Will the Seattle Mariners turn out a season worth watching in 2019? That much is anyone’s guess. But even if the home opener on Thursday, March 28 suggests this may be another middling season, Seattle fans can drown their sorrows in local craft beer and eat their feelings with a slew of appetizing new dishes: burgers from Li’l Woody’s, fried chicken from Fat’s Chicken and Waffles, and Caribbean roast sandwiches from Paseo.
In the food and drink department, consulting restaurateur Ethan Stowell and corporate partner Centerplate continue to up the ballpark’s game, bringing in ever more local producers so the concessions at the stadium reflect the quality food movement happening everywhere in Seattle. Few ballparks in MLB are competing at this level. Read on for notes on new items, as well as a breakdown of major venues in the ballpark.
New This Year
Paseo (Edgar’s Cantina and Edgar’s Home Run Porch)
Caribbean sandwich shop Paseo will serve its sought-after Caribbean roast sandwiches, loaded with slow-roasted pork shoulder, caramelized onion, cilantro, pickled jalapeño and romaine lettuce and slathered with garlic aioli. Other menu items will include a chicken thigh sandwich, tofu sandwich, Caribbean bowl, and roasted corn on the cob. Sides include black beans and rice; Caribbean fries with aioli, cilantro and Paseo spices; and nachos topped with cheddar cheese sauce, sour cream, caramelized onions, cilantro and pineapple chunks.
Li’l Woody’s Burgers & Shakes (The ‘Pen)
Seattle’s mini burger chain will grill Painted Hills grass fed beef patties in it two standard burgers, the bacon-topped Big Woody and the Li’l Woody. There will also be a vegetarian option with an Impossible patty, plus chicken tenders and fries with a side of Full Tilt ice cream shake for dipping.
Fat’s Chicken (The ‘Pen)
Central District restaurant Fat’s makes a ballpark appearance with a five spice fried chicken thigh sandwich, buttermilk fried chicken strips and fries, three styles of wings, poutine, mac and cheese, and rice topped with Andouille sausage gravy.
Shug’s Soda Fountain & Ice Cream (Section 152, Main Level and The ‘Pen)
Old school soda fountain Shug’s will have two portable carts scooping Lopez Island Creamery ice cream. Adults can booze it up with a prosecco float — a scoop of Lopez Island Creamery ice cream topped with San Martino Doc Extra Dry.
Major Venues to Hit
There are several major concessions venues at T-Mobile — some with multiple locations — plus additional stands scattered throughout the park. Here are some of the best bets.
Hit It Here Café: The sit-down restaurant in right field has several new items, including personal sized pizzas from Ballard Pizza; Kuku frieds topped with togarashie Japanese seasoning, red tobiko (flying fish roe), chili sauce, horseradish crema and chives; and a meat-free burger with a Beyond Meat patty. Stowell has enlisted local chefs like Maria Hines (Tilth, Agrodulce), John Sundstrom (Lark), Brady Williams (Canlis) and Mitch Mayers (Sawyer) to create a rotating menu of burgers with meat from local company Crowd Cow throughout the season.
Frozen Rope Sandwich Company [Main Concourse, Section 132]: With dessert sandwiches to order, there are tough choices between Hope’s cookies and brownies, between Snoqualmie Valley and Lopez Island Creamery ice cream, and among a bevy of toppings from sprinkles to Fruity Pebbles cereal. Boozy root beer floats are also on the menu for the adult set. The vendor adds a new option this year: Metropolitan Market’s cult-favorite cookie with two kinds of Belgian chocolate, toasted walnuts, and a sprinkle of fleur de sel.
The Sultan of Sandwich [Main Concourse, Section 105]: The ballpark mainstay adds a tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Niehaus: a sandwich with a half pound of salami, smoked provolone cheese, and grainy mustard on a marbled rye baguette.
CB’s Nuts [Main Concourse, Section 132]: Born as a street vendor outside the ballpark, CB’s Nuts is now a much bigger deal, with a headquarters in North Kitsap and an official stand selling its small-batch, slow-roasted nuts inside the ballpark
Ballard Pizza Co. [The ‘Pen]: Ethan Stowell’s foldable New York-style slices include funghi (fresh, seasonal mushrooms), ham and pineapple, and salsiccia (Italian sausage, fennel, and fennel pollen).
Din Tai Fung [Section 132]: Seattle’s Chinese dumpling expert serves vegetable and pork wonton soup, vegetable and pork wonton with spicy sauce, chicken-fried rice, spare ribs, steamed traditional bao buns filled with pork, or a vegetarian option with bok choy, tofu, mushrooms and vermicelli noodles.
On Deck Donuts [Section 132, Main Level]: House-made mini donuts with a choice of toppings and dipping sauces like maple syrup and bacon, caramel sauce, powdered sugar, and frosting.
Way Back Crab Shack [Section 187]: Chef Ethan Stowell’s toasted Dungeness Crab sandwich, crab fries, Old Bay fries, and clam chowder pairs with the rotating selection of draft beers including local and craft brews.
Where and What to Drink
Magenta Mojo: Created by Rob Roy owner Anu Apte, this new cocktail combines Lillet liqueur, Pamplemousse rose liquor, hibiscus, Peychaud’s aromatic bitters, soda water, and vodka. It’s served in The ‘Pen, Terrace Club lounges, and Lookout Landing.
1st Base Vine [Main Concourse, Section 126]: Here, find a selection of varietals from Columbia Winery and Chateau Ste. Michelle, available by the glass and full-bottle carafe. Chateau’s 14 Hands label will pour chardonnay, cabernet, sauvignon blanc and rosé, at 1st Base Vine and concession stands, clubs, and restaurants throughout the ballpark.
BSB Lounge [3rd Base, Club Level] Named for Heritage Distilling’s Brown Sugar Bourbon, the lounge features the extensive lineup (including vodka, flavored vodkas, gin and whiskey) from Gig Harbor’s highly awarded distillery.
Cask Ale Station [Section 129, Main Level]: These days it's rare to find traditional cask-conditioned suds even at craft beer bars, but for the past few seasons T-Mobile has featured rotating "real ale," as it's known, from local brewers. The line-up includes beers from Diamond Knot, Silver City Brewing, and of course cask-only Machine House Brewing, and there’s even a rotating cast of barrel-aged beers from several Northwest brewers.
Elsewhere at the ballpark, there are beers from Washington State producers like Bale Breaker Brewing, Georgetown Brewing, gluten-free Ghostfish Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, Pike Brewing Co., and more. The ‘Pen opens two-and-a-half hours before game time, a half-hour earlier than other gates, and up to an hour before first pitch for each game, all 16 oz. beers in The ‘Pen are discounted.