Beyond peanuts and Cracker Jack: PNC Park’s new lineup of food includes some heavy hitters




The Pirates return to PNC Park on Monday for the start of the 2015 season, and along with several new faces on their roster, the team is trotting out some new eats.

You’d be best to bring your appetite along with your wallet. A packet of Alka-Seltzer probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Depending on the location of their seats, fans will be able to feast on everything from a pork-topped, super-sized hot dog stuffed in a pretzel bun to a 6-inch-tall slice of red velvet cake to gourmet small plates prepared by one of Pittsburgh’s hottest chefs.

One dish sure to be a hit with big eaters is the aforementioned Cuban Pretzel Dog. Nestled in a pretzel bun imported from Germany, the 12-inch dog comes topped with diced ham, house-smoked pork, mustard and house-made pickles. It’s available for $9 at the Riverwalk Grill in section 144.

“We’re always excited about creating new menu items” for PNC, said Steve Musciano, general manager of Aramark, food provider for the ballpark. “This is one of the first ones we brainstormed.”

Other new general concessions items include the Custom Grind Burger ($12), a chuck and short rib burger topped with American cheese, garlic pickles, Roma tomatoes and red onions; the Polish Hill Cheesesteak ($12), which features shaved kielbasa with sauteed peppers and onions and Rivertowne Lager cheese sauce; and your choice of Sriracha, Ranch-Dusted or Maxwell’s Scottish Ale BBQ Wings ($14.50).

 

Aramark’s twist on the caprese salad — the Roasted Pepper Salad ($8.50) — pairs arugula with pesto, shaved onions and buffalo mozzarella.

Salads will change throughout the season, as different veggies come to market, Mr. Musciano said.

New dishes from concessionaire Levy Restaurants for club- or suite-level ticket holders include the Strip District Burger, topped with sweet and sour slaw and fries; a melt-in-your-mouth tender Smokin’ Brisket Sandwich, with Sriracha slaw and spiced pickles; and Barbecued Chicken Sandwich, with cheddar and bourbon BBQ sauce.

New desserts include Chocolate Mocha and Red Velvet cakes and Fluffernutter Pie.

Prices will run from $7 to $10, Levy executive chef Adam Holt said.

The “Best in the Burgh” chef series, meanwhile, will feature food from celebrity guest chefs such as Bar Marco’s Jamilka Borges, who for Thursday’s event whipped up a Puerto Rican version of ceviche: thin slices of amberjack fish with fresh ginger and lime on a crispy plantain chip.

New gathering spaces include a two-level standing-room terrace with drink rails behind the left field bleachers and a full-service Terrace Bar outfitted with seven flat-screen HDTVs on the park’s upper concourse. Also new is the Corner, a 40-foot-long bar at the base of the left field rotunda. Church Brew Works and Penn Brewery are among the 21 breweries offering 43 craft beers throughout the park.

Another new feature is an outdoor patio overlooking center field known as the Porch. But you’ll need to know someone to land a seat: it sold out all 81 home games before it was even built, said team president Frank Coonelly, who led the tour.

Mixing business with pleasure?

Fans will be able to hold meetings in the park’s new 1,600-square-foot Pirates Business Center on game and nongame days.

One thing you won’t find is calorie counts, because the new federal law requiring them doesn’t go into effect until next year, Mr. Musciano said.


Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay. First Published April 9, 2015 2:12 PM




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