[Photo: Safeco Field/Facebook]
If the Mariners are winning or can't score a run, if it's dry or wet, day or night, know this: The food, beer, and booze at Safeco Field was already good, and it keeps getting better. Beecher's Cheese, Bonache Hot Sauce, and Taylor Shellfish Farms are a few of the local ingredients found inside the gates, plus craft cocktails made with regionally distilled spirits and, for the first time, cask ale. Even better: Chef Ethan Stowell's new stand Swingin' Wings serves whiskey-cola barbecue glazed wings and "dirty tater tots." Go Mariners.
Prep for opening night next Tuesday with this guide to where to eat (and drink) at Safeco Field.
Safeco Field's Eight Standouts
Apizza: You won't find the fanciful clam or crabmeat-topped pizzas that made chef Bill Pustari famous. But, the New Haven style pizza maker offers up a thin-crust vegetarian white pizza and a toothsome pepperoni. Also, a Stowell-created Caesar salad pizzetti. [The Pen]
Edgar's Cantina & Home Run Porch: A new addition in 2013, Chef Stowell created a "Northwest Mex" menu for Edgar's Tacos at the Home Run Porch, a basket of three fresh corn tortillas with the choice of carne asada, carnitas, chicken, or lengua (beef tongue) topped with diced onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese. Down below in Edgar's Cantina (behind the left field wall), Stowell updated the south-of-the-border menu of the Flying Turtle Cantina (renovated and rebranded as Edgar's). Fans of the torta will still find the popular pork carnitas and salchicha tortas, as well as two new options: carne asada and chicken Milanese. [The Pen, Section 152]
Hamburg + Frites: Stowell's burger stand serves grass-fed hamburgers and cheeseburgers topped with Tillamook cheddar, chicken tenders, and fries with a side of garlic aioli for dipping. [The Pen]
Hit it Here Cafe: Try the famous garlic fries here, and you may form a habit. New this season: fried hand pies from A la Mode in Phinney Ridge. [Right Field]
The Natural: Vegans and vegetarians will want to seek out frankfurters and burgers made by Sodo-based Field Roast. In addition to the IchiBan, the bombay, Seattle chili dog, and field burger, The Natural added a vegan chili cheese dog in 2013. [Section 132]
ricenroll: The famed Ichiroll is gone, but simple, fresh veggie and fish rolls remain. [Section 137]
Sound Bar: Rob Roy's Anu Apte is back with another round of cocktails made using small-batch spirits from Woodinville Whiskey Company, Oola Distillery, Rogue Spirits, and Fremont Mischief Distillery. [Section 249]
Tortugas Voladuras: Launched by chef Roberto Santibanez, Tortugas sells braised pork, roasted chicken, and slow cooked beef mexican sandwiches. They also have chips & guacamole and chips and salsa. [The Pen]
What's New in 2014
· Stowell created the menu for Swingin' Wings. Try one (or three) takes: classic wings, kicked up with Bonache's socorro hot sauce; honey serrano, and whiskey-cola barbecue glaze. To increase the artery clogging, there's also deep-fried pickles, Beecher's fried cheese curds drizzled with Ballard Bee Co. honey and with pickled peppers, and "dirty tater tots" with Beecher's Flagship cheddar, pork belly, and pickled peppers.
· This season, Stowell remade the menu at the Sound Seafood stand. It now includes freshly-shucked oysters and served with chips and remoulade sauce, Pacific cod dredged in Manny's Pale Ale batter, salmon sandwiches, apple wood smoked salmon chowder, and Taylor Farms oyster po' boys. [Section 249]
· Joining more than 50 beers served in the stadium, including craft ale from Fremont Brewing and Georgetown Brewing, a rotating list of cask-conditioned beer from regional brewers will be offered (in limited quantity) for the first time. WA Beer Blog reports that Field 41 Pale Ale from Bale Breaker Brewing and Sweet As Pacific Ale from Goodlife Brewing are lined up for opening day. [Power Alley Bar, Section 129]
· Hot Cakes' Autumn Martin has created tarts, cookies, and cakes for this year's premium suites menu.