Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Treat: Coupon for 20% off takeout at Eat'n Park, this weekend only!

Halloween is already upon us, and between the many fall festivities taking place this weekend, you probably have a busy schedule planned. No time to cook? We can help!

Make life easier by ordering takeout from Eat'n Park, and then save big with this coupon for 20% off your takeout purchase.  Just print your coupon, then bring it with you when you pick up your takeout order Friday through Sunday, October 29-31, 2010.

Click here to print your coupon now!


Coupon valid Friday-Sunday, October 29-31, 2010.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eat'n Park Halloween Carving Contest Results!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Eat'n Park-themed Halloween carving contest! Below are the winning photos, as well as a few honorable mentions that we couldn't resist sharing.  Enjoy!

Our winner!
Linda A. of White Oak, PA. That face looks hauntingly familiar....


Second place:
Kari B. of Imperial, PA. Love the Smiley pumpkin top!


Third place:
Charlie C., from Saint Marys, Georgia snatches a cookie from a unique cookie jar!


Honorable mention:
From one of our team members, Bill M. We never knew Smiley could look so scary!


Honorable mention:
Bob J. of West Mifflin, PA. This one just made us laugh. Love your creativity, Bob!


 Honorable mention:
Elsie A. of Pittsburgh, PA. Great rendition of a classic smile!





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Thursday, October 21, 2010

From Orchard to Cider at Eat'n Park - The Journey of the Apple, Part 1

Fall is now upon us. It’s amazing how fast the summer has gone. Fall to me means pumpkin pie, winter squash and apple cider. If you haven’t visited your neighborhood Eat’n Park this month, I would highly recommend it. Along with our fall specials, we are now featuring unbelievable apple cider from several local orchards. With orchard-fresh cider, just the right spices, and an orange slice, this is the best hot cider you'll find anywhere!

One of the orchards supplying our cider is Dawson’s Orchards, located in Enon Valley, PA – about an hour and a half north of Pittsburgh. Owned and operated by Carolyn and Scott McQuiston, Dawson’s grows more than 15 varieties of apples, as well as an assortment of other fruits including peaches, pears, nectarines, plums, and berries. Because Scott and Carolyn are some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met, I asked them to indulge my curiosity by showing me just how an apple is grown, harvested, processed, and consumed, from orchard to cider press to Eat’n Park. Of course, they obliged!

As Scott led me through the orchards, two of the first things I noticed were metal pots interspersed throughout the rows of apple trees, and a large windmill towering 40 feet above the orchard.



Top: A smudge pot in the orchard.
Bottom: The wind machine.
Scott explained to me that the metal “smudge pots” worked in conjunction with the wind machine to raise the temperature in the orchard on those chilly spring nights, when the apple buds are in danger of being killed by frost. The smudge pots are essentially heaters. However, because heat rises, their effect would be minimal without the use of the wind machine. Powered by a car engine, the wind machine forces the warm air back down over the orchard, keeping the temperature warm enough to prevent the fragile buds from freezing.

Next, Scott showed me some of the newest apple trees, and explained how they’re planted and supported. Many of these trees were trellised – supported with a stake near the trunk, and additional support wires running horizontally down the entire row of trees. As we got closer, I could see why these young trees needed so much support – they were absolutely loaded with apples! As they grow, young trees are pruned to remove any unnecessary branches, so that the tree can direct its energy into producing fruit.




Top: Me among some of the young apple trees.
Bottom: Close-up of a branch loaded with apples.

As we continued through the picturesque orchard, I noticed large wooden crates in some of the rows. Scott explained that as the apples are handpicked, they’re carefully put into these crates, which hold about 18 bushels each. The crates are then transported by forklift over to the processing and storage building, where they’ll be cleaned, sorted, packed, and stored.


Top: Crates of apples ready to be processed.
Bottom: Apples in cold storage.

To begin the cleaning process, the entire crate of apples is gently submerged in a tank of water, causing the apples to float up. This is preferable to dumping them out of the crate, which would likely cause bruising and damage to the apples.


Top: I watch as a crate of apples is submerged in the tank.
Bottom: Floating apples drifting toward the cleaning unit.
Like a bunch of ducks in a ducky derby, the apples then drift toward a conveyor belt that takes them into a cleaning unit, then through a waxer.  Clean and shiny, the apples roll out on the other side onto another conveyor belt, where they’re moved to a sorting line.
 



Top: Apples on the conveyor belt to be sorted.
Bottom: Apples being weighed and bagged after sorting.

