Monday, April 4, 2011

Padres Pre-Game Dining

I like food.

A lot.

When you read my About Me, you'll notice food items are mentioned twice. Moreover, I like combining food with an event. When planning a Super Bowl party, the first thing you should think about is food. Going to watch the National Title game somewhere? Only if that place serves wings. So it seemed a no-brainer that, as the home Opener for the Padres 2011 season is finally upon us, that I provide a small primer on pre-game dining options prior to heading to Petco.

I opened this up to some people on Twitter to try and get a bit of a cross section of places. So without further adieu, play ball and bon appetit!

Rocky's Crown Pub
3786 Ingraham St San Diego, CA 92109

Recommended By: Left Coast Bias

There is perhaps no more divided argument in San Diego than the battle between Rocky's and Hodads. You can go ahead and put me in the Rocky's camp. Firmly. There is no better burger in San Diego. And it's simple (this being the all important tie-breaker when comparing Rocky's to Hodads). You can choose between two sizes, 1/3 or 1/2, cheese or no cheese and that's about it. Cold beer on tap, hot peppers as the bar snack and televisions everywhere, Rocky's is to me an ideal lunch spot prior to a night (or 5:30pm on Saturdays) game. Beach morning, Rocky's lunch, Padres night game. That my friend, is a good day.
Cash Only.

Lolitas Mexian Food
202 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92101

Recommended By: @AIChief_AJm, @jodes0405

Every single time I go to a Padres game a I see this place. Full disclosure, I've never been. Not for lack of desire. Not sure why, but this is the season for Lolita's, certainly after it was recommended by multiple people within minutes of asking for Padres fans favorite pre-game dining options. I do know this. You could nearly play RF from this restaurant and they serve carne asada fries. Mmmmm...carne asada fries.

Proper Gastropub
795 J St. San Diego, CA 92101

Recommended By: Left Coast Bias, @jodes0405

Another location that is so close to the park you could practically be the 10th player on the field, Proper Gastropub has a "view" of the field though, to be honest you can't really see the game other than on the big screen behind the batters eye. This is the restaurant for those who have a slightly more refined palette, or just want to pretend they do. The Black and Tan Mac & Cheese and the pizzas are personal favorites. They also serve Alesmith on tap, which is a surefire way to get me into your bar at least once.

Tilted Kilt
310 10th St San DIego, CA

Recommend By: Left Coast Bias, @FtblSickness

More often than not, if it's within an hour of game time and I'm in the Gaslamp, I'm here. It's right next to the right field gate, it has HUGE TV's that are everywhere and they serve giant beers. Yes it's a chain, though a small chain by chain standards, but in my mind it's good, quick bar food in a convenient location.

And I like pleated skirts. So sue me.

Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria
3448 30th St. San Diego, CA 92104

Recommended By: Left Coast Bias

I lived in Chicago for three years right after graduating college and in that brief time I acquired a taste for a few things: pickles on a hot dog, Italian beef, drinking until 5am, and deep dish pizza. On the West Coast, there are plenty of places that claim to serve "Chicago Style Pizza." They lie to you. If you want to know what a Chicago pizza taste like, get yourself to North Park and dig in. Lefty's is tiny, so get it to go and take it with you to the game. And thank me later.

Pizzeria Luigi
1137 25th St. San Diego, CA 92102

Recommended By: Left Coast Bias

More of a NY pizza fan? May I direct you to Pizzeria Luigi's then? The Golden Hill location is about 10 mins from Petco and is, in my mind, the superior NY pizza in San Diego (Bronx Pizza an honorable mention). Another great "buy-by-the-slice" if you are so inclined, I'm particularly fond of the ricotta cheese and tomato sauce pie they do.

Dussini Loft Bar
275 5th Ave San Diego, CA 92101

Recommended By: @nomatophobic

Add another place to my "2011 To-Try" List with Dussini. I'm told they have excellent sliders and really, who doesn't like a slider? I also like the idea of going gin martini prior to a game. You know, to be fancy. Be warned though, I'm told you may find Cubs fans here, coping with their existence as a Cubs fan.

Honorable Mentions:
Here are a few more places that I like and were mentioned to me as good pre-game options. But the National Title game is on and this blog post is getting long.

1) The Yardhouse (via @SanDiegoJosh): Chain? Yes. Awesome? Yes. Best Mac & Cheese I've had? Probably.

2) Tin Fish: Close to the park. Simple and fish tacos. Everything you need in a San Diego experience.

3) Basic: Can be a little clubby for some but I like the pizza.

4) Fidels: I put this here only because it is by far my favorite Mexican restaurant in SD county. Nowhere near the park (Carlsbad and Solana Beach) but if you are coming down from North County, build in some time for Fidel's.

5) Brian's American Eatery: A horrible omission from my earlier post, so I had to edit and add Brian's. It's 24 hour diner at its best, so it can be your pre, post and much later post-game dining destination.

6) Bring your own food! One of the coolest things about Petco to me is that you can bring in your own food. Grab a sandwich or burrito and walk right in. Because in the end, your night is ending with watching live Padres baseball.

1 comment:

nomatophobia said...

Reporting back on the pre-game dining situation. I found a new one that really deserves mentioning. This one was recommended by my coworker, whose taste doesn't seem to lean on the side of the barely tolerable lunches (Lean Cuisine, etc..).

Bareback Grill at 624 E. Street - - New Zealand style burgers and sandwiches.
Short walk to Petco.

Multiple large screens showing lots of different games. While we were there, we got to watch the hockey game, a surf video, basketball and some baseball no one cared about. Excellent rugby decor that I'd like to steal and hang on my ceiling. Lots of island tropical junk. Cute ambiance but can be a little loud and tough to hold a conversation.

Food was excellent. All burgers have the option to be veggie burger-ized which meant my vegetarian date didn't have to sit outside while I dined. He had the Kiwilango Burger: a gutbuster of jalapeno, blue cheese, hot sauce, tortilla chips.
I had the Sheila's Cracked: fried egg, beetroot, edam cheese.

Both were friggin delicious. Also had a side of sweet potato fries with garlic aioli sauce, wasabe sauce of some kind also. And it was all better than mother's milk.

Speaking of - the tap choices were great. Both of us had a Yellowtail 5%, but they had a few locals and nothing to shake a stick at.

A quote: "This is better than Burger Lounge". May not say a lot to some people, but it was a bold statement to me.

It really helped to soak up the Padres letdown. A silver lining, if you will.

Happy eating.