Progressive Field
 Cleveland, Ohio        Date of Visit  05/10-12/11   

Having a three game set of our Tampa Bay Rays so close to home; we camped out at Progressive Field to watch our boys take on the Indians. Since we had found some interesting tidbits at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago we wondered if the home of the Tribe had added any culinary attractions to go with what appears to be a great season of baseball. Rain delays only added time for another snack although it must be miserable for starting pitchers. Having been to a number of ball fields over the past few years it’s really amazing how different they are.



Our fav is what has been dubbed “The Pit” in St Pete Florida. It’s not simply because it’s the home of the Rays…it is also weird (the catwalks, the furry muppet arm light fixtures, the rays touch tank, etc.) but it stands out compared to other parks. If you had a chance to read The Extra 2%  about the new regime in Florida you understand the difference. The building itself might have a number of drawbacks but the staff at the Trop is top notch. The amount of time and training invested in the guests having a good time is evident. In Cleveland there is a much more Draconian feel to the place. Complex rules about who can walk where…regardless of where your seats are. No you can't walk right to your seat you have to walk past the 18 nacho stands first. Like my brother says, "I like nachos...I also like $9." Being forced to push myself past the stand isn't going to make me any more likely to drop a ten on a dollar worth of nachos. Bad customer service and bad for business. I have always been in awe of concessionaires as they haul totes up and down the steps. Cleveland was the only place I was worried 90% of them were about to drop. They seriously look like they are going to collapse. What’s going to happen in July? There are a lot of parks that could use some thoughtfulness and training. Cleveland would be one of them. Everyone and everything just seems miserable. How was the food…here is what we tried from worst to best. We didn’t try everything we planned. Honestly the last day we were so miserable from the way we were treated we didn’t feel like trying anything and just watched the game. Too bad. There were a couple of things that looked interesting.


To date no ball park has served a soft "soft pretzel". The tub of Nacho Cheese helped some but someone has got to figure out a way to hold these things to keep them from petrifying.



The Bratwurst was fine and the mound of grilled veggies on top made for a tasty sandwich.




Called the Slugger, this half pound hot dog just ooozed juicy doggieness. I am a brat guy by heart but this sausage outdid the German version above today.




Somehow the Tribe has a partnership with the Food Network which has resulted in a single stand offering steak sandwiches. The Cleveland Classic has sauerkraut and Bertman’s brown Polish mustard. Wasn't sure how I would feel about Kraut and beef but it actually worked pretty well. The steak is well, ball park steak. Not great by any means but better than a lot of park fare.



The other steak offered in Cleveland is the Signature which features Maytag blue cheese, and sweet and spicy Peppadew-pepper mayonnaise on a French demi baguette. A little better than the Classic it suffered from the same steak and neither the pepper nor the blue cheese made much of an impact.


After we had ordered the steak sandwiches we just happened to notice a sign that said they also offered Buffalo Mac and Cheese. This stuff was by far the highlight of all three days. Intense cheese. Not kidding around spice. Chunks of chicken. If the general atmosphere in the park didn't make me angry and bitter I might have gone back for another bowl. But....




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