Photos by Monica Bradburn; Sarah Sachs; Taylor Jackson/Arizona Diamondbacks
Thanks to Chase Field’s ambitious culinary program, eating at a D-backs game is more than just peanuts.
Sizzle and Cheese
With Major League Baseball season comes the perennial ballpark question: Which decadent food should you stuff down your gob while you watch? Along with a variety of chains (Portillo’s, Streets of New York), Chase Field offers its own eateries, under the supervision of executive chef Stephen Tilder. This walk-up food stand, near section 105, celebrates the glories of the cow. Selections range from burgers to the cheesy BLT ($11) – Colby and bacon on sourdough, with juicy, refreshing tomato slices in the middle to counter the richness.
Must Try: The strawberry cheesecake shake ($10), made with Danzeisen milk, topped with thick whipped cream and clotted with chunks of berries, sounds like a hypoglycemic nightmare, but it’s surprisingly light and cooling. The rim of the cup is dusted with graham-cracker crumbs, too.
Taste of Chase
Located just outside the first-level team shop, this nosh stand could be your one-stop spot for Chase Field goodies, offering highlights from other vendors around the park. Examples include the Hatch Valley cheesesteak ($12), a Southwestern spin on the City of Brotherly Love classic, with 505 Southwestern Green Chile sauce anointing the ribeye, presumably in lieu of Cheez Whiz. The same sauce was also showcased on my favorite TOC option, the frybread taco ($15), a large and heartily satisfying taco salad of carnitas, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and the aforementioned green chile dressing on a plate of frybread that grows more delicious the soggier it gets.
Must Try: The churro dog ($11) is the signature dessert of Chase Field: a cinnamon churro on a chocolate-frosted “long john” doughnut bun, topped with frozen yogurt, whipped cream and caramel, if you please. It’s available at churro carts near sections 114, 123 and 315.
Beloved D-backs slugger Luis Gonzalez, whose single in Game 7 closed the deal on the World Series back in 2001, lends his smiling mug and imprimatur to this poultry-centric peddler of Tyson Foods (near section 141). This isn’t Chase Field dining at its most refined: The chicken tenders ($10.50) – cooked in a heavy, crunchy batter – are perfectly edible, but strictly after-school snack fare (though the accompanying fries are nice and crispy). It is a good family option, and a portion of sales benefit “organizations that support police officers, firefighters and first responders across Arizona.”
Must Try: Chicken & Donuts ($11) is pretty much just what it sounds like: Tyson mini-nuggets paired with sweet, soft doughnut holes dusted with powdered sugar. And just in case they still aren’t sweet enough, they come with a side of maple syrup.
Game Seven Grill
Then again, you may prefer to get dinner or lunch out of the way before the game, so that you can concentrate on every pitch. If so, try this long, narrow barbecue pavilion opposite the gates nearest to the box office. Carnivores will appreciate the house-smoked pulled pork ($12.95), brined in Four Peaks Kilt Lifter, while non-carnivores will appreciate the Impossible Burger ($14.95), a tasty if not very moist plant-based patty with cheddar on a nice pretzel bun. Best of all are the rich Sonoran egg rolls ($12.95) – four Southwest-style appetizers stuffed with chicken, black beans, corn and cheese.
Must Try: It’s a must not try for me, but braver souls may prove their mettle against the Wicked Wings ($14.95), which the menu boasts are “The Hottest Wings in Baseball,” and proudly notes defeated the efforts of the host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food.
IF YOU GO
401 E. Jefferson St., 602-514-8400, dbacks.com