Wondering whether your favorite brewery has a food truck tonight? Well, if you’re going to County Fare, the answer is always yes!

Located at the site of the early 1900’s Lakewood Amusement Park, County Fare opened this Spring. The idea was to make you feel like you do when going to the fair – that as you walk up from the parking lot, you’ll be hit by the smell of food.

One of the central ideas behind this place was to make it easy for groups to hang out together. Here, several families can get together with a casualness that can’t be duplicated in a restaurant. One family can start eating while another waits another 20 minutes until they’re hungry. It is like having a BBQ in your yard without all the prep work or cleanup!

This is a large space and so ideal for groups – a reunion was taking place when we visited and I’ve seen various local groups post this as their meeting location. With a variety of indoor and outdoor seating, between regular tables, high tops and picnic tables, there is seating to please everyone.

And it’s the little thoughtful touches. If it rains, County Fare provides umbrellas so that you can go to the food trucks without getting wet. There is a covered awning to wait for your food. There is an abundance of high chairs. You can choose to sit outside or inside in the air conditioning.

Pets are not permitted at County Fare. The no pets policy has been surprising in a town where dogs go everywhere. But with 10,000 people coming through the doors during the week, many of them children. This policy has been welcomed by those with allergies or a fear of dogs.  

Food trucks galore!

While you might be limited to two food trucks one night, it isn’t unusual to find five or even six trucks here on the weekends (check their times since they host three at a time). Now my love of food truck rodeos can be satisfied every weekend! There are even some food trucks here at lunch during the week. And since no one likes having to be away from their friends while waiting for their food, County Fare has made restaurant-style pagers available to the food trucks.

While I love food truck foods, sometimes the offerings aren’t appealing to some. Enter the County Fare kitchen, open on Friday and Saturday evenings and all day Sunday. The food is made on site – not brought in and reheated. Most importantly, it offers food that kids like – think chicken tenders and hot dogs.

We tried the County Fare kitchen. We enjoyed a Philly Cheesesteak made with an authentic Amoroso roll (my Philly friends understand how important that is!). The basket of homemade double fried garlic and fresh cut rosemary fries were so crispy and delicious! And while we’re at it, why not finish with a fried Twinkie? I’m talking about a fried Twinkie with a scoop on ice cream and topped with whipped cream and drizzled in Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel! I’m looking forward to the rumored addition of funnel cakes.

The drinks!

I was easily impressed by the beer glasses filling from the bottom. This is the largest single installation using this system. Complete with County Fare logo’d magnets on that keep your beer from spilling back out the bottom! Suitable for collecting, trading…well, at least keeping kindergarten art work on the fridge. As far as the beer selection, it covers the gamut from PBR to a double IPA.

If you’re not tempted by one of their 30 draughts on tap, maybe you’ll find a bottled or canned option more to your liking. And for those who don’t like beer, cider and other bottled mixed drinks (think mojitos, wines, margaritas) were offered. I tried a mix of the white and red sangria on tap. Non-alcoholic beverages are available as well as a soda machine.

Entertainment for all!

County Fare offers entertainment for all ages. Yes, you can play corn hole or bocce (get the bags/balls from inside). You can bring your own favorite game (no balls or frisbees, please). There is even a wall for chalk decorating (it may be geared towards the littles but no one is stopping you!).

We happened to come on their first “live music” event.There are plans to add other events in the works.

Children welcome!

To enter the beer garden, you must go through the building. Because the entire yard has been fenced in, this makes it an ideal place for entire families. While parents enjoy a cold drink, kids can enjoy a meal out without being confined to sitting at a table. Parents don’t have to worry about their kids running off or into the street (though it doesn’t mean you won’t still have to watch them!).

The venue is open evenings Wednesday through Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. Check their website for hours and food trucks.

County Fare has taken two beloved features – food trucks and taps – to create a wonderful experience. This place is worth a visit, no matter the size of your group, or ages. And let me know what you think of the fried Twinkie!