Tudor earns good grades.
The Tudor Grill – Hershey, PA (Outside of Hershey Park)
Price: $27 (For Two – Excludes Tip)
Meal: Dinner / Weekend / 8:15p
When you’re in an amusement park, you’re pretty much locked into whatever food they want to sell you. It’s a shame really. Why don’t most of these places take pride in something as basic as a good restaurant? Instead, they offer you to a bunch of themed sit-down restaurants serving fast food. Adding insult to injury, given the advantage they have over your location, the prices are rarely competitive to those outside the park. Will Tudor Grill, operating just outside of the ticketing windows to Hershey Park, be a diamond in the rough?
To suggest that you’d go to Tudor Grill without actually visiting the park would be very surprising. The grill is literally a few yards from the Hershey Park ticketing windows and park entrance. Given the hassle you’d have to absorb with driving out there, parking a few miles away, and catching a tram just to have the privilege to potentially wait in line to eat, it’s safe to say that most of Tudor’s patronage are defectors from the lower quality food within the park itself. Fortunately, we caught Tudor’s fairly late and there wasn’t a line whatsoever. We’d definitely recommend you eat outside of the traditional ‘dinner times’ of 5-7p, as we noticed very long lines.
Inside of Tudor, we saw quite a mess. There was lots of debris on the floor from the earlier crowds and a table that looked only minimally wiped. If you’ve read any of Autumn’s reviews, you’d know she was immediately unhappy. We were both hungry, though, and otherwise thought a clean-version of the interior would be very pleasant. There were carpeted floors, nicely padded wooden chairs, and diner-style tables. There’s also a really nice patio to eat outside, although it appeared to close earlier than the rest of the restaurant. Considering all aspects of the design, I found it very appealing, especially considering the alternatives within the park.
On the menu you’ll find pretty standard American stuffz: burgers, salads, fish and chips, chicken, etc. As you’d expect from a restaurant sharing a common area with Hershey Park, they do feature some great sounding desserts (that we didnt have room to try) with Hershey’s ingredients. Our service was initially on the slow side, but got better as the night went on and the volume in the restaurant thinned. For starters, we each tried the side salad with dressings of our choice. They were very good, but served almost in tandem with our meal which we definitely do not like to see. Still, the salads had really nice, bright colors and were in the upper echelon as far as side salads go. For our main meals, I tried the fish and chips and Autumn tried the grilled (barbeque) chicken entree.
Let me preface my thoughts on the fish and chips by describing that the in-park counterpart had exactly (3) pieces of smallish ‘fish sticks’ with a handful of fries in a paper tray. Because of the offensive portioning, I opted for another lunch selection earlier in the park. Tudor’s version, however, was gigantic. It was the largest fish and chips platter I’ve ever seen, and it was worth every bit of the $11.99 menu price on size alone. Take a look at the picture; the fish almost stretched the length of the entire plate on a large stack of fries, tartar sauce, and a very good cole slaw (not seen). It was piping hot and one of the best fried fish filets I’ve ever had. The fries were a nice thick cut, cooked well, and I had difficulty finishing them all (of course I eventually did!). I’ve been to pubs before where I’d pay this price for half of much fish. It was a very surprising find and I’d not hesitate to order again.
Autumn’s chicken was also very good, although by no means as large a portion as my fish. Served is a tasty light barbeque sauce, roasted vegetables (mainly squash and zucchini), and a delicious side of fluffy mashed potatoes, it easily bested any casual eatery (Friday’s, Applebees, etc..) in terms of both taste and presentation. At only $10.99, it was also difficult to criticize the price. Sampling the chicken, I found it very tender with a great flavor. Autumn isn’t a big fan of their selection of veggies, but I loved them. Not too mushy, not too tough, with what tasted like a very light glaze of olive oil. Overall, a very good showing for a dish that we’ve all had a thousand times and is sometimes delivered without any real evidence of culinary passion at all.
Our server, who was super nice, dropped off a handful of Hershey kisses (which is pretty much the routine of any restaurant in the Hershey area). Aside from the mess on the floor, which we can understand to an extent, the food exceeded our expectations, the service was very friendly, and the price was very reasonable considering that although you’re not technically in the park, you’re still probably stuck ‘in the park’ anyway. Autumn was more critical of the cleanliness and service delays at the beginning and end of our meal than I was, which explains the gap in our individual scores. I gave more weight to the quality of food for the price, but do acknowledge that a quick once-over with one of those push-sweepers would have worked wonders.
– Great quality food
– Terrific prices; some appeared lower than places truly outside the park
– Friendly service
– Not really practical if you’re not going to Hershey Park
– Lots of debris on the floor / uncleared tables
– Service times sluggish at the beginning and end of the meal (taking order / getting bill)
Guru’s Score: 4.15
Autumn’s Score: 3.5
Combined Score: 3.83 Chews
Subjective rating: Terrific food, but rough around some edges.
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