Nothing says Americana and baseball like a (bacon-wrapped!) hot dog — Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith / Kirsten Graham PR
Praised by fans, Major League players and the media as one of the best ballparks for its beautiful urban setting and excellent sight lines, the popular downtown venue has drawn kudos in other departments, too: over the years, Safeco Field has earned a reputation for serving great food and beer.
But this season, stadium vendors have really stepped up their game. Centerplate, the Seattle Mariners' concessions partner, has joined forces with Safeco Field's Consulting Chef Ethan Stowell – one of the city's most lauded culinary talents – to introduce a variety of new tasty ballpark items, all based on fresh and local ingredients.
Move over, peanuts and crackerjacks!
Prosciutto and arugula pizza changes up the game at Safeco this season — Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith / Kirsten Graham PR
Other updates this season include a new décor and menu at the Hit It Here Café; also, whenever possible, locally sourced and produced products have been brought into the stadium.
Seattleites (and visitors, too) will rejoice to find Pike Brewing Company beer on tap; Peet’s Coffee as Safeco Field’s official coffee provider; and, throughout the park, an updated selection of healthier, vegetarian and gluten-free options that align with patrons’ needs.
At the bar, be on the lookout for regional players like cocktails mixed with local spirits and cask-conditioned ales from Northwest brewers. First Base Vine on the main level jazzes things up with wine selections from the Pacific Northwest and estate-grown keg wine from Washington Estate vineyards. (Here, enjoy carafe service for two.)
So what’s scoring culinary home runs so far this season? For starters, at the Way Back Crab Shack, you can relish a mound of Dungeness crab meat dressed in house-made aioli on garlic.
"Dungeness crab is one of the Pacific Northwest's iconic ingredients," says Stowell. "It only seems right to have this delicious food showcased at Safeco Field, for a real taste of Seattle."
(Note: This creation pairs perfectly with the rotating selection of draft beers from Seattle’s Pike Brewing Company; try Pike mainstay Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Red Ale.)
A beer float with Pike Stout gives plenty of reasons to cheers this baseball season — Photo courtesy of Geoffrey Smith / Kirsten Graham PR
Above right field, at the Hit It Here Café on the Club Level, Stowell introduces updated concepts on pub classics, such as Swingin’ Wings; nachos; a bacon and egg burger; and even flatbread pizzas (arugula and prosciutto, wild mushrooms and pecorino Romano cheese).
After the Mariners round enough bases, celebrate with such house-made grand finales as bread pudding prepared with Oatis Oatmeal Stout from Ninkasi Brewing Company’s (Eugene, Ore.) and beer floats featuring craft brews and Snoqualmie Creamery ice cream.
Those who prefer healthy eating choices (even at ballgames) will appreciate fresh-made sushi from Seattle chef Hiroshi Egashira, owner of Hiroshi’s Restaurant & Catering, and, for private suites, newly added vegetarian and vegan offerings from Chef Makini Howell of Seattle’s Plum Bistro.
At The Natural at Section 132 on the main level, new items include house-made sandwiches and fresh salads (chock-full of goodies like beets, fennel, quinoa and kale), plus alternative beverage options including Seattle’s all-natural DRY Soda, Coors Peak gluten-free beer and Crispin Cider on tap.
Throughout the baseball season, check the online schedule for a complete list of promotions and special events. Visitors happily take advantage of special theme evenings that range from family nights and girls' and guys' nights out to ticket specials for college students, military men and women and seniors who show valid ID.
On Thursday, May 28, "Sriracha Night" honors the popular condiment by offering $30 ticket packages that include a main level seat, Mariners Sriracha T-shirt and one Sriracha Night menu item (like a Sriracha-flavored dog, pizza, strawberry margarita or even a milkshake).
Play ball, and bon appétit!