Ranking five of the meatiest foodstuffs available at Petco Park
As many ballparks roll out ever more gargantuan hot dogs topped with things that may or not may not be classified as "edible," the Padres go the other way. Petco Park's dining options focus on making and selling "traditional" foods in the best way possible.
Of course, those traditional foods are still plenty tasty. So while in town for the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, we scoured the concourses for the most delectable, delicious and, yes, meaty items we could find. Here's our 1-5 ranking of what we consumed. <o:p>
1. The BBQ Broham Sandwich - Phil's BBQ
Kansas City, Texas, Memphis ... I love all BBQ. I haven't even eaten BBQ in two of those three places, but I fully endorse their meat, sauce, smoke and grill traditions. After experiencing the Broham sandwich from Phil's during the Home Run Derby, I'm also adding San Diego to the "approved" list (there is no other BBQ list). It was a little sweet and a little spicy and the cole slaw added a welcome crunch. It was also absolutely massive, more of a pulled pork dinner with a side of bun than a true sandy. It was good BBQ and it was from California. Feel free to @ me about that, but my fingers are probably still too sticky to answer. -- IK
2. Short Rib Tater Tots - The Patio in Left Field
French fries are divine, but when you're loading them up with meat, guacamole, sour cream, pico and cheese, you want something with a little more crunch. That's what sets these tots apart. Fried to a nice extra-crispiness, they hold up to the heft, saucitude and flavor of the toppings without turning into a mushy stew.
The dish does lose a few points for a rather flavorless guac, though. And that's a sentence I thought I'd never write. -- MC
3. Bacon cheeseburger - Hodad's
The equivalent of the Mets' Shake Shack in San Diego, Hodad's is an Ocean Beach mainstay and, more importantly, an amazing burger. Order a bacon cheeseburger, though, and things quickly ascend into heaven. When they handed my burger over, there was enough bacon that I thought they had mistakenly given me two patties. (Oh yeah, they also add a cheese slice to your bacon.)
Add in a thick slice of raw onion and more pickles than you've ever had on a single burger before and you've got peak burger. -- MC
4. BBQ Rib Dinner - Phil's BBQ
Petco Park has like 900 good food options, but I walked by Phil's again during the All-Star Game and ... Surprise! I'm still powerless to resist the siren smoke smell of animal protein cooking over low heat. This time I succumbed to the quarter-rack o' ribs, and several parents shielded their children's eyes from the carnage as I ate the entire plate one-handed while standing up on the grassy knoll beyond center field. I don't really remember anything that happened for the next two innings, but I also don't regret the decision. -- IK
5. Tri tip nachos - Seaside Market
Let's get this out of the way: In no way is this dish's ranking because of the burgundy pepper tri tip. The tri tip is marvelous. The tri tip is what I'd be willing to eat for every meal for the rest of eternity if I had to.
It's the rest of the dish that lets it down. The beef tops crisp tortilla chips and comes with nacho cheese, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. If the nachos stayed in the BBQ realm and dropped the cheese, it could have worked. If it used the tri tip in place of asada and went for more Mexican flavors and lost the ranch and BBQ sauce, it could have worked. Instead, it's like a finger painter going crazy with colors and it's all just one brown mess. -- MC