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Grabbing Chow before/at A's game

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With our upcoming trip to the area, we land at OAK, grab our rental car and then head over to the Coliseum for an A's game. Looking forward to the game, more so than my wife, of course.

Anyway, how is the quality of food offerings at the stadium? Are there any recommended stands there that we should hit or are we better off picking up something on the way and bringing it into the stadium?

Thanks as always. More questions coming as the trip approaches...

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  1. It was about 3 years ago when I was last at an A's game. But I recall the food and beer (mmm... Guinness) selections are quite good. I've got friends who frequent both PacBell and NetAss (where the A's play) and say the food at NetAss is better, which is saying a lot. Sorry, I can't be more specific on exactly which stands are better

    C'mon, you're going to a ball game, you've got to eat a hot dog!

    1. The food at The Net isn't bad, but like all ballpark food it's expensive for what you get.

      Some of the better offerings are the specialty sausages (although the peppers and onions are steamed not grilled --ick!) and the garlic fries (some people hate 'em, but I love them, although I usually find they need salt). One of the local BBQ chains (Everett and Jones) has a stand, and there are some sit down options as well. Plenty of different types of beer, from Bud to Pyramid Ale and Gordon Biersch.

      There's at least one information booth (on the main concourse behind section 119) -- they sometimes have pocket directories that tell you where all the food is (although last season they seemed to be perpetually out of them). They do have binder with a directory that lists all the food options and the locations. I find the staff there, and all around the Coliseum, to be generally friendly and helpful.

      If you're going to be there on the weekend and want to try something different (and much cheaper) several taco trucks can be found along the frontage road (Coliseum Way) on the north (66th St.) side of the Coliseum. The one that's usually parked closest to the Coliseum has excellent al pastor.

      The area around the Coliseum itself is an industrial waste land, but if you go about a mile north on San Leandro Blvd. (the main street east of the Coliseum) and then jog over one block east to International you're in the Fruitvale district, home to many good, authentic Mexican eateries (Otaez Mexicatessen on the corner of 40th and International is my current favorite). Also, on San Leandro Blvd itself going north from the Coliseum, tucked in a warehouse/artist colony is a Thai restaurant called Vulcan Cafe (915 - 45th Ave. @ San Leandro, in the Vulcan Foundry) that's been recommended here.

      Sorry to be so long-winded, but I've had season tickets to the A's for years, so this is my field of expertise (although when I buy food at the ballpark I usually buy "ballpark food" like nachos with fluorescent orange cheese food product).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The Vulcan's food is mediocre, unfortunately. It's so great that it's there, tucked into a warehouse on ugly, bleak San Leandro Blvd., but the food's just average Thai. The staff is very nice, though.

        You're much better off with Mexican in that area.

      2. I agree, the food is actually better at the Coliseum than at PacBell -- go figure. Anyway, we go to both parks a lot, and here are our favorite choices...

        Fish sandwich at the Black Muslim Bakery, and a good assortment of more offbeat dessert stuff -- carrot coconut cupcakes, bean pie, ginger cookies, etc. Yesterday there was a rare banana pudding sighting, which my husband immediately purchased. We went back today, and he had to settle for pie. Also recommend bratwurst or Polish sausages at Saag's grill and Guinness on tap from the newly opened (and bizarre!) pseudo-Irish pub 'The Field'. The regular hot dogs are just so-so, but taste a little better on Wednesdays, when they go for a buck. If you like nachos, I prefer those at the Coliseum to the ones served at PacBell. The other stands are regular ballpark fare -- Round Table pizza, popcorn, cotton candy. You can get Krispy Kremes around and about as well. Did I miss anything?

        Have fun!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Terri

          Nice run down, Terri. Here's a link to the Chron article from last year - PETA ranked the Coliseum 4th for vegetarian-friendly food.

          Link: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi...

        2. Gotta have some garlic fries. Don't know where you are coming from, but my first A's game was right after I moved here from Florida where garlic fries are unheard of.

          1. Here's the Chronicle's review of the A's food from two seasons ago.

            Link: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              How funny that she made two of the exact same critiques I did about the steamed peppers/onions and the garlic fries needing salt!

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Maybe the first time that you and Robin Davis have agreed! (g)

            2. Great recommendations from what is fast becoming one of my favorite Chowhound boards! You have all been amazing -- pointing me to the right places from Napa restaurants and SF lunches to farmers markets and garlic fries.

              Speaking of which, the garlic fries sound quite intriguing and definitely worth a try ... followed by a good brushing. I suppose that this item is local fare as the Coliseum is the closest stadium to Gilroy? (Barbara, we're coming from Chicago so I'm not familiar, yet, with garlic fries; incidentally, like yourself, I've lived in Florida, actually growing up near Ft. Lauderdale.)

              As much as I love the ballpark experience, we'll have to watch the food consumption as upon arriving in Napa we have reservations at Bistro Jeanty, which I'm definitely looking forward to!

              More questions to come next week. Hope you all have an enjoyable and safe holiday weekend!

              2 Replies
              1. re: HungryHoward

                The garlic fries started out as an offering from the Gordon Biersch stand (I think they serve them in their brewpubs) and were so popular they expanded to some of the regular concession stands.

                Have a great time!

                1. re: HungryHoward

                  Might be a CA thing as they are served at Dodgers stadium, too. So many people around us were eating them, we had to- for self defense, of course. (VBG)

                2. I think the food at the stadium is pretty good, compared to other stadiums, but as pointed out below, expensive. I have never been a fan of Garlic Fries. They tend to get soggy. I've tried the A's, Giants, Dodgers and Angels version, and none of them has impressed me.

                  One thing that hasn't been mentioned is there is a sandwich buffet bar that has a pretty good roast beef sandwich in the stadium. There are also tables, so you can eat without balancing things on your knees at the seats, if you get there early enough.

                  I've found the BBQ acceptable, if not great at the BBQ stand in the left field stands.

                  I often go to Sam's Hofbrau before a game. The food is ok and I like the atmosphere. They have hand cut ham, turkey, roast beef, turkey wings and legs, etc.

                  1. I'm always happy going with the barbecue (from Everett & Jones, a local 'cue chain with a long and somewhat middling pedigree) and Gordon Biersch suds.

                    Garlic fries are one of those things that seem like a great idea for the first couple of bites. I stupidly ate a whole order by myself the first time I tried them, and my sweat smelled like springtime in Gilroy for two days.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Dave

                      Dave --

                      You have me rethinking possible consumption of any garlic fries. My wife can barely stand it when I cook with garlic let alone when I reak of it.

                    2. Update: at the game last night I noticed the prices were up substantially from last season.

                      The Field (behind section 119) is new and really pretty cool -- the first "club" type area right on the main concourse. In addition to the Guiness on tap they had "Irish bangers and chips" ("chips" in the American not British sense) and a pastrami (shouldn't it have been corned beef? I must be remembering wrong) sandwich and chips at $8/each -- not bad compared to the other food choices. Plus it looked like there were actually fresh veggies (tomatoes and lettuce) on the condiment bar. There were only a couple of people in line for food (compared to the throngs on the concourse) and the room was practically empty -- I think it hasn't been discovered yet. On a cold night like last night, it was a real refuge (Howard, did anyone warn you it can be freakin' cold in the Bay Area on a summer night when the fog whips in?).

                      Customer service was out of concession guides (again), but they pointed me to a map of the Coliseum with all the stands marked on it. They also gave me a free calendar for taking a minute to fill out a survey on how well they had dealt with my customer needs -- when I go to the Coliseum I'm always struck by the "Avis syndrome": when you're number 2 you try harder!