Porchetta on its own is a fatty adventure into the delicious world of roasted pork.
But when the slow-cooked Italian pork roast is wrapped inside a jacket of crispy pork belly, then sliced and sandwiched between ciabatta with caper-basil pesto, you’ve got a sandwich built for baseball.
OK, well, it is a little more highfalutin than your average ballpark dog, but that’s the bonus of a baseball stadium located in one of the best West Coast cities for getting your grub on.
Safeco Field’s concession managers, Centerplate, introduced new dishes, including the porchetta sandwich, to food writers last week at the stadium.
The dishes were designed by Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, owner of How to Cook A Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Bar Cotto and other Seattle restaurants.
Pork, naturally, plays big on a menu built to pair with beer. There’s also lots of cheese. And beer. Lots of beer. Here’s a look at what’s new this season, and where to find it at Safeco.
I’ll take the porchetta: The sliced-pork sandwich, rubbed in fennel pollen and rolled up in pork belly, is served on a chewy ciabatta roll. $12 at the Sultan of Sandwich in Section 105.
Beefy sandwiches: Thin-sliced prime rib, mounded six layers deep, swiped with horseradish cream (or gorgonzola cream sauce), is served with broadly sliced housemade kettle chips. $12 at the Sultan of Sandwich.
Cheese is still a big deal: The Big Cheese sandwich is a food biz match made in porky cheese heaven. Cottage-style bacon, from Ferndale bacon company Hempler’s, is layered with a blanket of melted jack cheese from Seattle’s Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. It’s served on buttery grilled brioche from Baker Boys, the Tacoma-based wholesale bakery. With a bag of Tim’s Cascade Chips, it’s $7 at the Big Cheese in Section 111.
Wings, without the grease: Fried is out, rotisserie is in. Wings and drumettes carried a light seasoning, but get extra points for texture. They also tasted, dare I say it, a little healthier? Not that anyone eating in a stadium would ever care about such a thing. Served with blue cheese dressing and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. $9.75 at the High Cheese Pizza and Wings locations (there are five throughout Safeco).
Say yes to waffles: Chocolate-dipped or sugar-dusted liege waffles are available plain or topped with fruit. They’re $5-$6 at the Sweet Iron Waffles stand in Section 136.
More pork, please: This was the best of everything sampled at the tasting. You should head directly to the stadium’s sausage stands — there are five spread throughout Safeco — for the spice-walloped double-smoked Hempler’s Polish dog. It’s one part juicy awesomeness and one part palate burner, the kind requiring an extra beer to relieve the sting. A hot link and jalapeno cheddar andouille also are available. $9.50 at the Safeco Field Sausage stands.
Beer me: Safeco already has fetched a reputation for having the best craft beer taps of any ballpark, but now the stadium has embarked on a slightly trendier beer endeavor — craft brew in a can. Find canned beer all over the park. New this year is gluten-free pale ale from Seattle’s Ghostfish Brewing; Irish Death Ale from Ellensburg’s Iron Horse Brewing; Interurban IPA from Seattle’s Fremont Brewing and Long Hammer IPA and ESB from Woodinville’s Red Hook.