When the Mariner’s play their home opener against the Oakland Athletics on April 8th, there will be plenty of hot dogs, peanuts and domestic draughts for the traditionalists.
Photo gallery: Check out these photos of the latest Mariners menu
But for those used to Seattle’s higher brow culinary scene, whose tastes go beyond ketchup and mustard, Seattle Chef Ethan Stowell has come up with a new roster of menu items, as he’s done for the past six years.
“There’s the porchetta sandwich, I think that’s my new favorite one,” says Chef Stowell. “That’s a pork belly that is wrapped around a pork tenderloin. It’s all rubbed with black pepper and fennel pollen, slow roasted in the oven and then hand carved with a little a little pesto in there.”
There’s a grilled cheese sandwich made with Seattle’s beloved Beecher’s cheese and, if you want it, bacon and tomato inside. There are authentic Belgian waffles, made from yeasted brioche dough, made with local flour, and topped with either powdered sugar or dipped in dark or white chocolate. And there are a couple new takes on nachos.
“Some of the nacho things may not be my thing that I’m going to eat, but I know people love them, I know the team is super excited about them. They’re kind of Irish nachos: potato chips, prime rib on them, horseradish cream on top of homemade potato chips.”
Chef Stowell says he’s just not a nacho guy. But he tries to cater to everyone, and sometimes those dishes don’t catch on.
“I remember the first year we tried to do some sweet crepes up in The Pen, they didn’t sell. We did lengua tacos, tongue tacos, just to try it out. They didn’t sell very well but the thing is, that’s okay. We have the green light to try stuff, which is cool I think.”
Safeco wants to lead the way in stadium food, to be the stadium serving things others are not.
“We want to have a couple of foodie people come in and be like, ‘Cool man, these guys have tongue tacos here at the stadium. I’m gonna get ’em.’ On menus in restaurants, some of the dishes you have on the menus aren’t because you think they’re going to sell like crazy. Some of the dishes you have on a small restaurant menu are for street cred. We kind of do a little bit of that here.”
On the beverage side, the vodka slushies are new and, this being Seattle, they’re expanding the craft beer menu.
“Super excited about having a sour beer in the stadium. I think we’re the only ballpark in major league sports that has a sour beer on tap. Sour beers cost a little more, we can’t necessarily charge more. But having the team be supportive, saying it would be cool to offer this. It’s those little touches, you know?”
They’ve also added a bunch of craft beers in cans. More and more microbreweries have been releasing cans over the past few years and the list includes a 16 ounce can of Ghostfish Brewing’s gluten-free pale ale and several from Seattle’s Fremont Brewing.
“Our beer selection, we have the largest number of local microbrews in Major Leage Baseball here in the stadium.”
But they have changed the pour sizes. Draught beers used to come in 12 and 20 ounce cups. Now you can only choose from 16 or 24 ounces.