From there, Dawson’s team members sort the apples, removing any that have been damaged at all during cleaning. The remaining apples are sorted into 3 categories, based solely on their appearance. The best looking apples are “trayed” – meaning that they’ll be offered for sale individually. The second best looking apples are bagged for sale by the pound or bushel. The remaining apples – which are just as good in quality, though not in appearance – are sorted for processing into cider.

Dawson’s sends their apples to Hays Cider Press, 14 miles away in Columbiana, OH. I wanted to see that process too, so I made a trip to Hays, which I’ll write about in my next post.



Top: Carolyn shows me some of the pears that Dawson’s grows.
Bottom: Scott in the orchard.

Before I could say my goodbyes to Carolyn and Scott, they insisted that I sit down and enjoy one of Carolyn’s (amazing!) homemade apple dumplings. They never let me leave hungry!

I talked Carolyn into sharing her recipe, so aspiring cooks, read on:

Apple Dumplings
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ cup shortening
¼ cup butter
½ cup milk
6 small apples

To make sauce: Combine sugar, water, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook 5 minutes; add butter. Pare and core apples while sauce is cooking.

Add salt and baking powder to flour; cut in shortening. Add milk all at once. Stir until flour is moistened. Roll to ¼” thick; cut into 6 – 5” squares. Place one cut up apple onto each square. Sprinkle generously with additional sugar and spices and dot with butter. Fold up corners and pinch together. Place 1” apart in greased baking dish. Pour sauce over dumplings and bake at 375F for 35 minutes. Serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream.

For more information about Dawson's Orchards, visit their website at http://www.dawsonsorchards.com/.
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Halloween Smiley Cookies: Get 'em at Eat'n Park or SmileyCookie.com!

Halloween is right around the corner, and there's no better treat for your ghouls and goblins than our Halloween Smiley Cookies!

Our original Smiley Cookies get outfitted for the season with candy corn eyes, an orange cloak, and an eerie green smile. The ultimate Halloween party food, our cookies make trick-or-treaters howl with delight — and mummies love them, too!

Stop in to your local Eat'n Park to pick up a dozen or two for your Halloween party, or ship some to tricksters far and wide from our online store at SmileyCookie.com!

Click here to shop now.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wind Turbine Installed at Fox Chapel/Waterworks Eat’n Park!

Since July, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a part so that we could adorn our new Fox Chapel Eat’n Park with its crowning touch: a wind turbine. Our wait ended yesterday when the turbine was successfully installed!


The turbine is designed to generate power in winds up to 60 miles per hour, and it was immediately apparent yesterday that it spins in even the slightest breeze. Stretching 40 feet above ground, the turbine is mounted just past our pickup window – so take a look next time you’re picking up dinner!


We expect the turbine to generate about 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity for our restaurant annually (about 1/3 of what the average household uses in a year). When its power is not being used at the Waterworks Eat’n Park, it will be fed back into the power grid.

Below are a few photos from the installation. KDKA covered the event, and you can check out a video of the installation and the turbine in action here: http://kdka.com/green/Eatn.Park.turbine.2.1969522.html

To see more photos from the event, check out our Facebook page. And for more information about the other green features of the Waterworks Eat’n Park, click here.


 


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Students: Save 10% at Eat'n Park!

Many of our Eat'n Park locations offer a 10% discount to students of local colleges and universities.  Just show your student ID to save!

This offer is valid at the following Eat'n Park locations:
  • Altoona
  • Clarion
  • Dubois
  • Erie (both locations)
  • Grove City
  • Indiana, PA
  • Johnstown
  • Latrobe
  • Moon Twp.
  • Morgantown, WV
  • Squirrel Hill
  • St. Clairsville, OH
  • State College
  • Streetsboro, OH
  • Uniontown
  • Warren, OH
  • Washington, PA (Oak Spring Road)
  • Wheeling, WV
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eat'n Park Halloween Photo Contest!


You're probably hitting the pumpkin patch this week in search of the perfect candidate for your jack-o-lantern masterpiece. Think you've got carving skills? We want to see them!

Carve an Eat'n Park-themed design into your pumpkin, and send us a picture for a chance to win a $100 Eat'n Park gift card!

The top designs will be posted to our blog and Facebook page, and our three favorite entries will receive gift cards. Enter here before October 25.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Stop in to Eat’n Park for discounts at your local haunts this Halloween season!

This October, we are partnering with a host of local haunted houses, hayrides, and pumpkin patches to offer special deals for visiting these scary scenes!

