As winter turns to spring, baseball is right around the corner. Spring training is winding down and soon enough, our Seattle Mariners will take the field at Safeco Field for their home opener amidst high expectations and a fan base ready for postseason baseball. The sound of a King Felix changeup hitting Mike Zunino's glove just right is almost upon us. The snap of the bat as Nelson Cruz crushes a ball into Edgar's Cantina is almost audible. Watching Robinson Cano be the coolest guy on the field is only a couple days away. And the food, yes the food at Safeco Field is just as anticipated as what's on the field.
Safeco Field has been a trendsetter for elevating ballpark food for the past few seasons. Since the 2011 season, when Centerplate (Safeco Field's food partner) worked with Seattle's Ethan Stowell, the food at the Field has gone beyond hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. It's been a tradition to visit Safeco Field before the season to get a sneak peak at the new food items for the upcoming season and this year is no different. I attended a preview this week to see what Stowell and the Mariners have on deck for us to eat while the M's do their thing on the diamond.
At the preview, Chef Stowell spoke about the Hit it Here Café getting a refresh along with a few other updates throughout the ballpark. He said a goal for the Café was to give it more of a pub feel with food that carries through the tavern vibe and to match the level of food found throughout the stadium. Dotted throughout the stadium are a few other updates and eateries to put on your nosh list.
- Hit It Here Café - Updated pub food designed by Ethan Stowell with burgers, wings, flatbread pizzas, and housemade desserts on tap. The bread pudding and beer floats are not to be missed. Draft beers from Northwest breweries will be plentiful, as the taps will be rotated monthly.
- The Natural - Located on the main level at section 132 (near home plate) is The Natural; a spot for vegetarian and gluten-free offerings including Field Roast Hot Dogs
- Edgar's Cantina & Cantina Nachos - Updated this year for Edgar's Cantina in The 'Pen and Cantina Nachos on the main level are fish tacos and bacon-wrapped hot dogs served with grilled onions, peppers, and chipotle crema.
- Way Back Crab Shack - As befits the name that would make Dave Niehaus proud, the Way Back Crab Shack is on the main level in left-centerfield. There is a Dungeness Crab Sandwich with grilled bread from Alaskan Sourdough Bakery and fries with sea salt, Old Bay, and Dungeness crabmeat.
- Jack Daniels Caught Looking Lounge - Found in The 'Pen, the Caught Looking Lounge will feature whiskey from a new partner to Safeco Field; Jack Daniels.
- Pike Brewing Company - New to Safeco Field will be beer offerings from Pike Brewing Company. The Way Crab Shack will feature their Kilt Lifter Scotch-style Red Ale and Pike IPA.
- Cask Ale Stations - Returning in 2015 are cask-conditioned ales from Northwest Brewers at stations near home plate (section 126) on the main level and section 330 on the upper level.
The best food in baseball is found at Safeco Field. The best beer in baseball is found at Safeco Field. Hopefully, the best baseball will be seen at Safeco Field. As this season is upon us, I'm looking forward to catching a ballgame with some food and beers, watching our home nine win another one. Play ball.