Robert Gundran

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Peanuts and Crackerjacks? Try Dutch Bros. and Portillo’s at Chase Field this season

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks have added a popular coffee shop and Italian cuisine to their ballpark options this season. Fans will also be able to stroll down memory lane in the center field concourse with the addition of a food stand named after a World Series hero and a makeshift museum reflecting key franchise moments.

Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall introduced the addition of two Valley favorites to the Diamondbacks’ concessions roster Wednesday and showcased a new virtual reality game.

Chase Field will add Dutch Bros. Coffee in sections 124 and 305, where fans will be able to load up on caffeine before and during games. However, Hall didn’t say if their ultra-friendly baristas will make their way to the ballpark.

“I know my daughter, wife and entire family is thrilled (Dutch Bros.) will be here,” he said.

Portillo’s, which specializes in Chicago-style favorites such as hot dogs, Italian beef and Italian sausages, was added in section 110.

In addition to the new venues, four new food items were introduced by Levy Restaurants Chase Field Executive Chef Stephen Tilder.

Tilder showed off a fried chicken bahn mi, steak and ale tots and The Curd & Q Burger, as well as the Asada Dog, which Tilder called a “wow” item.

The Asada Dog is an 18-inch hot dog topped with a layer of french fries slathered in white queso, carne asada, pico de gallo and guacamole. It’ll be available at Big Dawgs in Section 126.
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“This is our big item,” Tilder said. “It’s not meant for one person. It’s great to take back to your seats for the family.”

The fried chicken banh mi is one of three brand new food items that will be offered at Taste of Chase in Section 130. It’s a food truck fusion of Vietnamese and French cuisine, Tilder said. The sandwich will have a crispy chicken patty on a sub roll with carrots and pickled radishes. It will also have garlic-cilantro aioli to top it off.

For fans that don’t mind getting their hands dirty, Taste of Chase will also add some loaded tots and a cheese curd burger to the menu.

The Curd & Q Burger is a standard beef patty on top of a bed of coleslaw topped with barbecue pulled-pork slathered in sauce. On top of that are four deep-fried white cheddar cheese curds. The sweet barbecue sauce and savory cheese curbs combine to make a unique burger.

The steak and ale tots are a collaboration with Four Peaks Brewing Co. The tater tots will be covered in Four Peaks Kilt Lifter cheese sauce and topped with shaved, Philly-style ribeye meat, mushrooms, onions and chive sour cream.

“Loaded fries are really popular right now, so we’re taking it to the next level,” Tilder said.

Another addition to the ballpark will be found just past the seats in left field, right behind where Diamondbacks legend Luis Gonzalez used to play. That’s where the aptly-named Gonzo’s Grill will sit. Its entire menu will be primarily chicken-based items.

Gonzo’s Grill partnered with Tyson Foods to serve everything from chicken fingers and popcorn chicken to chicken wraps and sandwiches.

“I’m a big fried food guy,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve always loved chicken. I grew up a big Wade Boggs fan, and he was a big chicken eater. He’s a Tampa Bay guy and a hometown hero to me.”

A portion of all sales at Gonzo’s Grill will go towards charities that help first responders and firefighters.

Gonzalez, who became a local hero after his walk-off single to win Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, said that it has been special to be recognized by the Diamondbacks organization throughout and after his career.

Gonzalez also showed off a virtual reality game in the center field concourse.

Players wear headgear which gives them a full 360-degree view of an animated version of Chase Field. They are placed in the batter’s box and get an opportunity to see how many home runs they can hit in two minutes.

“It should be a lot of fun for our fans,” Gonzalez said. “It only took two minutes and I got 10 or 11 swings.”

A wing of the stadium in the center field concourse has also been renovated to display accolades, achievements and key moments throughout Diamondbacks history. The 20th Anniversary Stadium will feature every Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and Cy Young Award won by a member of the Diamondbacks.

“We also have a ball wall, which has an autographed ball from nearly every play and coach that was a part of our organization,” Hall said.

Hall said the 2001 World Series trophy will also be on display, and the series will be on a video loop at all times.

All food items, stands and attractions will be available on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies on March 29.

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