Grilled Chicken.

*05/03/16 - I decided to list off what sauces are available at each location, possibly expanding to if any special drinks are available as well. Barq's and Red Creme Soda seems to be rare in the park. I also started tracking what day I went to the location, partially for my own purposes, partially so people know at what time I "reviewed" the meal.

*05/14/16 - Updated Reds Hall of Fame Grill Homer Burger.

*05/15/16 - Updated Coney Mall Potato Works Tender. Added current favorite meal. Added note to Reds Hall of Fame Grill about drinks, tips, and seating.

*05/21/16 - Updated Snake Pit Cheesesteak Combo. I took a picture of the food this time, so I will try to start adding photos of the actual meal, so you can see volume, and what you actually get with the meal.

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I had on the soft open a Burrito Bowl with Chicken from Hanks with chips and Salsa.  I will say that I was very pleased with the amount of food you get as I compared it to something similar in my neighborhood called Hot Heads Burritos.  The only thing I can say that made it over the top spectacular was that I used my salsa that was on the side for my chips in my bowl and I thought I was in Heaven.  Great meal, great service at Hank's and I just love and I can't emphasize enough that I LOVE having unlimited drinks this year.  I have decided that I will carry it with me as much as possible and then get a locker for it to ride Banshee, Firehawk and Flight of Fear.  Most everything else has bins.   

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Subway In Coney Mall & Soak City
  • Six inch sub and bag of chips

(Subway. If you like cold sandwiches, then yay! If you don't, then boo! I will say I got this combo a number of times, it travels well and they tend to be pretty quick. I'll pop in, get a sandwich and eat it when I get home instead of dealing with people at the park. Not much more to say than, it is a sandwich)

 

Last time I was in the Subway in Soak City, that location (unlike the Coney Mall location) had microwaves and toasting ovens for hot sandwiches, plus a couple of extra sub choices (things that are normally served hot, like chicken). So it might be worth checking out when Soak City opens for the season.

 

That said, if you want to take a sandwich home, you're wasting money by getting it at the park. There are many, many Subway stores near Kings Island, where you can get a much, much larger selection for far, far lower prices.

 

(I'm constantly amazed at the number of families that clog up International Street LaRosa's at the end of the night to buy whole $25 pizzas to take home, when they could stop at a LaRosa's outside the park and get a much better quality version of the same thing for around half the price.)

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I had on the soft open a Burrito Bowl with Chicken from Hanks with chips and Salsa.  I will say that I was very pleased with the amount of food you get as I compared it to something similar in my neighborhood called Hot Heads Burritos.  The only thing I can say that made it over the top spectacular was that I used my salsa that was on the side for my chips in my bowl and I thought I was in Heaven.  Great meal, great service at Hank's and I just love and I can't emphasize enough that I LOVE having unlimited drinks this year.  I have decided that I will carry it with me as much as possible and then get a locker for it to ride Banshee, Firehawk and Flight of Fear.  Most everything else has bins.   

 

Flight of Fear has an area for loose items, the exit goes right past it (by the kid waiting area) on the left. You can ride Flight of Fear then pick your stuff up after riding Firehawk.

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^ I wouldn't recommend leaving anything of value there, especially for an extended period of time. A $2 savings could quickly become a new $25 drink bottle purchase.

 

This might be a good place to mention the water bottle refill stations, now located at the water fountains near most park restrooms. They hygienically fill bottles or cups with chilled water, without mouths or soiled drinkware touching the nozzle.

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^ I wouldn't recommend leaving anything of value there, especially for an extended period of time. A $2 savings could quickly become a new $25 drink bottle purchase.

 

This might be a good place to mention the water bottle refill stations, now located at the water fountains near most park restrooms. They hygienically fill bottles or cups with chilled water, without mouths or soiled drinkware touching the nozz

 

I've never had any problems but then again I rarely do it (never carry much) and only get on Firehawk when the line is short.

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Subway In Coney Mall & Soak City

  • Six inch sub and bag of chips
  •  

(Subway. If you like cold sandwiches, then yay! If you don't, then boo! I will say I got this combo a number of times, it travels well and they tend to be pretty quick. I'll pop in, get a sandwich and eat it when I get home instead of dealing with people at the park. Not much more to say than, it is a sandwich)

 

Last time I was in the Subway in Soak City, that location (unlike the Coney Mall location) had microwaves and toasting ovens for hot sandwiches, plus a couple of extra sub choices (things that are normally served hot, like chicken). So it might be worth checking out when Soak City opens for the season.

 

That said, if you want to take a sandwich home, you're wasting money by getting it at the park. There are many, many Subway stores near Kings Island, where you can get a much, much larger selection for far, far lower prices.

 

(I'm constantly amazed at the number of families that clog up International Street LaRosa's at the end of the night to buy whole $25 pizzas to take home, when they could stop at a LaRosa's outside the park and get a much better quality version of the same thing for around half the price.)

 

 

I will have to check out Soak City Subway then, I much prefer toasted (extra toasted) sammiches to cold.

 

Also with I agree with the "why buy in the park" assessment. I personally have the Dining Plan, so I just walk around the park to get my sweet Fitbit steps, a free drink and something to munch on.

