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Baseball Food

01-May-2005

Ballpark food has changed a lot over the years.  You can still find the typical hotdogs, pretzels and beer but those offerings have been expanded to included fish and chips, sushi, pizza, fruit skewers and stir fry, to name a few. 

Safeco Field has quite a selection and, the nice thing compared to the dearly departed Kingdome, is that no matter what section you’re sitting in you can get to any concession stand in the park. 

Earlier I promised to provide some guidance on offerings at the Safe.  So far I’ve been to more afternoon games than night and I tend to mostly skip food at these games.  But I have managed to check out a couple things. 

I have checked out the new coffee bar on the first level behind home plate.  They have really improved this facility.  It’s been expanded and the equipment has been upgraded.  The staff also seems to be better trained this year.  You should still expect long lines on those really chilly nights, though.  There just aren’t enough "good" coffee stand to service 40,000 people. 

The Ichiroll is a dining option for those who’d like to keep their diet on the healthy side while watching a game.  For those of you who don’t actually follow baseball our third baseman, Ichiro Suzuki, is an amazing player and is beloved by all.  He’s the only baseball player to simply go by his first name – Ichiro.  The Ichiroll is filled with spicy tuna and cucumber.  You can also order it in a combo with additional pieces of sushi.  I watched the preparation, since ballpark conditions are not always what you’d like them to be, and the people do a great job at keeping things refrigerated and handling with care.  The Ichiroll is pretty tasty, although you mostly taste the fresh crisp cucumber.  I had a hard time picking out the spicy tuna.  And the rolls are not wrapped as tightly as you might wish.  Other than that they are a decent choice, especially for a lighter bite.  You can find Ichirolls behind section 136 and in the Bullpen Market. 

Papa John’s Pizza at several locations throughout the ballpark.  My guests at the last two games both ordered the cheese pizza.  Both had similar viewpoints – it was "okay".  This is the same opinion I’ve had in past years.  You could certainly do worse but they’re just not quite what you want them to be.  If you have access to the Diamond Club on the 2nd level there is a wood-oven pizza stand located behind section 241.  I haven’t tried it but, in theory, it should be a better alternative. 

I’ll be heading to the ballpark for a couple games in the next week, so maybe I’ll have an update on Thursday or Friday. 

In the meantime you can check out all the offerings here.  (Adobe file)

4 Comments
  1. Sylvie permalink
    01-May-2005 10:59 am

    It\’s interesting you should write about ballpark food. It appears the choices are adequate but room for improvement still exists. David Shaw (L.A. Times Staff writer) wrote a Matter of Taste artcle April 27th. He expressed that the atempt of Dodger Stadium to appeal to L.A.\’s cultural diversity has resulted in less than appealing food choices while some of the old standard snack concessions are disappearing. There is a new concessionaire, Chicago based Levy Restaurants. He states our Dodgers are losing due to some poor management choices. The selection of this new concessionaire is another example of poor decision making. Looking forward to your updates on baseball food.

  2. Culinary permalink
    02-May-2005 8:37 am

    Hi Sylvie!When Safeco Field first opened I sort of balked at all the "frou-frou" food. This was a ballpark, dang it! :-) But over time I\’ve come to appreciate the offerings as I often go to 15 games a year and this year have tickets for 20 and may attend even more. For some one who really doesn\’t eat hotdogs (except at games) that could be a shock to the system! :-) As with any venue, and I never really get this, the quality is not quite up to par with the "real" offerings. I guess it has to do with volume, which can mean that some food is actually prepared ahead of time and then held or if being prepared in real time it gets rushed through preparation to meet the demand. I admit I might feel differently if I came from a town that had a hotdog or sausage history, but Seattle really doesn\’t – we are working on creating one now. And, actually, I think we have some good vendors outside the stadium which I plan to try in the next couple weeks – this blogging thing is good for me – it makes me focus on trying new things! :-) Interesting comments about the Dodgers. That other "Los Angeles" team is in town this week – The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – silly name! :-) I\’ll be in the stadium Tuesday and Wednesday to check them out. Thanks for stopping by! ~ B

  3. Unknown permalink
    25-May-2005 6:59 am

    Hi everyone– I am going to be writing my Masters thesis this fall on the topic of food in baseball and well, it is not possible to visit all the parks to sample the food I am appealing to baseball fans anywhere who are planning to see a game this year and want to tell me about the food afterwards. Please email me if you are interested! Thanks.

  4. Culinary permalink
    25-May-2005 12:16 pm

    Hi Emily!It sounds like an interesting project… what is your focus?~ B

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