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It’s spring time and that must mean one thing, it’s Knott’s Berry Bloom event at Knott’s Berry Farm as well as their Annual Boysenberry Festival now through April 27th. This is their second year doing this event, and it’s a lot of fun for the entire family. At the main entrance you can take a photo with a display of overgrown flowers and butterflies. Step back in time into the old west in Ghost Town, there you can find a shack selling individual pots of strawberry, blackberry and of course boysenberry that you can take home and plant in your own garden.
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Also here you can try what the chefs have concocted for this spring event like the Jalapeno stuffed pepper with Boysenberry Cream Cheese coated in chocolate at The Calico Saloon or Alligator bites with Boysenberry Aioli at Calico Fry Co. just to tease you with a few. (Please see below for my personal review of the foods that I was able to try.) At certain dinning locations in Ghost Town and Calico Square you can purchase a punch card for $20.00 that will give you 6 unique menu offerings. I think this card is worth the $20 since if you bought the items a la carte they would range from $7.00 to $10.00 each, which it will cost you a whole lot more. If you have some little Peanuts in your family make sure to visit Camp Snoopy, there your little ones can meet with some of the world famous Peanuts characters take pictures and also go on the Search for the Easter Beagle. Children ages (3-11) can participate in the search that will send you around Camp snoopy, Fiesta Village, the Boardwalk. Throughout the entire park there were little interactive pop up spring egg and flower displays, such as a frog shooting water, or a ladybug roller coaster. Most had employees at each station encouraging children and ‘children at heart’ like myself to press the button and watch the scene come to life, while at the end of the little show Snoopy would pop out of a hiding place. From the different children activities that I did see my favorite was the talking Mayan like god statue with the bird on top that lays an egg at a push of a button.
Now for the adults Knott’s is offering wine tasting at the Towering Topiary Tasting Garden at the Wilderness Dance Hall. Here you can find different wineries offering tasting stations. It cost $15.00 and includes a punch card for up to 6 samples and a plate of cheese, crackers, fruits and nuts that will compliment the wines during the tasting. There are about 12 different wine vineyard stations that offer 3 wines to choose from. Just outside the dance hall is a beer tasting station as well if you do not fancy wine. Your children can partake as well with the punch card; they can use one of your punches to get lemonade or boysenberry punch. Wow time sure flies when you’re eating and drinking. Thankfully for this punch card you can come and go as you please, you can do a taste or two leave go watch a show or go on a ride and then come back and keep tasting. As the sun sets in the evening, the stage is set at the Boardwalk Circle Fountain for Bloomination Dance Party. Here a DJ spins the latest and greatest hits. Dancers take to the stage in white spandex like costumes and dance the night away while stilt walkers roam the stage area taking pictures with guests.
Calico Saloon: The Jalapeno Stuffed Pepper with Cream Cheese does sound like a very strange combination to me but for this instance it was a match made in heaven, a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. At first I was really hesitant of trying this offering. The jalapeno had a crunch like a crisp bell pepper and they boysenberry cream cheese was light and sweet. The apple smoked wood bacon was cooked to a crisp, covered in white chocolate and festive sprinkles; it made for a sweet and salty balance. They also did offer the bacon also covered in milk and dark chocolate as well, I do recommend to try it with the white chocolate its better. Later in the evening I did go back to eat another piece and they only had the milk or dark chocolate, I opted for the milk and it was way too sweet. I do have a sweet tooth but I tasted more chocolate than bacon, I was a little disappointed.
Little pop up stand with a grill (Left of the candy store): The Flank Steak with Boysenberry BBQ sauce on a stick. It was freshly grilled in front of me. The employee was very nice and made small talk as I waited for the meat to be cooked. At the first bite it was tender and the BBQ sauce was not overpowering the steak. Also the BBQ sauce had a hint of the boysenberry not like some food items that when an element is highlighted it becomes too overpowering.
Calico Fry Co.: Alligator with Boysenberry aioli was worth the wait. You get three bite size pieces of alligator that is battered and deep fried. It is served in a cone shaped carrier with a bed of french fries and a generous scoop of fresh boysenberry aioli that is nestled in a little cup at the top of the cone. It is hard to get good alligator here on the west coast. I know a lot of readers will be hesitant in trying this but it does taste a lot like chicken but it’s just a little chewier. I think once you do try it, it grows on you. I hope that this food offering will stay.
Little pop up stand with a grill (Left of Sutter’s): This little stand has a sign posted for Chicken Wings and the Alligator bites. It was a little frustrating to stand in the line and reach the employee to tell me that they offer the wings and corn on the cob instead. If I wanted the alligator bites I had to go around the corner to Calico Fry Co. to wait in another line get that. As for the hot wings they are precooked in the Sutter’s kitchen building and then walked over to the pop up stand in each boat you get about 4 or 5 chicken wings. Then they are placed on the grill to heat them up once again then tossed into a bowl with the boysenberry BBQ sauce. This sauce utilizes the same base from the flank steak but this one seems to have a few more spices so it had a really nice kick.
Ghost Town Bakery: Offers the sweet treat of Waffle on a Stick and Waffle Tacos. The concept is good but sadly this one fell flat. Waiting about 45 to 50 minutes before I was able to order and when I did I was informed that the regular waffle iron that makes the tacos was malfunctioning and if I wanted that, I could check back later. They only have one waffle iron that makes four waffles on a stick per batch and they only had one iron. The employees seem to have a hard time keeping up with the demand of this unique treat. A few guests a head was a lady and her children they were waiting for more than 30 minutes for the order that they already placed, it seemed like the cooks accidentally lost her order. Either utilize another waffle iron or do not offer this because they can not seem to keep up with the demand.
Little pop up stand with grill (Next to the train tracks): Sweet potato with boysenberry butter, this sounds strange but quite delicious and light. I just wished that when they pull out the sweet potato out of the smoke box that they would open up the foil and cut a slit down the middle like a baked potato. Also here you can pick up your turkey leg with a boysenberry glaze over the leg. Sadly my turkey leg was very dry on the outside and a little chewy, but love the boysenberry BBQ sauce.
Gourmet Churro Factory: The Churros are freshly made and fried and can be plain with just cinnamon and sugar or you can be adventurous and try it filled with boysenberry, custard or I think strawberry. I tried the regular cinnamon and sugar churro at the end of the night as Knott’s was closing. It was still warm and tasty.
On a slightly frustrated note, I was not able to try the deep fried boysenberry ice cream at the Ghost Town Grub. Sadly they did not appear to be prepared for a large turnout on an opening day. I do hope that they see this as a good sign and hopefully they can keep this permanently, I would love to go and try it soon, I hope. Overall Knott’s Berry Bloom is EGGcellent. The spring time decor of the over sized flowers and animals are amazing.
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