On the final day of the Juniata High School senior class trip, dinner was held at Medieval Times in Baltimore, Maryland. Though one of many stores in a shopping center, it’s impossible to miss with its gray stone exterior, horse-and-knight statues, and stone lion guards. “Wenches” wait at the entrance with paper crowns for every customer, and the king addresses all of his new subjects in a booming voice, welcoming them to his kingdom.
When you first walk into Medieval Times, it’s hard to believe the hole-in-the-wall mall addition could actually host a medieval dinner-show with room for jousting. However, this restaurant exceeds expectations when its crown-clad diners are led through intimidating double doors into an enormous arena. Customers are immediately seated, and the show ensues, beginning with a speech from the king and a mystical introduction with a white horse prancing around the arena in a white, misty fog.
The knights are then introduced, displaying their skills and chivalry by aiming their lances through minuscule rings and tossing roses to their fans. Then, the competition begins as knights participate in comically overly-dramatic fights in the hopes of winning the king’s daughter. Finally, when only one knight is left standing, there’s a shocking moment when an outside warrior challenges the winner. The overall energy of the crowd is hard not to be drawn into as spectators excitedly cheer on their favorites and wave flags.
In the meantime, serving wenches serve the meal in courses, beginning with soup, then an entire chicken half, and finally a sponge cake dessert--all of which are expected to be eaten without silverware to add a touch of authenticity. Though this may put off some diners at first, the food’s high quality and the overall atmosphere helps everyone quickly get over their aversion to messy hands (and don’t worry: wet naps are provided).
If you’re still having doubts about Medieval Times, be assured that I had them too upon entering the gauntlet. However, the experience certainly changed my mind and the mind of many other seniors. Not only was the food excellent, but the drama of the show was incredibly comical. I would definitely consider going back, and I recommend you give it a try as well.
Photo credits: Karrigan Zeiders