The Dish: Grilled Pork Chop at Forklift & Palate

At the Spooky Nook Sports Complex, you’ve got the largest indoor sports complex in the country. Now, you might also have one of the best restaurants to accompany an indoor sports complex.

Opened in early July, Forklift & Palate has a rustic yet modern look, with walls and tables made out of wood pallets. It has a hint of a fine dining appearance and is also quite large — it’s hard to imagine ever having to wait to be seated.

I grabbed a table with a good friend and we settled in for dinner. Forklift & Palate’s menu is described as upscale American fare. It’s a great place for meat lovers, with pork, beef and fish all over the menu.

Spooky-Nook-Inset-750x750-1015CI asked executive chef Kyle Lucas to recommend a dish. Lucas constantly seeks out the freshest ingredients for the best dishes to construct Forklift & Palate’s seasonal menu. He recommended the grilled pork chop, which is available on the fall menu.

The dish featured a locally sourced pork chop with beautiful grill marks to add to the appetizing pink and white colors of the meat. Rosemary, salt and pepper seasoned the pork to perfection. The chop was neither too dry nor tough to cut – both of which are common problems with pork.

The pork was served with a cheesy risotto, apple salsa, bacon gravy and sautéed Swiss chard. The cheesy risotto and bacon gravy were terrific with bites of the pork, and I got plenty of salt flavors with those combinations. However, the apple salsa perfectly balances salt with sweetness. Small chunks of Granny Smith apples offset the saltiness of the pork, and the crispness of the apples pairs well with chewing through a meaty pork chop.

You’re not going to find exotic foods on this menu, and a pork chop is pretty straightforward – but it’s well seasoned, well cooked and well presented. Forklift & Palate’s menu will change seasonally, but going for the pork dish won’t lead you astray.

Lucas suggested the pork be enjoyed with Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale, which truly made for an autumnal dining experience. It would also pair well with a local beer on the menu, Lancaster Brewing Company’s Hop Hog IPA.

Next time you’re in the Spooky Nook area, go ahead and treat yourself to what Forklift & Palate has to offer — a nice, modern restaurant and a great pork chop dish to boot.



2913 Spooky Nook Rd, Manheim
6 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily



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Posted in Articles, Drink – Lancaster, Eat, Eat – Lancaster, Headlines

Anthony Burkhart is a freelance writer for Fly magazine. He has a B.A. in Journalism and tailgating from Penn State University, and is working on his honorary Ph.D. in world travel. He still takes along one disposable camera on every overseas trip. Previously a newspaper sportswriter, he now enjoyably works during the daytime as a marketing copywriter. When he's not planning the next worldwide adventure, he enjoys good beer, better food and Philly sports. The first two don't let him down.

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