Food & Culture

Safeco Unveils New, Haute Menu, Complete with Oaxacan Grasshoppers

So long, Northwest Mex; hello Poquitos and grasshoppers

By Stephen Strom April 11, 2017


Last week, Centerplate, Safeco Field’s official catering and event partner, and Seattle restaurateur Ethan Stowell unveiled the ballpark’s new 2017 menu. Centerplate and Stowell have been culinary teammates since 2010, and again this year have revamped the menu, continuing the emphasis of locally sourced and fresh Pacific Northwest fare.

The ‘Pen, the destination for signature concessions, located next to the Mariners’ bullpen, has been refreshed with pizza by the slice from Stowell’s famous Ballard Pizza Company. You’ll want to grab pickle fries and “Seattle Wings” (Taylor Shellfish Farms fried oysters with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce) at Dynamite Chicken, because both will be worth any line. Great State Burger by Josh Henderson brings its selection of American burgers with the choice of organic chocolate, strawberry or vanilla milkshakes. If you’re daring, order a double at Edgar’s Cantina and munch on crunchy, authentic Oaxacan chapulines (toasted grasshoppers with chili-lime seasoning), served like a side of chips, or play it safe with a few traditional street-style tacos.

The list of gourmet ballpark food goes on. Classic Asian dishes by Uptown China is taking over the Intentional Wok at Section 133 on the Main Level. Also added to the lineup are Rita’s Italian Ice (main and view levels), Frozen Rope Sandwich Company (near Section 132) featuring made-to-order ice cream sandwiches and CB’s Nuts (Section 132, Main Level) the Northwest’s premier small-batch nut roaster. And if you’re reminiscing about the Kingdome in all of its glory, you can rejoice because the return of Fletcher’s “official hot dog of the Seattle Mariners” is back after a long hiatus from its 1990-1999 reign.

For those wanting to dive in head first into Seattle’s coffee scene, Caffé Vita is now Safeco’s official caffiene supplier; the local roaster will be slinging cold brew too, for the hot days you know are coming. Fans will also be able to enjoy more local beverage choices including Oregon’s Hop Valley Brewing, award-winning spirits by Heritage Distilling of Gig Harbor and barrel-aged ale from Redmond’s Black Raven Brewing.

Oaxaca chapulines (toasted grasshoppers with chili-lime seasoning)

Although there have been a few changes—like Poquitos taking over the Northwest Mex at Edgar’s Cantina, and Columbia Winery tapping in for Stimson Estate Cellars as the new “house” wine—it’s nice that even more local vendors have been invited to play. The partnership between Centerplate and Stowell at Safeco has helped launch the latest ballpark trend: locally-sourced concessions (items like the Crab Sandwich at AT&T Park of the San Francisco Giants, or the Taco Dog at Marlins Park of the Florida Marlins). Hopefully we’ll see even more ballparks get on board; for now, for Ms fans, regional ballpark food and a good game remain a truly Pacific Northwest pastime. 

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