Get Excited: New Eats and Drinks at Safeco Field

Dining and drinking during Mariners games just keeps getting better
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This afternoon, I trekked from our Seattle mag offices downtown to Safeco Field (not a good day to wear two layers) to sample some of the new ballpark goodies launching in time for the 2016 Mariners season. Safeco has been wowing visitors with its inventive, locally inspired culinary endeavors for the past six years, thanks to the continuing collaboration between Seattle Mariners concessions partner Centerplate and beloved Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell (Bar Cotto, How to Cook a Wolf), who serves as consulting chef.

"Our goal is to keep doing what we've been doing and continue making things better for the fans," Stowell announced during today's event. "We're a little cocky because we consistently get high marks for the food here...and we have high expectations for this year."

New, not-your-average-ballpark-food highlights to look for during the 2016 Mariners season include: The Big Cheese grilled cheese sandwich bar (section 111 on the Main Level), featuring toasted Baker Boys Northwest brioche loaded with Beecher's cheese, tomato and bacon from Ferndale, Wash.-based Hempler's Meats and served with Tim's Cascade Chips ($8; a no-bacon version is available for $7); The Sultan of Sandwich stand (section 105 on the Main Level), which will serve shaved Rainier Ranch beef prime rib with horseradish cream on a Franz Bakery ciabatta roll ($12) and--a big hit at today's event--the Porchetta & Chips ($12), a heaping plate of shaved porchetta over house-made kettle chips slathered in caper and basil pesto and gorgonzola cheese; and Safeco Sausage & Double Play Chicken & Sausage (sections 115,131,136,146, 327 and 339), highlighting Hempler's one-third-pound jalapeno cheddar andouille sausage ($9.50) with grilled onions, sauerkraut and pickled peppers.


The glorious basket of porchetta & chips

On the sweet side, downtown's Sweet Iron Waffles joins the roster this year (section 136) with its authentic Liege-style Belgian waffles served plain with powdered sugar ($5) or dipped in white or dark chocolate ($6). Owners (and mother-daughter duo) Adrienne and Danielle Jeffrey also told me they'll be opening a second Sweet Iron location on Capitol Hill sometime this summer.


Belgian waffles from the family-owned Sweet Iron Waffles in downtown

As for beverages, the new boozy slushies ($10.50) made with vodka from Austin-based Deep Eddy--in ruby red grapefruit and peach flavors--are not to be missed. They're tart, not too sweet and refreshing.

Contributing writer, Jake Uitti, who tried the grapefruit version at today's event, agrees. "[It's like] summer in a cup. This boozy citrus star quenches your thirst with a cold smack to the tastebuds. It tastes fresh, natural and gives you the perfect buzz to enjoy an evening's sunset at the game." Find these frozen booze-filled beauties at the Terrace Club.


The boozy grapefruit slushy; photo: Lauren Mang

For beer lovers: New local beer varieties abound, including the Interurban IPA from Fremont Brewing Co., Ellensburg, Wash.-based Iron Horse Brewery's Irish Death Ale, Georgetown Brewing's Johnny Utah Pale Ale and Ghostfish's Gluten-Free Pale Ale in 16-ounce cans. Safeco will continue its $6 price for domestic canned beers, including Hamm's, Rainier and Tecate. And sizes for draft beer have changed: expect 16-ounce ($9 domestic; $10 premium) and 24-ounce sizes ($12).

The M's open at home on Friday, April 8, against the Oakland A's, and if I were to bestow any wisdom unto you, it would be to not eat before you hit the stadium. Here's hoping we have as stellar of a season as we do a menu. Go Mariners!


Hempler's sausage


My photography skills are stunning

For beer lovers: New local beer varieties abound, including the Interurban IPA from Fremont Brewing Co., Ellensburg, Wash.-based Iron Horse Brewery's Irish Death Ale, Georgetown Brewing's Johnny Utah Pale Ale and Ghostfish's Gluten-Free Pale Ale in 16-ounce cans. Safeco will continue its $6 price for domestic canned beers, including Hamm's, Rainier and Tecate. And sizes for draft beer have changed: expect 16-ounce ($9 domestic; $10 premium) and 24-ounce sizes ($12).

The M's open at home on Friday, April 8, against the Oakland A's, and if I were to bestow any wisdom unto you, it would be to not eat before you hit the stadium. Here's hoping we have as stellar of a season as we do a menu. Go Mariners!


Hempler's sausage


My photography skills are stunning