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Updated a few meals with new thoughts. Some of the meal descriptions are misleading on the side-item. Even though they all say fries, they aren't always fries (tots or wedges)

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If you have 4 meal plans, you can get 8 slices of pizza, 8 breadsticks, and 4 sauces.. And at that point it's just easier to get a pizza box and throw the sticks inside with the pizza. I did this on Saturday when I had only 2 meal plans... Just asked for a box so I could carry them home.

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Also, this weekend there was an brief issue using my meal plan. Manager came over and said I hadn't waited long enough and that I'd be able to use it again at 6:23pm. Knowing that I had not used it at all yet, I asked them when I last used it... They said 3:23pm... It was currently 3:24pm so obviously they had scanned my pass on that transaction. Ultimately it all worked out and since there was no one else in line it was a good time for the cashier to learn... But it showed me that the system is actually set up to require a 3 hour wait (not 4 as I had previously assumed).

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When I was waiting in guest relations for another reason one day this season, there was a guy complaining that after waiting 45 min in a line, when he went to pay he was ten minutes short of 4 hours so they wouldn't let him pay for his meal with the dining plan. (Seriously, you get in line a full hour before you know it is your time and then get mad at them that they weren't /slow/ enough?)

I think that when they told you it couldn't be used until 6:23 they did the math wrong in their head, or were possibly misinformed about how long it is between meals. I think the system only gives a "last used" time, or rings it up if the allotted time has passed. It doesn't say when it can be used next.

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As of last season, the forced wait time between meals was shorter than the advertised time of 4 hours. This helps with delays caused by food lines; if you get in line for your first meal at 4:50pm and can't pay until 6:01pm, you'd otherwise be out your second meal. That said, there were also times last season where meals were denied after waiting more than 4 hours. I recall one day with lots of uneaten pizza in the trash at Rivertown LaRosa's.

 

To be safe, I always check the time to ensure that a full 4 hours elapses between when I "pay" and when I go for a second meal.

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Given the huge success of the meal plan seeing the cost rise this past weekend was no big surprise. Long food lines leads me to think the park over sold the dining plan and will now cause more problems or bigger price increase next year due to recent guest issues.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

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Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

Sorry I know it is still on the menu and that you can order then with a meal.  What I mean is can I get the potato wedges with the meal plan, I am even willing to pay the extra $2 if needed.  That was where everyone suddenly had an issue when I asked.  Last year you could get the wedges but you would be charged the extra $2 although you still got the annual pass discount which worked for the entire original meal price so the cost was pretty minor.

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ROFL!  You do realize that RHOFG and Chicken Shack are the same tenders   :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

 

I am positive the chicken is the same.  But the breading is either different or applied differently.  Also RHOFG they are either fresher or cooked by someone who knows what they are doing.  I have eaten at both frequently and 90% of the time it is a better at RHOFG.  Although I do like the Chipotle sauce at the chicken shack.

 

 

Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

See http://www.KICentral.com/forums/index.php/topic/26752-tutorial-how-to-upload-photos-caution-several-large-image-files-ahead/ for info on how to post photos.

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Crazy question about RHOFG this year.  Last year you could pay the extra two dollars and get the potato wedges instead of the chips.  Is this still an option?  No one at the restaurant had a clue when I asked about it.

 

 

Yes, specialty potato wedges are still an available menu upgrade for $1.99 at RHoFG. I can't for the life of me figure out how to upload a photo to this post, otherwise I'd share the note from the menu, which is listed under the entrees section.

 

 

Sorry I know it is still on the menu and that you can order then with a meal.  What I mean is can I get the potato wedges with the meal plan, I am even willing to pay the extra $2 if needed.  That was where everyone suddenly had an issue when I asked.  Last year you could get the wedges but you would be charged the extra $2 although you still got the annual pass discount which worked for the entire original meal price so the cost was pretty minor.

 

 

If nobody answers this by this weekend, I will check it out. I know it worked last year like  you said, personally I prefer the chips and they aren't an upsell.

 

Also Chicken Shack's breading is definitely different than all other tender breading. At least of the ones I have tried this year so far, which I think is almost all of them except Potato Works.

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I tried Outerhanks for the first time this past weekend it was not good at all. It was filling but that's about all it was was good for. I would rank it dead last of all the burrito places I have tried. 

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Just curious, I've not ate at Hanks in a while, what made it not good at all? 

The one time last year I waited in line and left (there weren't trays and the staff couldn't figure out what way was up) I happened to look at the meat, it seemed like it was shredded chicken but it was so incredibly saturated in the pan in whatever liquid it sat in, I decided I couldn't stomach it. I saw them place a hunk of chicken on the burrito and it was dripping with whatever that liquid was. I'd rather my burrito not leak water.

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I've gotten just a veggie bowl at Hanks and it wasn't too bad. The one time I had it with meat, it was inedible. It tasted like someone had dumped an entire salt shaker into my food!

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Hanks is hit or miss. A lot of it depends on how many of the different salsas they have available. So far it seems like by Saturday afternoon they are out of most of the salsas. It's no Chipotle, but it's very filling.

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I was surprised last year with how Outhank's turned out, mostly because I expected it to be undercooked and minimal. I think what saved it for me is I took my Chipotle approach and got double rice, which helped soak up how ridiculously wet the meat was.

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