We already know you can order your beers via Twitter at the Mariners' home opener tomorrow, but Friday's game against the Cleveland Indians also marks the debut of The 'Pen, the fancy new series of concessions from some nationally known chefs, as well as our own man-of-many-restaurants Ethan Stowell. Stowell and fellow chefs Bill Pustari and Roberto Santibañez suited up this week at a preview event for their new stands. Two of the new eateries, Hamburg + Frites and La Crêperie, bear Stowell's name, but all the new concessions tapped into his supply chain to up the ante at a ballpark already known for its sushi, poutine and other non-boring fare. New Haven pizza maestro Pustari is serving up slices (at $5 apiece--pretty decent for a ballbark) that include a white pie topped with seasonal vegetables and pies with pepperoni from Zoe's meats. The Caesar salad is dressed with Stowell's own lemon-anchovy dressing and croutons made from Grand Central Bakery bread. Pies get cooked in an oven custom-made for the ballpark.
Mexican chef Santibañez's Tortugas Voladoras (gringos call it Flying Turtle Cantina) is offering some decidedly upscale nachos and a selection of tortas that are the hands-down favorite of people attending preview events. As for Stowell's fare, burgers are made with grass-fed Northwest beef and topped with Tillamook cheese. The hot dogs are boiled in beer. Over at La Crêperie, sweet and savory crepes are folded in the quarters and served up in paper cones for easy transport and consumption. It's a marked departure for a man better known for delicate pastas and having his way with geoduck. The team behind the new concessions says Seattle boasts the only ballpark in the US serving up grass-fed burgers, or Mexican tortas for that matter.
Single M's fans might better know this area on the lower concourse as "the meat market" thanks to the ferocious singles scene that congregates here during each game. The walls and chain link have been torn down, affording a wide open view of the field and warm-up area. The 'Pen will open two and a half hours before game time (a half-hour earlier than other entrances). Oh, and there's a new cocktail counter and a long bar dispensing craft beers alongside the requisite Bud Light. Let's play ball.
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· The 'Pen, Safeco Field's newest fan attraction unveiled [Official Release]