Every year, right before baseball season, the new menu at Safeco Field is announced. Last year, the entire nation took note of the toasted grasshoppers with chile-lime salt served at Edgar’s Cantina, from Poquitos, a Mexican restaurant in Capitol Hill. Those are still on the menu, however, this year’s additions are far tamer.
But there’s one place in particular where I foresee long lines. Din Tai Fung will be serving its famous dumplings. Although, I hate to break it to you, the soup dumplings won’t be available.
“We have chefs onsite to be cooking items like fried rice and string beans. Our famous garlic string beans for sure,” said Din Tai Fung’s Seattle managing partner David Wasielewski. “The wontons and the buns will be brought in already folded, and will be cooked onsite for freshness.”
They’re also welcoming Jack’s BBQ, a restaurant headquartered in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood.
“We are serving delicious Double R Ranch smoke brisket sandwiches and pork sandwiches,” owner Jack Timmons said. “We take that same brisket, we cook it down into our chili with four different peppers and put it on a bag of Fritos with cheese and jalapenos. It’s called Frito Pie.”
Cooking for hungry Mariners fans is a big job that requires a lot more meat and manpower.
“We’re going to make an extra couple of thousand pounds a week now, which is just amazing,” Timmons said. “It’s fun for me, I get to order another smoker, which is super exciting. Smokers are like boats and motorcycles, you always want another one. So I’m excited to do that.”
Best bite at Safeco Field
The best bite of the day for me was the lobster roll from Sound Seafood on the Club Level and I also loved the Longbone beef ribs with coleslaw from Holy Smoke BBQ. This season also welcomes bubble tea from Juma Ventures and a few new sandwiches, like a Reuben and a meatball sub from Sultan of Sandwich.
Food writer Naomi Tomky’s favorite of the day was the Cheddar Jalapeno Beef Hush dog, Jack’s BBQ’s take on the corn dog, but with hush puppy batter. She says that Safeco Field is a great representation of Seattle’s culinary offerings.
“It’s not even about me, I live in Seattle, I go to Din Tai Fung, like, twice a month,” Tomky said. “But you have all these people that are driving in from all over the state or people visiting from all over the country and even the world that come to see baseball. These are Seattle’s best restaurants, let’s show them that. If they’re only here for a week and they’re seeing a baseball game, why not let them get a good meal while they’re in the stadium?”
This is the eighth year that Seattle chef and restaurateur Ethan Stowell has consulted with the Mariners to expand the diversity and the locality of the menu at Safeco Field during baseball season. Ever since Stowell has taken over the menu, Seattle always makes the Top 10 lists for best stadium food in the nation.