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May 20, 2009 at 4:21 PM

The Mariners and me — what to eat at an M’s game?

Last night, Nate and I went to Safeco Field to watch the Angels defeat the M’s. Actually, that’s not why we went, nor the outcome we’d hoped for. We went because (booooo! hisssss!) we’d never been to a ball game at Safeco and some very nice friends invited us along.

We root, root, rooted for the home team. They didn’t win. It’s a shame.

Besides, we wanted to be there to see Pearl Jam’s lead guitarist Mike McCready honor “Chron’s and Colitis Foundation Night” at Safeco by playing the national anthem. Plus, it was great fun watching one of Nate’s contemporaries, 10-year-old Elizabeth Smith, throw the first pitch.

Like most folks who take themselves out to the ball game, we were prepared to pack in a few calories, and after parking the car it immediately became evident that the options were endless. First thing I saw after wedging my Honda into a $7 slot just north of Pecos Pit BBQ was a taco truck. I figured I’d had plenty of Mexican food lately and held out.

Time for tacos.

Good thing, because once we made it to the corner of First Avenue and Edgar Martinez Way, past a multitude of hot dog, peanut and popcorn stands, I came across this vision parked directly in the shadow of that mighty field of dreams:

Skillet brings its bistro-style “street food” to Safeco Field

For a single moment, the clouds parted and I could hear the Angels singing (and you know what they were singing, don’t you?).

“We want a pitcher, not a glass of Aquafina!”

I had to stop right there and pull out my wallet. Why? Because despite the fact that the menu offered a limited edition of the usual Skillet fare (and prices are jacked up higher than normal), I just knew the pulled-pork sandwich with ginger slaw — coupled with Skillet’s incomparable fries — would be far better than anything I could get my hands on inside.

The pork’s hiding under that warm grilled bun, and trust me: this was worth $10.50

That said, I did ask for direction from this guy, Rik. When I asked where he’d eat if he were inside watching the game instead of outside doing his duty, he told me to meet “The Man” at Porter’s barbecue. By then I’d had my fill of ‘cue, but I figured I’d ask just the same — for obvious reasons.

Where to eat? Just askin’

Once inside, I could have had this Mojo Meal for $5 — half the price of my Skillet supper:

No charge for the condiments!

Or these nachos:


Who moved my (so-called) cheese?

There were plenty of burgers, dogs and fried foods everywhere we looked.

“Keep clam, over there! The Kid’s coming up to bail us out!”

Diet be damned! And pass those garlic fries.

“Mushrooms! Get your deep-fried mushrooms he-ah!”

I was pleased to find that I could have something other than the typical all-American favorites:

As a former Phillie’s fan, I’d likely try the cheesesteak

Among the international options were these:

“Intentional Wok”? Is that a typo, or was it intentional?

Beard Papa’s: I hear those Japanese eclairs are the cream of the crop.

No thanks, I had sushi for lunch.

Nate’s eyes got pretty big when he saw these:

“Forget it!” I said.

And even bigger when we walked by the Shishkaberry’s kiosk.

Yes, they have chocolate-covered “Dingleberries” — only $5.75

But I’d already bought him some dippity-do, or Dippity Dots, or whatever you call those nasty little pills made of who-knows-what.

Wait a minute! What are they doing on Nate’s DSi?

Don’t ask: there’s WiFi in the building and the guys from the Nintendo Fan Network were there, showing us how it’s done.

Forgot your Nintendo DS? They’ll rent you one for $10 or sell you one for $139.99. Oy.

My mini-techno-geek was beside himself with the knowledge that he could watch live video of the game, listen to the radio broadcast and compete against other fans in mini-games and trivia — on his hand-held. (He was planning on using the camera function.) Me? I was rolling my eyes and thinking, “Yeah, but we’re at Safeco Field with the Boys of Summer and Mike McCready! Why would you want to?”

And in case all you had with you was a smartphone, well. . .

Can you believe it? I can’t.

Speaking of Ichiro, it was great seeing him do what he does best:

Play ball!

The last time I saw Ichiro in the flesh, he and his wife were in Kirkland, entertaining friends at Cafe Juanita — while everyone else in the dining room was trying not to say, “Oh my God! Do you see who’s at the corner table?” Of course, Ichiro doesn’t have to eat Ichirolls while he’s at Safeco Field, because he can have what he wants, courtesy of Safeco’s chef-exec Tamas Ronyai — who rode the elevator with us when we finally made our way up to the third-level seating area. What a nice guy! He seemed surprised I wanted to take his picture, but since (cough!) I wasn’t working, I didn’t tell him why his photo might come in handy. Yo, Tamas! Next time, I want a tour of the M’s private dining room.

Safeco Field’s top toque, Tamas Ronyai

After settling in to watch the game I was truly happy to see that just like in the good-old-days, the food and drink still come to you.

Beer here!

It was cold up there on the 300-level with thunder and lightening competing with strikes of another kind, so while the mom sitting next to me ordered a Mike’s (“$7 here, $7 for a six-pack at home in Monroe”), I opted for some hot chocolate, which was lukewarm by the time it got to our seats.

Something to take the chill off. Or so I thought.

Nate threw away his Dippin’ Dots (“tropical” flavor? what was he thinking?) and we shared a pretzel, thanks to this smiling fella:

We should have stolen one of those Mojo Menu mustard-packets.

And can I tell you how glad I was to see this guy?

“What do want, when you’ve gotta have something, and it’s gotta be sweet and it’s gotta be a lot and you’ve gotta have it now?”

We had a good time, though I’ve got to come clean and admit we left halfway through the sixth inning because it was getting late — and there was another contest we just couldn’t stand to miss.

We’re number. . .oh, nevermind!

On our way back to the car, I noticed we weren’t the only ones who’d called it a night.

Next time, I’m having a grass-fed beef burger with cambazola and bacon jam

So now I want to know: What do you eat when you go to the Mariner’s game?

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