Imagine eating your favorite local food in a city where it’s not the norm. Miller Park offers one of the most unique eating experiences that I have ever witnessed in a ballpark. I was in Milwaukee to catch the Padres series when I was asked if I wanted to “eat something San Diego”. I think that was because I had my Padres shirt and them not knowing I’m from Detroit.
But I said “sure,” and headed up a level to see what all the rave was about. One stand on the 2nd level behind home plate serves a changing menu based on the visiting team. The menu features a specialty that you would find in the visiting team’s city. For San Diego, it is shrimp tacos.
Shrimp tacos were on the menu for the entire series and that was the only dish served with “San Diego flair,” but it was also the only one needed. Each order came with three flour tortilla filled with grilled pineapple-cilantro slaw, avocado, blackened shrimp, and salsa verde sauce and chipotle ranch sauce.
Personally I love fish or shrimp tacos so this was a perfect fit for me. The tortilla was warm and soft, the guacamole was tangy, the salsa verde gave it added flavor and the slaw gave the taco a very nice crunch. Oh and the shrimp…ohhhh the shrimp. If you are a seafood eater, you may be picky about your flavors and textures when it comes to good eats. These fellas were abundant and bountiful. Each taco had four large shrimp on them to top it all off.
The best part of it all, these delicious shrimp tacos are so reasonably priced that your wallet doesn’t take the usual ballpark hit! Only $9.50!
Then comes the perennial powerhouse that every visiting baseball fan should try. The epic Meat Parfait.
Three layers mashed potatoes, two layers meat, all covered in sweet barbeque sauce with some chives to top it off. Being from Milwaukee, I have been around since the consecration of this beautiful man snack and have had the pleasure of indulging in it’s classic meat and potatoes goodness multiple times. It starts off with a typical scoop of mashed potatoes, which is then layered with your choice of either pulled pork or pulled beef. I typically tend to go for the beef on the bottom layer and then pork on the top (Yes, you can mix and match). After another layer of potatoes and your pulled meat of choice, they cap it all off with the final potato scoop and drizzle it with as much barbeque as you can handle.
If your mouth isn’t watering at this point, you may not be human. For eating tips, I generally recommend to try and get a nice mix of meat and potatoes in each bite, but be wary, because once you run out of meat at the bottom, it’s all mashed potatoes and remnants of BBQ from there.
You can find these in most corners of Miller Park on every level, and the same stand also offers delicious pulled BBQ sliders if the Meat Parfait is too much for you. It all comes in at the nice price point of $7.00, which is completely affordable to every fan at the game. Hope to see you out at the stadium and enjoying one of the finer things in life: Pulled BBQ.
Baseball is full of rivalries. Yankees vs. Red Sox. Giants vs. Dodgers. Cardinals vs. Cubs. Mapes vs. Jeremy. Alright, maybe not the last one. An underrated rivalry though is the battle of garlic fries between AT&T Park in San Francisco and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I’ve broken down the deliciousness that is the Yankees version in a previous Chowin’ Down. I went to San Francisco for the first time this past weekend and had one objective, garlic fries. After having had both, let’s see if we can see which ballpark has the greater garlic fries.
Yankee Stadium: Small-$7.00, Large-$9.50 and add cheese for $.50
AT&T Park: $7.50, $11.50 with chicken tenders
Where Can I Buy Them?
Yankee Stadium: One stand in each section, behind 108, 205 and 331
AT&T Park: Behind sections 103, 118, 130, 311, 323, 331 and in lower center field
Advantage: AT&T Park
Can I Get a Cheesesteak in the Same Place?
Yankee Stadium: No
AT&T Park: Yes
Advantage: AT&T Park, though always make sure you bring a friend to stand in the cheesesteak line while you’re in the garlic fries line
Do They Make Your Mouth Water?
Oh come on, they both did: Advantage: Push
I can assure you both are near the pinnacle of ballpark delciousness. Giants fries were crispier, but had a little more olive oil. Yankees fries were soggier, but the garlic meshed better with the fries. Advantage: Yankee Stadium, slightly
Both are awesome choices on either coast. Rejoice Giants fans, I’m giving your fries the edge just based on the the fact that I can get them in more places in the stadium and I don’t have to wait in line for my 2nd favorite ballpark food, the cheesesteak.
Which garlic fries do you prefer? Is there another ballpark’s that I need to try? Let us know in the comments!
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Citi Field arguably has the best ballpark food options in New York City. There’s nothing on the level of Yankee Stadium garlic fries, but Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and now Pat LaFrieda’s Filet Mignon Sandwich’s give Citi Field the quantity over quality in my opinion. The filet mignon sandwich station is new to the ballpark this season and is a welcome addition to the close-by (delicious) burgers of Shake Shack in left field. The sandwich is $15.00 (compared to $10.75 for a Carl’s cheesesteak at Yankee Stadium), but you’re getting filet mignon! The sandwich looks and tastes delicious and is worth the one inning of waiting in line for it.
The complete list of goodness you’re getting on the sandwich.
I contacted friend, ESPN W writer, and fellow ballpark food connoisseur Amanda Rykoff to get her opinion on the sandwich. She had tried it at the Mets/Braves game the night before I had gone and she reports back with this.
Next time you’re at Citi Field make sure to take a trip over behind section 139 for the Pat LaFrieda’s filet mignon sandwich. Better yet, bring a friend and have them get milkshakes in the Shake Shack line while you wait for the sandwich. Then everybody wins. Stay tuned for a lots of Chowin’ Down as the 3U3D California Road Trip enjoys the delicacies of every MLB stadium in the Golden State.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
Last time I went to Fenway Park, I was almost late to the game because of crazy thunderstorms and ran right into the stadium and ended up getting a pulled pork sandwich inside the stadium, which we went over in a previous “Chowin’ Down”. I wasn’t going to miss a second chance at the steak tips just outside Fenway Park sold by the street vendors. I solicited help from steak tips connoisseur and ESPN “Baseball Tonight” host Steve Berthiaume on Twitter.
