Centerplate, the company that oversees the culinary operations at Safeco Field introduced a host of new options last season. The easy response would be to decry the yuppification of a baseball stadium away from the standard hot dogs and peanuts and maybe make a comparison to Seattle as a whole. I think that's short-sighted and a cantankerous attitude though. Variety is interesting and as someone who can never anticipate what food I will end up craving, except to know that it will not be whatever I ate last, I appreciate having lots of options.
They aren't standing pat in 2011 either and continuing the diversity trend, they're also rolling with the foodie movement ongoing in Seattle currently. Ethan Stowell who runs Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, How to Cook a Wolf and Staple + Fancy is consulting on revamping the whole market to make it more restuaranty and will also open up two new stands. Hamburg + Frites will be a burger joint and La Crêperie will serve crepes because crepes are awesome and why not?
If you aren't from Connecticut, you might not be familiar with apizza, a regional style of pizza native to New Haven. Apizza is closest in resemblance to Neapolitan style. Among the many great pizzerias in New Haven, perhaps the most highly regarded is Modern Apizza, being named one of the best ten pizza places in the country by Playboy and having won a reader poll in New Haven 12 years running. The man who runs Modern Apizza, Bill Pustari, will be opening up the creatively named, Apizza.
Roberto Santibañez is one of the better known Mexican cuisine chefs in the country. He's running or has run eateries and food trucks across the US and Mexico to great acclaim. See here, here, here and here. He will have either one place called Flying Turtle Cantina/Tortugas Voladoras or those might be two separate restaurants. I cannot tell from the releases. I have a hunch that they will be serving Mexican food.
Not only is this an increase in choices, but based on the people involved, a big push to increase the quality as well. Coupled with the permissibility of being able to bring your own food in and Safeco might be rapidly becoming among the best stadia at which to eat. That's a plus because if the product on the field sucks, at least the products in the concourse can be captivating.
Not everyone will be interested in the new fare or what it will likely cost, but that's okay. Nobody forces you to purchase concessions. Besides, the hot dogs are still there, the pretzels are still there, the peanuts are still there and you better believe the beer is still there.