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Must Haves @ AT&T Stadium (aka. PacBell Park)

wchane Apr 10, 2007 04:33 PM

Although plastered for Bond's 735th I remember the Stadium Dogs and Gordon Biersch Garlic Fries to be tastey.

Stadium Dog - comes with saurkraut, onions and peppers. The bun falls apart and your hands and mouth is covered in mustard, relish, ketchup and whatever else you put on a hot dog but it's all part of the fun.

Garlic Fries - I normally skip these as they're soggy and over done, but these tasted great - like they were rushed over from GB just up the street.

Churro - everything is overpriced at the ball park but at $4 this was the worst bargain that we stumbled upon. Cold, stale, and tasted like sugar'd cardboard - I was so drunk I ate it anyway.

Nachos - Your standard ball park nachos, round factory produced tortilla chips with questionable yellow goo they claim to be cheese and a scoop full of pickled jalapenos. yum.

I have a feeling I'm leaving some other food item out, but that's all that's in my memory now.

$8.25 for a large bud light - I consumed enough to feed a small country, however upon leaving I found out you can get a pint...or maybe just a red silo cup full of Guinness for $9.

what do you recommend? I'm willing to try almost anything but the deep fried chocolate covered coconut raspberry donut hole filled baseball.

  1. susancinsf Apr 10, 2007 05:00 PM

    If you managed to eat the churro you really were drunk! Worse churro I ever ate!

    I haven't had luck on the garlic fries in the past year or so: maybe you just got lucky? Hubby gets them almost every game we go to, which is a fair number (I am in a season ticket pool) and I am almost always disappointed.

    In truth, I don't think there is anything there that is a can't miss (unless it is new this year, I haven't been yet, which I am hoping accounts for the current losing streak), but IMO the best thing to eat there is Orlando's Cha Cha Bowl, from the Orlando's (Cepeda of course) stand behind the bleachers. There are several types of hot sauce, including habanero, to douse it with, and it goes down nicely with a Red Stripe from the same stand...

    The best hot dog is one from the Let's Be Frank Stand, outside the ball park by the Acme patio, with grilled onions...and a Sierra Nevada from their walk up bar. Cheaper than inside and tasty! Get your dog and then walk into the park to enjoy the game...

    6 Replies
    1. re: susancinsf
      wchane Apr 10, 2007 09:34 PM

      lol...yes. worst churro ever is an sufficient description. i was pretty drunk and we were on a 'not going to waste money or food' tip that day. therefore i doubled as a garbage disposal. i mean...it didn't taste good intoxicated, i can only imagine what it would of tasted like sober.

      1. re: susancinsf
        RWCFoodie Apr 10, 2007 09:57 PM

        I've always been a fan of the Cha-Cha Bowl - last time I asked for extra zucchini/pineapple salsa and the guy added a huge scoop-full - very tasty and filling! I think our all-time favorite was the time I brought bahn mi from one of the San Jose places - people sitting around us looked longingly at them too. Got the veggies on the side so they stayed nice and crispy and delicious. DH, who is a hot dog purist about ballpark food, even agreed that they were the best ever. I even picked up a couple of the tapioca/coconut milk/banana desserts - just the greatest...

        1. re: RWCFoodie
          wchane Apr 10, 2007 10:24 PM

          is outside food & beverages allowed inside the stadium? i've always assumed you had to buy food & beverages inside the stadium.

          so they'd be ok if i brought my own 12 pack of fat tire and buffalo wings?

          1. re: wchane
            Ruth Lafler Apr 10, 2007 10:36 PM

            You can bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages that aren't in glass bottles or cans. Just make sure that whatever you carry your stuff in meets the security guidelines.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              wchane Apr 10, 2007 11:21 PM

              thanks to you & sgwood415 - these 'drunken expeditions' are about to get a lot more wallet friendly. well...maybe not considering beer was the most consumed item.

          2. re: RWCFoodie
            larochelle Apr 12, 2007 01:10 PM

            I always bring in bahn mi whenever I go to the ballpark, its so much better than anything I can buy in the park.

        2. sgwood415 Apr 10, 2007 05:09 PM

          There is a small grill station on the patio above the Lefty O'Doul gate (the entrance next to the 4th st bridge on the right field side). It's all the way in the corner and easy to miss, but it's called the California Cookout and they grill Niman Ranch burgers and hot dogs served on a real roll (not a hot dog bun). They are good and fresher than the stadium dogs. Also, the cha-cha bowl at Orlando's in the outfield is good too. Again, they are grilling the meat right there so everything is pretty fresh and the flavors in the cha-cha bowl are surprisingly good (jerk chicken, spiced julliened veggies, black beans and white rice). Orlando's also serves agua fresca and Red Stripe. Those are the best options

          The Hebrew National cart (lower deck behind home plate) makes the next best tasting hot dogs. Lines are long, but those are good dogs.

