On where to find gluten-free food at AT&T Park, and love
SPORTS Did you see what Jed Lowrie (swoon) did last Wednesday, on the very day my column about him hit the streets? He propelled the A's to their first win of the regular season, going 3-3 with a walk, the game-winning 2-run double, and a home run. In fact he hit two doubles that game, then two more the next — also a win.
This means he loves me too. Although . . . it's hard to imagine he got a very good look from way down there on the field.
Well, I stand by everything I said about the new A's shortstop. In fact, taking his lead, I double it.
Almost everything else about last week's column, however, I have to retract.
Or correct. As in: of course the A's record-breaking 20-game win streak was in 2002, not 2001. Last year was the 10-year anniversary, and last year was 2012. And math is math.
More importantly, and even more wrongly, I said that AT&T has better concessions than O.co.
What I meant by that careless assertion was that AT&T has a greater variety of fancier (and generally bad) things to eat for even more money than O.co. I know because Hedgehog and I got ourselves to two of those Bay Bridge Series warm-up games, one on each side of the bay, by way of our own li'l Spring Training.
Surprise surprise. I can't believe a) how many people go to those games, b) how many innings they are willing to miss while standing in line for garlic fries, and c) that Oakland's garlic fries are better than San Francisco's.
What the -- ?
I thought I remembered AT&T's garlic fries being awesome, not to mention edible. True, their fryers, like Marco Scutaro, might not be in mid-season form, but you would think at least some of the fries would have at least some amount of crunch to them.
Nope. Greasy soggy seagull food, every single one.
O.co's garlic fries had a little more crunch to them for a couple dollars less, but then they don't have the gluten-free hot dog option over there, or gluten-free beer. I asked around, for my boo, who — believe it or not — is more into the game of the game than I am. Plus she was test-running a new score-keeping app she'd paid $10 for and couldn't leave her seat.
At AT&T, I'll tell you: the gluten-free stuff is at section 112 in the Promenade Level. Otherwise, you don't have to walk far in any direction to find all kinds of tempting yummies. To name a few: carving board sandwiches, bacon-wrapped hot dogs, Chicago dogs, and, for the tourists, clam chowder bread bowls and Dungeness crab on sourdough.
After about four-and-a-half innings of prowling, I pulled the trigger on a Cha Cha Bowl from Orlando's Caribbean Barbecue in the center field food court, and I paraded it back to our seats like a hunter bringing home her kill: Look, Boo! It's gluten free too!
Yeah, but not very good. Dry jerk chicken, white rice and black beans, with shredded carrots and zucchini. Best thing about it was the pineapple salsa on top.
Whereas . . . and this is a big whereas: O.co's gluten-free kill turned out to be barbecue barbecue. As in sloppy, sopping spareribs and sliced pork, or Ameri-cue. And it also turned out to be awesome. Not just for stadium food, either. It was legitimately good 'cue. And to think, last season I couldn't even find barbecue at Oakland games. Now this: Ribs n' Things.
Ribs n' Things, it turns out, is an actual restaurant in Hayward, and -- at the risk of reviewing a restaurant in my sports column -- let me tell you that I would go there, if I ever went to Hayward. That's how good it was. The best of both stadiums.
Okay. I conclude my two-part baseball season preview with sauce on my pants, yes, and the smell of barbecue under my fingernails. But as much as I love these things, and Jed Lowrie, the closing shot comes from the first night of the Bay Bridge Series, in San Francisco.
Not too cold, but not exactly warm either. It's been a beautiful Spring, rain and all. Hedgehog and I are huddled together in the upper deck, facing the bay, and there is that classic late-inning blizzard of seagulls going on around us. Really, it looks like it's snowing big white bird-shaped flakes, aglow in the stadium lights. The game and the greasy garlic fries have long since lost our interest, but this is something. It feels like we are on a first date. There's a big orange moon rising up over the water, attended by wisps of clouds. A plane flies in front of it. Its lights go: blink.