Visit any of the haunted sites below to pick up a coupon for $1 off our Halloween Smiley Cookies. Some Eat’n Park locations will also be carrying coupons good for a discounted admission at their partnering venue.

So get in the spirit! Profits from many of these attractions are donated to charity, so you’ll be helping a good cause while having a great time.

Happy Haunting!

Cheeseman’s Fright Farm
226 Cheeseman Road
Portersville, PA 16051
http://www.cheesemanfrightfarm.com/

Hundred Acres Manor
100 Acres Dr
Bethel Park, PA 15102
http://www.hundredacresmanor.com/
*Stop by the Dormont, Whitehall, Banksville Rd., Bethel Park, or South Hills Village Eat’n Park locations to pick up a coupon for this attraction.

Lonesome Valley Farms
Blue Ribbon Lane
Greensburg, PA 15601
http://www.lonesomevalleyfarms.com/

Demon House
417 Coyle Curtain Road
Monongahela, PA 15063
http://www.demonhouse.com/
*Stop by the Monongahela or Belle Vernon Eat’n Park locations to pick up a coupon for this attraction.

Dungeon of Horrors
818 Jefferson Ave.
Moundsville, WV 26041
http://www.wvpentours.com/
*Bring your ticket stub to our St. Clairsville or Wheeling/Triadelphia Eat’n Park locations to enjoy 10% off your meal.

Castle Blood
2860 Main Street (Route 40)
Beallsville, PA 15313
http://www.castleblood.com/
*Stop by either of our Washington locations or our Belle Vernon Eat’n Park to pick up a coupon for this attraction.

Allen’s Haunted Hayrides
2430 Pittsburgh Rd.
Smock, PA 15480
http://www.allenshayrides.com/
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Get special Crazybands® with every kids meal – only this weekend at Eat’n Park!

Have your kids gone crazy over shaped wristbands? Then stop in to Eat’n Park this weekend for a special set of Crazybands® from Heinz!

Available at Eat’n Park this weekend only, this rare set features a red ketchup bottle and a yellow French fry. What’s even better is that we’re giving these wristbands away – one set for every kids’ meal purchased. We have a limited quantity though, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

These special Crazybands® from Heinz will be available this Friday, October 8, through Sunday, October 10 – or until supplies last. So stop in with your family for a delicious meal and a great collectible!

One set of 2 Crazybands® per child’s meal. Dine-in only. Available until October 10, 2010, or while supplies last.
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Monday, October 4, 2010

10.4.2010 FarmSource Listing: Local Produce at Eat'n Park This Week

Apple Cider
Fresh in: Mulled Apple Cider, Cold Apple Cider
  • Dawson Orchards - Lawrence County, PA
Assorted Red Apples
Fresh in: Soup & Salad Bar
  • Dawson Orchards - Lawrence County, PA
Tomatoes
Fresh in: Soup & Salad Bar, Salads
  • Brenckle’s Farm – Butler County, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farm – Allegheny County, PA
Radishes
Fresh in: Soup & Salad Bar
  • Wier’s Farms – Willard, OH
Green Peppers
Fresh in: Santa Fe Turkey Sandwich, Soup & Salad Bar
  • Hills of Home Farms - Indiana County, PA
Green Cabbage
Fresh in: Homemade Coleslaw
  • Wier’s Farms – Willard, OH
  • Yarnick's Farm - Indiana, PA
  • Hills of Home Farms - Indiana County, PA
Zucchini
Fresh in: Hand-breaded Zucchini
  • Holthouse Farms - OH
  • Brenckle’s Farm - Butler County, PA
  • Harvest Valley Farm - Allegheny County, PA
  • Yarnick Farms - Indiana County, PA
  • Wier’s Farms – Willard, OH
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Star in our next commercial!

We want to know what YOU love about Eat'n Park! Is it our decadent Grilled Stickies? Our classic Superburger? Our fresh, local Soup & Salad Bar? Whatever it is, we want you to tell us!

We'll once again be featuring real Eat'n Park guests in our next commercials, and one of them could be you.  Just create a 30-second video telling us what YOU love about Eat'n Park, and submit it here.  That's what Justin C. did earlier this year.  Justin is a frequent guest at our Center Twp. Eat'n Park, and he's a big fan of our Soup & Salad Bar and our other healthy options. You can catch Justin talking about our Baked Lemon Sole in our latest commercial below.

Submit your video before October 15 to be considered for our upcoming commercial shoot. We'll contact you with more details if you're selected to appear. 


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Smiley Border