          There's no way around the prices though. If you're going to buy beer, I recommend getting good beer at least. Order a Gordon Biersch Marzen. Why pay $8.25 for a Bud Light? If you're going to pay, at least get a good beer. Tip: next to the California Cookout you'll find a bar that sells Anchor Steam in plastic bottles. You get to walk with the bottle, which is a nicer way to drink than those flimsy plastic cups.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sgwood415
            singleguychef Apr 11, 2007 03:20 PM

            I tried the niman ranch hot dog from California cookout and it was tasty but the roll was soggy and fell apart when you tried to pick it up. Here are photos from my recent AT&T expedition: http://singleguychef.blogspot.com/200...

            So far for me I think the safest bet is the individual pizzas (only cheese or pepperoni) because I feel it's freshly baked because it sells so quickly. And it's only $6.50.

            I think some of the other items are really outrageous. Like I mentioned on my blog, they were selling that crazy crab sandwich for $15 and the new Vietnamese sandwich for $8 (when you can get it just as good for only $2.50 outside).

          2. b
            baseballfan Apr 10, 2007 05:49 PM

            The Cha Cha bowl is one of my favorites. Also, if you have club level seats, they make a fantastic strawberry shortcake up there. The stand is located in the hall approximately above home plate. If you are tired of beer, they have coffee there as well.

            14 Replies
            1. re: baseballfan
              Ruth Lafler Apr 10, 2007 08:45 PM

              I had club level seats once -- the food really is better (different food service company) and the lines are minimal. My favorite were the house-made potato and veggie chips. Ah, how the other half lives!

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/28944

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                susancinsf Apr 10, 2007 09:12 PM

                The drinks are better too: you can actually get a decent margarita or scotch on the rocks! :-)

                1. re: susancinsf
                  p
                  poulet_roti Apr 10, 2007 09:46 PM

                  I haven't been to a game yet this year, but the best value in the house is always the Giants Dogs that are grilled. Another good item are the Sheboygan Brats - both come from stations between Sections 104 and 105 on the first base line and another station over behind left field. On the other hand, I have always found the smell and appearance of the garlic fries to be disgusting enough to never even think about indulging.

                  Best meal I ever had at the game was with my wife - I grilled some flank steak before going and made sandwiches of grilled flank steak and Cambozola on baguette with a few sprigs of cilantro - could not have been better.

                  1. re: poulet_roti
                    m
                    ML8000 Apr 10, 2007 10:25 PM

                    The brats are very, very good. I almost always get one if I go. There's a stand off the left field bridge, before you get to the playground.

                    1. re: poulet_roti
                      s
                      srr Apr 10, 2007 11:06 PM

                      I love those brats. Even if I'm sitting on the other side, I walk over and get one. The garlic fries smell o.k. but they always look kind of soggy and greasy. Not appetizing at all.

                      1. re: poulet_roti
                        a_and_w Apr 11, 2007 02:36 PM

                        Love the brats. As for the garlic fries, your loss! What I can't stand are those ridiculous onion dispensers that remind of sausage grinders -- stray onions end up everywhere. What happened to the good old days of condiment tubs and spoons?

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          p
                          poulet_roti Apr 11, 2007 03:16 PM

                          Right, we all have different tastes. That being said, I would also say that the food which can be gotten in the regular lower level seats is generally better than food in the "club" level. For instance, a Giants Dog or brat can only be had in the club level that is regularly prepared, and been sitting around for a while whereas a Giants Dog or Brat can be had directly from the grill on the lower level. Agree?

                          1. re: poulet_roti
                            susancinsf Apr 11, 2007 03:53 PM

                            I remember a grill on the club level. However, it is not where my usual seats are, so I guess I could be mistaken.

                            1. re: poulet_roti
                              a_and_w Apr 11, 2007 04:07 PM

                              Is club level the luxury boxes? If so, I strongly agree with your suggestion to go to the regular field-level concessions. I've been decidedly unimpressed with the luxury box offerings at Willie Mays park and will usually make my way down to field level for food.

                              1. re: susancinsf
                                singleguychef Apr 12, 2007 10:01 AM

                                Club Level and Luxury boxes are two different things, but you can't go to the Club Level food concessions unless you have a ticket for that area. I always thought that was weird since you could always buy your food and return to your other seats. I've noticed Club Level food concessions are slightly different than field level.

                                1. re: singleguychef
                                  Ruth Lafler Apr 12, 2007 10:09 AM

                                  As mentioned above, the club level is actually run by a different (more high end) food service company. I think the point is that by keeping it exclusive they can control the volume (and thus the quality) and also keep the service faster and better (thus worth the premium price to the club level ticket buyer).

                                  1. re: susancinsf
                                    Ruth Lafler Apr 12, 2007 02:00 PM

                                    I'll refrain from further comment out of respect for the elderly (the Giants, that is).

