Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park

Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park
Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park – Signature Sausages, Fresh Craft Angus Burgers

Behind the Outfield Reserved seats at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, sits a “craft” food stand by Aramark.  Last season, the stand offered a handful of custom-stuff sausages, but in 2014 their menu has adapted to include just two sausage favorites – Italian and Buffalo Chicken.  “Craft” footlong hot dogs – Smokehouse Dog and Polish Hill Dog – are now offered for just $7.50 and may be the best value on the menu.  (I believe them to be new this season).

Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park Menu
Menu for the Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park in 2014

The Buffalo Chicken Sausage is a chicken sausage – a la buffalo wing – topped with a slaw of carrot and celery.  Pictured below, the sausage is served on a very large roll – too large in my opinion.  The slaw was fairly tasteless.  While I applaud Aramark for a craft creation and may be spectacular when served by the chef who created it, but I think the execution is lacking from the general concession stand employee.  Employees, who seemingly hate their job, were slinging food yesterday as fast as they could with little to no concern on how the food looked as it left the window.

Buffalo Chicken Sausage from Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park
Buffalo Chicken Sausage from Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park

Pictured below is the Polish Hill Dog AFTER many of the pieces had been picked back up and placed on the bun.  The dog is a simple footlong dog topped with fried pierogies and onion straws which according to TasteBudA was delicious.  I don’t think it beats the pulled pierogi stacker sandwich sold at Manny’s BBQ. I was disppointed that TasteBudA had to effectively re-assemble his hot dog to be on his bun before he ate it.  I was able to sneak a fresh onion straw and it was in fact delicious.

Polish Hill Dog from Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park
Polish Hill Dog from Riverwalk Grill at PNC Park

I think the hot dogs are a much better value than the sausages.  Looking ahead, I’d highly encourage Aramark to consider working with Franktuary, like they do with BRGR, to open a quality craft sausage/dog stand.  Getting more locally-owned restaurant menus into ball parks would be a great way to introduce Pittsburgh sports fans to restaurants they may not have had the change to adventure to around the city.

Pirate Parrot on the Riverwalk
Pirate Parrot on the Riverwalk about to go give away with the box of mystery
BRGR inside PNC Park behind Section 115

BRGR opens location at PNC Park

BRGR at PNC Park
BRGR at PNC Park behind Home Plate on the Main Concourse

Just like the people going to Consol Energy Center and enjoying Burgatory, burger-rivals BRGR have opened up a stand inside PNC Park in a prime location behind homeplate section 115. Pricing is elevated from regular BRGR prices as you might expect, but now you can get a locally crafted burger or milkshake while cheering on the Pittsburgh Pirates.

I think it is great that Burgatory, BRGR, Nakama, Primanti’s and other local restaurants are gaining exposure through Pittsburgh sporting venues. I just hope that guests realize that going to the restaurant is a much different experience.

BRGR on Urbanspoon

Gourmet Ballpark Food available at Miller Park in Milwaukee

Step Up to a Full Plate Booth sponsored by Food Network
Step Up to a Full Plate Booth at Miller Park sponsored by Food Network

On the TasteBud’s latest excursion outside of Pittsburgh, we ventured to the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Milwaukee is known for their beers, brats and cheeses, so it was much to my delight that I came across a Food Network booth at Miller Park (named one of America’s Best Pallparks) which went beyond those key ingredients to give me some variety in my weekend.  This “Step Up to a Full Plate” booth, took some spins on some classics.  PNC Park would be very fortunate to be a part of a program like this.

Menu included Buffalo Mac N' Cheese and Bacon Sloppy Joes
Menu included Buffalo Mac N' Cheese and Bacon Sloppy Joes

Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese and Bacon Sloppy Joes were the two options offered during the Brewers/Pirates series, each for only $7.50.  Feeling confident I knew what the Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese would taste like, I opted for the Bacon Sloppy Joes.  The sandwich wasn’t large but was quite delicious.  Adding bacon to the traditional sloppy joe sandwich gave it a nice smoky, almost barbequed, flavor.  The addtion of the pepperjack cheese gave it a little spicy, heat kick.  And the fried onions – not from a can – added a fried, crunch.  Sure it might sound like there was a lot going on in the sandwich, but it was a delicious take and something that you certainly wouldn’t expect to get at a ballpark.

Gourmet ballpark food like this should be available at ballparks across America.
Gourmet ballpark food like this should be available at ballparks across America.

Happily, the Pirates won the night I ate this sandwich.  Perhaps if it was offered at PNC Park, I wouldn’t be such bad luck when I attended the games locally.  Because, of course, I’m a good luck charm after I’ve had some good food.




Pulled Pork Pierogi Stacker

Take me out to the Ball Game for a Pulled Pork Pierogi Stacker

This baseball season I had the pleasure of attending the 2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Home Opener vs the Colorado Rockies.   It was a beautiful spring day, people arrived early for tailgating and fans were eager for the afternoon game to begin with an always high hope and faith true sports fans have for their home town team.

While at the game I decided to take a walk around beautiful PNC Park where I came across a BBQ food stand on the outfield river walk called Manny Sanguillens.  You can’t miss it, the barbecue grill fills that end of the stadium with delicious smells and smoke that a typical BBQ would bring.   On the menu at Manny Sanguillens, they have a sandwich that was absolutely amazing called the Pulled Pork Pierogi Stacker served on a salted bun.

The sandwich itself is $7.50, which includes that Tax and is a very good deal since it filled me up to last me keeping me happy for the rest of the ball game.

The Pirates may have lost the game, but PNC Park has a winner with this amazing sandwich!  Go give it a try!