A Taste of the Cleveland WINdians
Happy Sunday Cleveland and the rest of the world! It's a beautiful day in Cleveland. It's sunny outside, I don't have to work today, Miami lost game 2 of the Finals, and oh yeah... the Cleveland Indians are #1 in the American League Central Division. I love my Cavs, but they aren't the only Cleveland team in town and right now it's all about our Indians. Sure, they're not going to win them all, but they're tearing it up this year and it's so much fun to watch. It's gonna be a great summer. For more Cleveland sports talk, check out my favorite sports blog, WFNY (Waiting For Next Year).
So speaking of the Indians, Mark and I were lucky enough to be invited to a food tour of Progressive Field this year and I wanted to share with you what the Cleveland Indians are offering in terms of ballpark food this year. Folks, the Indians aren't the only ones that have stepped up their game. We tried some seriously good food. I took a bunch of pictures for you so enjoy your own food tour of Progressive Field in pictures after the jump.
So when we first got there we met up with everyone else on the tour in the Champions Suite and this is the first thing that caught my eye: a cotton candy and popcorn tree. I'm not even a cotton candy fan but it's so pretty to look at. I quickly took a look around the rest of the suite and saw that we would not be going hungry on this day at Progressive Field... oh no.
Mmmm beer... We decided to enjoy a quick cold one, then we were off on the food tour.
One of the first things we found out on the tour was that Progressive Field brought back the old fashioned hot dog vendors! I absolutely love their outfits and yes, they carry around the hot box with the dogs in one compartment and the buns in another and they dress the hotdogs up for you... no more of that ketchup and mustard packet crap. This made me smile as it made me remember the days I used to come to ball games with my family and my dad would buy me anything I wanted to eat, which always included a hot dog.
Next we stopped by the Energy Bar where Cleveland's own Chef Jonathan Sawyer was snapping his own food tour pics. Let's see, I see beer, liquor... now that's my kind of energy (at least when I'm at the ballpark!)
Next we stopped by something new this year - a stand called "Your Dad's Beer" where they actually offer canned beers such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Stroh's, and Little Kings, and only charge $4.50 for a 12 oz. beer. Your Dad's Beer also offers a "snack of the month", of course keeping with the theme. This month? Pickled Eggs.
Next we visited the Sausages and Hot Dogs stand and had a sample of their delicious offerings. Good stuff.
Our next stop was another new stand called "Burgers Loaded". You can get a burger to order here with up to 14 toppings to choose from!
We then made our way over to the Party Deck, which can hold 350 people for a sit-down event and 600 people for more of a casual reception.
Next we were reminded that there is a Subway at Progressive Field. I don't think I even knew that. You can eat fresh while you watch our Indians pound on their opponents.
In section 152 there's a new stand called "Spirits of Ohio". I couldn't be happier to see this. As you should know by now, I'm NOT a Bud Light girl. I like my beer to have some flavor. I'm not going for quantity these days; I'm looking for quality. This rule of thumb almost always has me hunting down a Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold at every game and that wasn't the easiest thing to do in the past. The Spirits of Ohio stand features Ohio beers and wines from various counties. Here's a shot of their drink menu:
Click on the picture for a closer look.
Another offering around the same area, in section 154, is a stand called The Appetizer Store. Among other things, they offer FRIED TWINKIES and FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. If you do nothing else this year, ORDER THE FRIED COOKIE DOUGH. It'll knock your socks off. I think I blacked out for a second while I was eating mine. Mmmmmmmmmm......
Next we visited the new gluten-free stand called "Spuds and Suds" where they offer fresh cut fries, twisted potato (which are homemade potato chips fried in batches that deliciously stick together and taste oh so good), and gluten-free hot dogs. I thought the gluten-free hot dog tasted great - I really couldn't tell the difference in the bun.
I was excited to visit our next stop, the Food Network Cart. You know I love the Food Network, so this was right down my alley. Here are some of their offerings:
Cleveland Steak Sandwich (with mustard and sauerkraut)
The Bacon-Wrapped Knockwurst on a Pretzel Bun (yum.)
The Buffalo Mac and Cheese (this was my favorite thing - it was SO good!) Look how they even bake it up in a cast iron skillet... now that's legit.
and in Section 176 there is the Cleveland Pops stand where they offer caramel corn, cheese corn, and cotton candy. I liked the way the guy working there was dressed :-) I love the soda jerk look.
Meet Progressive Field's executive chef, Chef James Major. Click Here for a great interview with Chef Major by Ohio Magazine.
After the tour was over we settled in to watch the Indians game and relax. It was a great day and I have to say it seriously rekindled my love for our beautiful ballpark. Hey, you feed a foodie some good food, she'll be happy wherever she is. Oh, and hand her a cold beer that doesn't suck. ;-)
For more information on Progressive Field's food lineup this year...
Sports Time Ohio posted a great video on the new food and beverage offerings... check it out: