Food for Play

>Food for Play

Food for Play

2017-12-05T13:39:43+00:00December 5th, 2017|News, Vacation Planning|
A family taking a meal break at the Lookout Grille

From snacks to healthy food options, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park serves up delicious treats and meals that satisfy.

For many visitors to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the theme park experience isn’t complete without the smell, stickiness and flavor of cotton candy and funnel cakes. For many other visitors, healthy food is essential for a happy visit.

Dining with a view at the Lookout GrilleBob Stepniewski, the Park’s food and beverage manager, caters to both tastes. “It’s a fine balance,” Bob says. “People don’t come up here specifically to dine. They eat because it’s a convenience and they need to have some lunch.”

Three years ago, customer demand drove him to buy a Tiffany-style popcorn wagon and offer popcorn, cotton candy, and funnel cakes. “That’s what people want,” he says. “It’s the smell you think of when you come to the amusement park. I’m open to other options.”

The latest menu change added “grab and go” items, such as chicken salad wraps and a hummus-and-pretzel kit that make a quick snack without a long wait. “We’re offering something that’s healthier,” Bob says. “We do specials on a daily basis over and above our regular menu.”

The menu includes yogurt parfaits with fresh fruit and granola; seasonal salad options such as fresh berries, dried cranberries, feta cheese, walnuts and mandarin oranges; and gluten-free buns and brownies.

“When we make homemade soups here, we’re very in tune with being gluten free so people can be confident that they can have that,” Bob says. Several years ago, he created a book of ingredients for each dish so diners can check for themselves.

Bob, who started out in the hospitality industry as a teenager growing up in Wisconsin and worked in a hotel when he moved to Colorado at age 25, sold ski vacations for 15 years until he returned to the kitchen seven years ago at Glenwood Caverns. His right hand in the kitchen at the Lookout Grille, Mark Lambert, recently graduated from the Escoffier Online International Culinary Academy.

“I have been in the hospitality industry nearly all my life,” Bob says. “Ten or 15 years ago, people weren’t as health conscious as they are now. We are sensitive and empathetic to our guests. It’s a fun environment. Every day, I’m just thrilled to be a part of it.”

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.