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Apr 9, 2011 03:00 PM

Ethan Stowell at Safeco Field

On Opening Night, got there early and marched straight to the Pen to check out the new, higher end eateries, before they were overwhelmed by the crowds. Cash register hadn't yet been unlocked at the Mexican torta place, so I went to Ethan Stowell's stand and ordered a burger. The bad part was that it was pre-made--they had several standing under heat lamps. So mine was warm, not hot, and the meat somewhat dry. I assume that as they get used to the ebbs and flows of Safeco,they'll figure out a way to fix that. Other than that, I thought the burger was excellent--6.5 oz of grass fed beef that actually tasted the way beef is supposed to. Good bun, thin slices of red onion, a larg'ish slice of tomato and butter lettuce--very fresh looking butter lettuce--not the same ol' iceberg, and several pickle slices. You can add your own mustard and/or catsup. All for $8.50, roughly a $1 more than the Kidd Valley also @Safeco. It was worth the extra dollar. I enjoyed it, and I don't eat burgers that much. The area where these new food stands are has been spiffed up a lot--much better lighting, so less like you're in a cave--and they've removed the wire fence overlooking the bullpens. So take your burger to whichever bullpen you want to see and watch the action! They also sold frites and hot dogs. Will have to try them sometime.

At the torta place they told me they cannot vary the ingredients of the sandwich. It does not contain any queso, but it does have sour cream. I explained I'm dairy intolerant and one of the servers said they would see if they could help me out, but since the cash register was stilled locked, I will have to try again and see if I can get a torta without sour cream. Ethan Stowell also has French crepes place with both sweet and savory crepes and there's a new pizza place.

All in all, this is a huge step upward for the food scene @Safeco. Patronize these folks--it's tough to make a go of it at the ballpark, particularly the way the M's seem to be playing so far this year. This particular area opens half an hour before any of the other gates @ Safeco, meaning 2.5 hours before game time, so this is one way that you can see M's batting practice.

Safeco Field
1250 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134

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  1. Also, the beers are $5 until an hour to game time, which is kinda nice.

    The pizza from Modern Apizza (apparently a popular New Haven place) was passable, but not great... The tortas may be the way to go.

    8 Replies
    1. re: GreenYoshi

      Whoa whoa whoa, hold the phone...they're serving Modern Apizza at Safeco??

      1. re: WikiAdam

        Couldn't be. Can Sally's and Frank Pepe be far behind?

        1. re: Jeffo405

          Wouldn't that be sweet?

          I'm heading to tonight's game to check this out.

          1. re: WikiAdam

            Well, I went and tried it. It's crap. Total crap. I can't believe the owner, Bill Pustari, would put his name on this. Here's hoping he makes some major improvements in the near future.

            1. re: WikiAdam

              Well you certainly can't expect restaurant-quality at a ballpark, that'll just never happen. However, compared to all the other pizza at the's certainly better by leaps and bounds.
              Tried the white pizza last night...the cheese wasn't plastic or neon orange so by that quality alone made it better than the other pizza options ;)

              1. re: HeatherHeatherHeather

                True, I shouldn't expect a miracle. Still, I had high hopes, given the owner's pedigree. I really hope he enacts some improvements. Or opens up a genuine pizzeria in town, outside the damn field!

          1. re: WikiAdam

            Well, they're serving a ballpark version of Modern Apizza at Safeco...

            I've never had Modern, per se, but I think it was below what you get out there. (maybe it is the water...)

            It was acceptable pizza though and a $5, not a terrible deal overall.

        2. I tried the seasonal veggie crepe (with beechers cheese) and was really impressed (for ballpark food!). It's truly a great option for the ballpark, and priced very reasonably considering other food options at the park. I previously would eat before games or bring my own food, but I love having the option of good food there now!
          The Pen is very comfortable as well - lounge areas, stand-up counters, and a fireplace!

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Just went to Safeco and concur that for a ballpark this is a good hamburger. Restaurant quality. I noticed all the premade ones had cheese so asked for one without cheese and got one freshly made.

              1. Went to the game last week and tried the Ethan Stowell burger. What a "Gut Bomb"! It was the worst burger I've ever had. It was pre-made, lukewarm, and limp...the fries weren't much better, only the Aioli sauce was decent. There are so many other good options at Safeco, but I would not give this place a second try. Ethan Stowell should be ashamed to have his name on a product like this.

                1 Reply
                1. re: FoodDoog

                  Guess they haven't solved the pre-made problem yet. As I detailed in my previous summary, that's the big issue. Otherwise, it's very good. Didn't try the fries.