Best at the Ballpark?
I'd love some food recommendations for the Ballpark at Arlington. We always look for local recommendations when we go to baseball stadiums in other cities (some have really good food, some don't), so it's about time we tried to branch out beyond the basic hot dog here.
I will say that the "Food Network Steak Sandwich" scares me. That is going a bit too far with the branding! But maybe it's really good and I'm missing out?
If the Rangers don't have the worst concessions in the major leagues, I don't want to know who does. Their ball park food is horrible.
If you want good ballpark food, go to Fenway, Coors Field in Denver, Safeco Field in Seattle, or best of all, PacBell (or whatever it's call now) in San Francisco. At Fenway, you can get real grilled local Italian sausages on a hard roll with peppers and onions (from more than one local vendor), clam chowder, lobster rolls, very good hot dogs, etc. Coors field has real grilled hot dogs with great toppings, fried mountain oysters that are very good, artisnal beers, etc. At Safeco, you can get very good sushi including the Ichiroll, great grilled salmon sandwiches, local craft beers, and good hot dogs. And PacBell has really, really great food from sushi, crab sandwiches, great hotdogs to garlic fries and everything in between. Arizona's ball park has Neiman Rach sausages.
I can't think of one thing that is memorable in terms of food at the ballpark in Arlington. Maybe a Lemon Chill?? Pathetic. And inexcusable.
I eat at the Ballpark often due to my Rangers fever. I too am disappointed that the Rangers have not brought in some local brands to improve the food selection like other parks have done. There should be good local mexican, bbq, etc brands represented.
Here is my opinion on some of the options:
Diamond Club - It is about $30 for adults and $8 for Kids for an all you can eat buffet. There are coupons available that give you 20% off. The quality of the food is good step above most of the concessions. This is in LF and you can watch the game from your table. They charge extra for the dessert buffet which is stupid imo. Reservations required but anyone with ticket can go.
Cuervo Club - Must have pass or good tickets to enter. Bar menu. Good view of game if you can snag 1st row of tables. Again food quality here is well above anything available at concessions. All Star Burger (Bacon, Pepper Jack, Cheddar) is a solid burger.
Food Network Steak Sandwich - Fail. Poor meat quality and bad bread to meat ratio.
Chopped Steak Sandwich - Solid. - Served at Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog Stand.
Cajun Corner - Fail - Rice undercooked. Beans had no flavor.
Stir Fry - Solid - Love the old fashioned box and chopsticks. Sapporo too. Recommend you tell them no oil and serve hot veggies, chicken and sauce on cold noodles.
Hot Dogs - This is tricky. The $1 versions are gross imposters of hot dogs. The Nolan Ryan hot dog stand has a gigantic hard bun and is overpriced at $9. The steamed silver pouch variety served at most of the stands on the concourse are sad and wilted. The water dogs that the walking vendors serve this season are solid but they only offer ketchup and mustard. Nolan needs to get these guys some relish packets or an onion tray. The bacon wrapped variety sounded gross but were actually much better than I expected and offered good toppings. There is a stand behind home plate that will top a grilled hot dog with various premium toppings like brisket, jalapenos, chili, cheese, etc. This was pretty good. The best dogs are probably those served at the sizzling grill stands on the outer part of the concourse. They serve fresh grilled onions, sauerkraut and jalapenos. You want to get one early though because they grill a whole bunch early in the game and then put them in warmers for the rest of the game.
Garlic Fries - Tasty but greasy and limp. Overrated if you ask me.
Hamburgers - So so. Edible I guess.
You may be wise in pre-assessing the FNSS as you have. I did not get it so don't know for certain, but 1) it looked stingy on the beef portion and 2) it was extremely over priced. I really don't remember the exact amount, but recollection tells me it was about 3 times the cost of other concession sandwiches - like maybe $10/15 and like I said, very anemic in size. They were set up in a little stand-alone kiosk and did not have any customers while I sitting there enjoying my baseball, must-have hot-dog! This was the 3rd baseline area @ 6:30.
Even though I'm a die-hard hot-dog eater when it comes to baseball, I wish the Ranger organization would bring in some quality variations.
The FNSS still looked scary and no one was buying their $12 sandwich.
It ended up being $1 hot dog night and I had some leftover chicken breasts in the fridge so I made sliced chicken and tomato sandwiches as well. I love that you can bring your own food.
I did see a number of people at the bacon wrapped grilled hot dog stand (and their grilled onions smelled yummy). But $1 vs. $9? No contest. I'm not *that* big a hot dog fan!