Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ballpark Food at PETCO Park!

We love our Padres so we try to make it to as many games as we can.  Since my parents are half-season ticket holders, we've been fortunate to attend a fair amount of games which has allowed us the wonderful opportunity to try some of PETCO's finest food attractions.  Some are winners and some are losers.  I'm going to do my best to give you our personal take on what we've tried so far and how we liked it.  I welcome your thoughts too, since we haven't tried everything! 

Two carts that I find most intriguing are FriarFit and Gluten Free.  FriarFit seems like a great idea - I always come to the ballpark to find healthy foods.  Okay, but seriously, there were people in line, so someone had the right idea.  But Gluten Free?  I know some people need to exclude gluten from their diet, but I also partially think some people are doing it as a fad right now.  We'll see if the Gluten Free cart is around next year.

Moving into the Western Metal Supply building, there are several good food stations.  However, the first thing that catches my eye, is the beautiful blue glow from the bar. 
This is a unique space.  The original brick building is structurally impressive and they converted this floor into quite the social scene.  There is an outdoor sitting area that is open to all; to regulate the crowd, they rotate people every 3 innings, I believe. 

Some of the best food stations are here inside the Western Metal Supply - carved brisket sandwiches, nachos with all the toppings in the world, sausages of all types (including the Sonora, which is a spicy sausage wrapped in bacon).  It's all pricey, but what isn't at the ballpark.  For what you get at these stations, it seems to be worth it, compared to the basic hot-dog and nacho stands. 
The brisket is pretty darn good, as long as you dress it up.  The meat on it's own is bland, but it comes with bbq sauce and coleslaw.  The trick is to put this all together, including the coleslaw on top, and then you have an extremely messy, but very tasty sandwich!  The portions are huge, which does not necessarily equate to good in my book, but you do get your monies worth. 
Another bar within Petco Park is on the Field level in the "Mercado".  It's towards the back and has some great views of the convention center and railroad tracks. 

This is also a full bar, with slushy drinks (never tired them), and some decent beer on tap.  Lately, I've been enjoying a refreshing Widmer with a lemon wedge. 

The "Mercado" is a food court.  They have your basics, but then they also have Rubio's and Anthony's Fish Grotto.  I've eaten the fish and chips from Anthony's a few times (like once per season) and keep thinking I like it and then after I get it, realize I was mistaken...or else they've gone down hill in the last couple of years.  The must for the fish and chips, is to top them both with the malt vinegar and lemon.

Now onto our favorite item at the ballpark - Rubio's shrimp burrito.  A mildly spicy burrito that is packed with pinto beans, rice, salsa fresca, cheese, chipotle sauce, and shrimp that pop in your mouth. 
It's the same shrimp burrito you would get at a Rubio's restaurant, but I am impressed with how fresh it tastes.  The shrimp aren't rubbery, there are actual jalepeno peppers in there, and freshly diced tomatoes.  Reasonably priced and big enough to split, you definitely get a bang for your buck.  Nice job, Rubio's.

If you want something more basic, outside of hot-dogs, they also have Ruby's for burgers and Oggi's for pizza.  I give kudos to Oggi's for trying something a little unique at the ballpark, their Padres slice - tomatoes (2 slices), spinach, and a few specks of feta - but it just isn't that good.  I must preface this with also saying that I've never liked Oggi's pizza to begin with, so I'm not surprised that I didn't care for this one.  Funny thing, though, is that I've ordered this a few times.  I'll have that craving for pizza and always think it may be better than the last time.  It's not, but it's pizza.

I haven't touched on Randy Jones BBQ.  When the Padres were at Qualcomm, I pretty much saturated myself in Randy Jones items, so I hardly get it anymore since we've moved to the new ballpark.  It may be time, though.  I can't live on shrimp burritos alone. 

You may have noticed I didn't mention anything sweet.  I don't do sweets at the ballpark.  It's probably because I'm normally drinking beer, and the ballpark doesn't have a beer that would pair nicely with ice cream.  So instead, here are some of the beautiful sights at the ballpark.
But of course what surpasses all of this, is the game and the people watching.  Depending on the game, sometimes people watching wins out! 

When we were taking the scenery photos on the upper deck level, we noticed a lady walking towards us that appeared to have some OCD tendencies. She made it her mission to touch the flowers as she strolled the length of the walkway.  We were in her way, but stood our ground since we were curious to see what would happen.  She went around us, but didn't break her pattern, and continued until the end of the flower bed. 

We do enjoy the games and have been lucky enough to be in attendance for 2 grand slams this year!  To Mark's dismay, we only saw one of the grand slams since he agreed to accompany me on my photo scenery tour, so therefore missed one of them.  We heard the crowd, caught the end of it on the tv screen, but Mark may hold it against me for a little while longer. 

I urge all locals to visit PETCO Park and support our #1 San Diego Padres!


  1. Yum. I love cole slaw - so that slaw on top of your brisket sandwich looked heavenly. We've only been to one game this season, but we need to go more to support and to explore the foods that you mentioned. Seriously had no idea about most! Great story about the lady and the flowers. Happy 4th, Jen!

  2. I was Gluten-Free for 5 years- not by choice. I would have been ecstatic to have been able to eat out at major sporting event! I'm still happy that it's there for the many San Diegans I know, but I wish it had come sooner.

  3. I know my commentary in the post may have been a bit harsh, but I totally understand people who need to go gluten-free for whatever dietary reasons and I do commend the Padres for having that option at the ballpark. Hopefully it will still be around! Thanks for the comment!

  4. I love my Padres! I'm a native so I've been going to games since I was a wee lass. Love the new ballpark and its food! let's get a tweetup going at the Park in the Park. I'll work on that. Oh, and thanks a lot, now I'm starving! : )

  5. Thanks so much for posting about the gluten free options! This post was mentioned on and although we fully understand your comment on the fact that many people treat it as a fad, there are many of us who truly do feel the terrible effects of gluten on our bodies. Regardless, thank you for mentioning the GF options at the park. Finally, we can eat something there!


  6. Hi Mary! Yes, I'm a native as well and love going to games. If you want any help with tweetup there, let me know!

  7. Hi Nate! I'm glad it was helpful. The cart is on the Field Level in the food area called "Mercado". It is at the end by the railing. New improvement this year...they now have Gluten Free Beer!