With that information I set off to the corner of Landsdowne St. passing by “Sausage Connection” and “All-American Sausage”. I needed to meet the “Sausage King”, but it wasn’t sausage I was looking for (though those looked amazing too) I wanted steak tips. $8.00 got me a sandwich topped with onions and peppers. The sandwich was cheaper than similar food inside Fenway. Steve, if you read this, the Sausage King says hi and can’t wait to see you again.
The steak tips were absolutely, mouth-wateringly, delicious. They are proof that the best ballpark food isn’t always IN the ballpark. I’m heading out to California next month to go to Oakland, Anaheim, San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in that order. Any ballpark food recommendations?
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)
If you’re like me, when someone says “ballpark food” you think of three things: hot dogs, nachos and beer. Those three are a staple of every baseball stadium in America, regardless of the hometown twists they might put on each item.
Well, the A’s don’t really attract a ton of fans, but the ones that do go can snag a pretty scrumptious snack. And that’s exactly what I did this past Sunday. Before watching the A’s offense make Hiroki Kuroda look like Hideo Nomo, I scarfed down on this pile of meaty goodness:
Those are normal nachos, but stuffed into a collectible plastic A’s helmet. They were in there so tight, I thought the plastic would bust. On top is some amazing Kalua pork and a little guacamole for color. You also have the option of putting jalapenos and/or pico de gallo on top, creating an even more colorful, delicious treat.
I went with the standard stuff, and I’ll tell you…I definitely got my $9’s worth. There were so many things right with the nachos, I don’t even know where to start.
The chips themselves were normal ballpark chips, but like I said, this helmet was packed FULL of them. The normal helping of nachos for just $3 less is about one-third as many (not to mention how badly they skimp on the cheese…there’s never any left for me to finger-pick out of there!).
And I guess whoever is running the pork nachos stand knows you’re paying almost double digits, because they just heaped on the cheese. Not to the point of soaking the chips into a soggy mess, but enough so that every single delectable chip was smothered with creamy deliciousness.
The guac added a little flavor just for kicks, but what really did it was the Kalua pork. Last time I got meat like that on a game day meal, there was a ton of fat, too much salt and absolutely no presentation (ironically enough, that was from an upscale restaurant also inside o.Co Coliseum).
This Kalua pork was tender, delicious and plentiful. You can see from the picture that most of the middle of that helmet is stuffed with pork. Honestly, the only other time I’ve been this full after a ballpark meal was when I got “all you can eat seats” – once at Safeco Field, once at Dodger Stadium.
But never, ever have I been so full and satisfied from one single plate of anything at a baseball game. I loved it. It was amazing. Go buy a $2 ticket for an A’s game (trust me, you’ll find a seat) and make sure to stop by the Kalua pork nachos stand down the left field line, almost to the bleachers.
Besides, even if you end up hating them for some reason…you have a brand new batting helmet for your infant!
Thanks for reading! For more Chowin’ Down, look through the Three Up, Three Down archives.
– Jeremy (@Jamblinman)
Does any city in the world do clam chowder better than San Francisco? Methinks not. And as much as I despise the seagulls, prices and fans (not to mention the team) in AT&T Park, I won’t deny its beauty.
San Francisco is a fantastic place to take in a ball game and root against the hometown Giants. Which is exactly what I did last night. I donned St. Louis red and became the biggest honorary Cardinals fan in the history of baseball for three hours.
Whatever I did worked, because the Cards pulled out a win on the road and sent this Dodger fan home happy with a full stomach. Wait. What?
Oh yes, people. In true Three Up, Three Down fashion, I hunted for the most unique meal in the ball park and chowed down on it like there was no tomorrow.
One thing that helps AT&T Park stand out from the pack as far as concessions go is that they have a plethora of interesting food options. From hot fudge Ghirardelli sundaes, to fancily-cut sandwiches and the infamous Cha Cha Bowl, the stadium has it all.
My peers voted on a very specific treat for me to try: a crab sandwich. Naturally, my mouth started to drool at the prospects of eating something so fancy and delicious at a baseball game. Then, after walking around the entirety of the stadium to find it, I discovered that for only $16, I could purchase and eat a crab “sandwich” that was more like half a claw’s worth of meat, topped with a tomato, squished between two tiny crackers.
I kid you not, that sandwich looked as big as an infant’s fist. A very small infant. So I passed. And doubled back to the soup stand, where I instead bought a big bread bowl of New England clam chowder.
And it…was…GLORIOUS. Extra bonus points for cold weather, making the soup even more delicious than it would have been otherwise. It was only about $8-9 for a full bread bowl. The bread was a tiny bit stale, but hardly noticeable. The chowder itself warmed me to the core and was loaded with potatoes and clams.
The vendor definitely didn’t skimp on the soup, heartily filling the bowl to the brim. I’m a huge fan of chowder, and somewhat of a snob since I live in the Bay Area and get to experience delicious clam chowder whenever I please. And despite all that, I was thoroughly impressed with the clam chowder at AT&T.
Naturally, it was the only thing about the Giants that impressed me. But we’ll save that for a different day.
For now, just take my word: If you go to a Giants home game at any point, make sure to check out the clam chowder stands and nab a delicious bread bowl of fresh, local soup. You won’t regret it!
– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)