                                    The food at the Coliseum is meh. I haven't been to a game yet this year, so I don't know what the current state of the food is. I'm not really an expert: I don't go to the ballgame for the food and I don't drink beer, so I usually pack in my own munchies.

                                    My "didn't manage to put together dinner before a night game" ballpark standby is the baked potato with chili and sour cream or cheese (sometimes it's real cheese, sometimes orange goop -- ask if you care, which I don't -- I actually enjoy orange goop under the right circumstances). I vaguely remember last year the fish and chips was surprisingly un-bad. They have the same garlic fries (which are improved immeasurably if you think to add salt) as PacBell.

                                    Basically, I try to talk myself out of food at the ballpark because the price/quality ratio is so awful; usually the combination of cheapness and chowhoundishness triumphs.

                                    For day games there are usually a couple of taco trucks parked on Coliseum Way (the street parallel to the freeway between High Street and the Coliseum north gate) so sometimes I pick up a burrito or a plate of tacos. There's also often an agua fresca/raspado cart along there -- remember you can bring in drinks in styrofoam or plastic, but not aluminum or glass.

                                    If you come by BART, the hot dog cart in the BART station has much better prices and decent Polish dogs.

                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                      b
                                      baseballfan Apr 12, 2007 05:32 PM

                                      I am also a huge A's fan but definitely not a fan of the food at the Coliseum. We always bring in sandwiches and always get envious stares from fellow fans.

                                      1. re: baseballfan
                                        lexdevil Apr 12, 2007 08:03 PM

                                        The most reliable thing at the stadium is the grilled sausages behind section 118. The last really tasty thing there was the fish sandwich at the Black Muslim Bakery, but that's been gone for a year. It was always a terrible decision for me...do I order the best thing in the ballpark and subsidize extreme sketchiness, or settle for something nasty?

                  2. sgwood415 Apr 10, 2007 10:25 PM

                    The Giants will also let you bring food into the stadium. Just no alcohol and no glass containers. We have season seats and we share different things with our neighbors who also bring other food in. Safeway across the street sells lots of pre-packaged items and they have a deli counter in the front that a lot of fans hit before the game. Also, Amicis will sell you slices and whole pizzas to bring in.

                    1. c
                      captainzen Apr 11, 2007 08:18 AM

                      I read something the other day about Banh Mi being one of the new food items being offered this year.

                      Does anyone have anything to report?

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: captainzen
                        n
                        Nancy Berry Apr 11, 2007 09:26 AM

                        The stuff at that booth looked pretty nasty (steam table, dried out, greasy) so I didn't even try it when we went to the park. I was really disappointed because I was looking forward to trying the banh mi. We had the bbq brisket and pulled pork sandwiches from the place beneath the bleachers, instead. It was pretty good -- the plate has some good beans, mediocre potato salad -- haven't tried the cole slaw (you get 2 sides with the plate.)

                        1. re: Nancy Berry
                          Melanie Wong Apr 11, 2007 09:57 AM

                          Yuck, any idea who the concessionaire is?

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            n
                            Nancy Berry Apr 11, 2007 10:10 AM

                            I don't know who runs this place, but it's in the former Panda Express spot. Even the graphics on the sign for the place looked cheap.

                        2. re: captainzen
                          singleguychef Apr 11, 2007 03:22 PM

                          Don't bother with the bahn mi, bring your own from the outside. Like I mentioned in the post above, they were selling it for $8. I consider that price gouging for a Vietnamese sandwich. The vendor is called Edsel Ford Fong. Looks a bit amateurish. Makes me feel sad that Panda Express is gone!

                          1. re: singleguychef
                            susancinsf Apr 11, 2007 03:54 PM

                            Edsel Ford Fong has a booth on the club level that has been there for a long time. It isn't my choice among the club level offerings..but then I have never been a fan of fast food Chinese.

                            1. re: susancinsf
                              sgwood415 Apr 11, 2007 05:32 PM

                              They have a booth on the promenade level too (behind home plate) and I have yet to see anyone ordering from there. I took a peek at the food and it looked like it'd been sitting for awhile. Definitely a Panda Express vibe. I say stick with the booths that are cooking the food right in front of you. California Cookout. Orlando's.

                              Anyone try the crab sandwich? Supposedly they are new this season. I think it's at the Crazy Crab in the outfield by Orlandos.

                              1. re: sgwood415
                                t
                                toncasmo Apr 12, 2007 10:08 AM

                                i've had a crab sandwich there in the past so i don't think they're new????

                                1. re: toncasmo
                                  sgwood415 Apr 12, 2007 11:28 AM

                                  The Giants sent an email to all the season ticket holders with a list of the new food options. On that list was a new kind of crab sandwhich. I never had the old one, so I'm not sure what the difference is. Anyone?

                                  1. re: sgwood415
                                    singleguychef Apr 12, 2007 12:10 PM

                                    Was the old crab sandwich $15? The difference may be the newer one is pricier. Who knows. All seafood is expensive at the ball park.

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