remembering tony gwynn + petco park food
Jake and I have been to a few Padres games at Petco Park this year… more than any other year (so far: four games)! Half of those games have been due to the new $10 Toyota Tuesdays where you can get Toyota Terrace seat tickets for – you guessed it – $10 (did I give that one away?). Toyota Terrance is on the second level at Petco Park so it’s pretty close to the field. Good seats!
Since we have a few games under our belt now, I can tell you what some of the good foods are and what some of the bad foods are.
For instance! These are the $1 tacos featured on Taco Tuesday. There are only a couple of places to get these at Petco Park and they are NOT worth it.
They are chicken tacos with a tiny bit of onion and cilantro on barely warm tortillas. The chicken was dry and unseasoned and there’s a table filled with mostly empty hot sauces so you can try and liven these up but ultimately you will be sad that A) you stood in line forever for these and B) that they just have no flavor what so ever. Do not be tempted by the allure of $1 tacos! It is crap!
On one of our adventures to the park, we were walking around and Jake spotted a foodie booth that said “Tri Tip”. Being naturally drawn to things that say “tri tip” on them, he wandered closer and discovered they had something called “Tri Tip Nachos” so we decided to try it out. It costs like $9 but it is WORTH IT.
You get a bed of nachos topped with a cheese sauce (NOT nacho cheese but like a cheese sauce made with real cheese not that proceeded crapola they try to tell you is cheese), lots of tri tip goodness, BBQ sauce, sour cream and green onion. They also do pico de gallo on it but Jake and I prefer it without that. The flavors of the BBQ sauce, cheese, and sour cream and divine together – it creates this hot, gooey, delicious mess and the sour cream cools it down just a touch. The green onion gives it that snap of freshness. This is my new favorite ballpark food item!
My other discovery was their Kielbasa dog! I walked all over the park looking for Kielbasa, too. I saw hot dogs (no, thanks), Super Dogs (nope), bratwurst (noooo) until I finally found the Kielbasa on the field level near the Padres store (up one level from the Store) around the 3rd base line. You can’t really tell from this photo but this sucker is about the length of my forearm! You can get onions and peppers but I don’t care for peppers – only onion love, please! And mustard of course. Don’t talk to me about ketchup. This also sets you back about $9 but it’s huge, filling, and delicious so also worth it if you ask me.
If you’re feeling a little hungry and a little crazy, check out this Kielbasa with Pulled Pork dog. It is a 1/2 lb. kielbasa (!!) topped with pulled pork… I discovered this at last night’s game in the Padres Hall of Fame bar in the Western Metal Building. You’re not allowed to go out onto the deck anymore at the Western Metal Building – special tickets only – but you can peruse the foods in here! They have kettle chips, loaded kettle chips, sushi (yes, $16 sushi at the ballpark), cubanos, Sonora dogs and these babies!
I had mustard and onions added as well and it comes with a side of kettle chips for a whopping $12.50. Luckily this thing is huge and feeds more than one person though. I personally ate like maybe a 1/4 of it… it was just so darn BIG. The cotija cheese on top was maybe a little too much and it’s slightly hard to eat, but if you’re got the appetite and the stomach for it, check this one out! I’d probably just get the regular plain old normal kielbasa for next time but it was fun to try this out.
Pro-tip: if you don’t plan on knocking back the beers, you can sign a little form and get a voucher for a free non-alcoholic beverage good at any Petco Park concession stand. Save yourself a few bucks with this one! All you have to do is fill out a little form that states you pledge to not drink before, during or after the game and put in your name, address, email and phone number. Tear off the coupon at the bottom and hand the person your filled in form – viola, all done! You do have to be over 21 for this. You can sign up for the Designated Driver Program at any Guest Services Center, the Designated Driver kiosk near Gaslamp Gate, or the Toyota Terrace Concierge Desk. Sign ups conclude at the end of the 5th inning.
One of our recent games was when we attended the first home page after Tony Gwynn’s passing (in addition to last night’s game). We sat on the third base side both times. The Padres won that day AND they won last night so now apparently we have to always sit on the 3rd base side when we go…
Jake is pretending to be Popeye here, if you can’t tell.
Before the game, they showed Tony Gwynn’s induction speech when he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the scoreboard.
In right field, the position that Tony Gwynn played, had the number #19 etched into the field.
Right before the game started, the Padres came out onto the field to pay special tribute to Mr. Padre.
After the game we headed over to check out his statue and see the tributes people had left in his memory.
The thing I always liked the best about Tony Gwynn was how he stayed with one team for his entire career. He could have left and made millions more money somewhere else, but he decided to stay in San Diego. He had great integrity and worked hard to accomplish the things he did in his life. He’ll be missed by all San Diegans!