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Food & Games: AT&T Park- San Francisco, CA

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(Photo By- John Phillips/CBS Radio Pittsburgh)

(Photo By- John Phillips/CBS Radio Pittsburgh)

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Well I hate to admit this so early, but when I first walked into this grand building nestled along the San Francisco Bay, it dawned on me that this was the most stunning ballpark I’ve ever seen. 

Now for you Yinzers who are reading this and feeling a bit insulted that I don’t hold PNC Park as America’s best big league park, I suggest you make a trip out West and find out for yourself.  This place is beautiful. 

However this blog in not about what park is the best or has the nicest view for fans, Food & Games is all about the grub you can uncover when visiting said park.  And I’m here to tell you that AT&T hits a Grand Slam in that department as well. 

After nearly 7-hours in flight time, I arrived in Frisco hungry and ready to eat.  I had heard about some of the items that were offered and was hoping to find my way towards them fast.  Several people had mentioned a ‘Crab Sandwich’ that I had to try as soon as I got to the park because they tend to run out of them by the 7th inning.  Well, it didn’t turn out that way exactly at first, but what I encountered initially didn’t disappoint.

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Located directly behind home plate serving the folks who pay big $$ to sit close is a section called the ‘Field Club’ where fans can grub on some wonderful items including this carving station…

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It offered a variety of choices including smoked Turkey, Corned Beef and Beef Brisket.  Having such a hard time on what to choose, I had all three…

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I went with the ‘Slider Sampler’ that offered a small taste of each.  All three had great flavor and were served on a San Fran staple of sourdough bread.  I must admit that the Corn Beef was my favorite of the three, not that the other two lacked in flavor.  The platter set me back $9.75 and was a good start to my trip.  There were a number of side dishes that you can add to your sandwich, including kettle chips, potato salad and this…

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This tomato, mozzarella and Kalamata olive skewer was just $5.50 and is nothing like I’ve seen before anywhere.  It’s these options that parks offer today that set them a part from other stadiums and I thought it was a nice alternative to cole slaw or something out of the ordinary. 

Some of the other stations inside the Field Club offered up a wide range of choices that fans had to decide on including…

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Served at the ‘Derby Grill’ inside the Field Club, you had several sandwich choices to choose from.  According to the staff, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is the most popular. 

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Located across from that stand is ‘Joe Garcia’s’ where you can order Mission Style Barritos.  And if you want Chinese…

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A place called ‘Edsel Ford Fong’s’ if you can belive it serves it up in big batches.  Both stations were busy early in the game when I arrived.  Now for those of you that are forced to sit in the regular seats, believe me you have plenty of choices.

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Directly behind the Press Box on the 1st concourse is a Japanese/Chinese stand with no name.  It’s hard to miss, as it sits below a Pagoda.  Sushi has become very hip at sporting events in the past five years.  I’ve seen it served in Houston, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and now San Fran.  These are just a few of the choices offered. 

A very west coast item called ‘Garlic Fries’ seems to be found at all the arenas/ballparks/stadiums I’ve been to.  Apparently, fans can’t get enough of them…

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Billed as the first ‘Green’ Concession stand in America, Gilroy Garlic Fries can be smelled all over AT&T Park. This stand was packed for seven plus innings. 

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Covered in fresh garlic and herbs, it will run you $7.75, but be prepared to wait in line.  Fans didn’t seem to mind the 30+ minute wait.  Mexican food is big out West, and AT&T Park has its share…

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This stand is located along the 3rd base line and offers a number of traditional items like nachos, but had a sandwich I had to try once I saw it…

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Billed as the ‘Torta Ahogada’ and served with chips, it’s a pulled pork sandwich covered in what they called a ‘Mexican’ sauce which was a tomato base, mixed with spices.  For the cost of $8.00, I had something that I felt was very unique to the area.  It was tender, tasty and filled me up fast. 

So far, so good on my trip to AT&T, but I was still in search of that Crab Sandwich I had heard so much about.  I had to keep walking towards centerfield before I would find more food paradise in a collection of stands located on the Promenade level in Upper Center Field.

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The first one I came across was Orlando’s Caribbean BBQ.  It’s signature dish was a sight to behold. 

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Simply known as the ‘Cha Cha Bowl,’ it has grilled chicken marinated in a mild chili marinade.  It’s served over black beans, rice, zucchini and carrots, and four different toppings including avocado, onions and tomatoes.   It’ runs $10, but fans seemed eager to pay.   

As I passed by Orlando’s, my nose caught a whiff of sea food.  It didn’t take long for me to find that sandwich I was in search of.

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It was here at Crazy Crab’z that I would find, pay and eat the most expensive item I’ve ever shelled out cash for at any sporting event.  But folks, it was worth every penny.

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Behold the Grilled Crab Sandwich.  At a wallet busting $15.50, you will feel the pain at first when handing the money over.  That will disappear once you bite into it.  Packed with real crab and served on a grilled sourdough bread, it was nothing short of amazing.  There is a cold version of this for just $11, but it has half the crab meat, so just fork over the extra $4.50 because it’s totally worth it.  Right next to Crazy Crab’z is another seafood station called Pier 44 Chowder House…

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Offering fresh Chowder, ($8.25) fish & chips, ($9.75) shrimp & chips ($10.75) and fresh calamari, something I’ve not seen before at just $10.75 a serving. 

Overall, I’d have to say this has been one of the best trips I’ve ever taken.  The beauty of the park, plus my seat in the Press Box…

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…made for a great afternoon.  The Braves beat the Giants 9-6 in 10 innings, thanks mostly to a timely hit by former Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star Nate McLouth who’s two out single plated a pair in the three run 10th for the Braves. 

Somehow you knew there would be some sort of Pittsburgh connection to tie this story up.  Ah synergy…

John Phillips is the author of this article and the creator of ‘Food & Games’ which unlocks the wonderful food finds located at stadiums, arenas and ballparks all across America.  When he’s not globetrotting, JP anchors sports updates and can be heard on Sunday mornings from 7-10am on 93.7 The Fan.  You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/japboy69 

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