Play Ball, Let’s Eat

Baseball season is in full swing. Plan to come hungry and stay late. One thing is for sure; you won’t go hungry. Whether you nosh at The Trop or grab something to eat at Ferg’s before or after the game, DSTP and the Rays deliver on winning games (we hope!) and delicious diversions. Here’s what’s new and where to hang out.

The Trop’s New Chef

Executive Chef Marcelo Miranda is now in charge of all food operations at Tropicana Field, from the suites to the seats. A graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, he was formerly the executive chef for Turner Field, executive chef at the Kansas City Speedway, culinary director for the WinStar World Casino and he regularly performs volunteer work for local food networks.

New Eats

New to the lineup is the Urban Dugout, a food stand operated by Urban Restaurant Group. Their St. Petersburg restaurants—Urban Brew and BBQ, Urban Comfort, Urban Deli and Drafts and Urban Creamery—serve up fresh goodies prepared from scratch. The stand will feature a selection of favorites including their famous crispy fried chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles, homemade mac and cheese and delicious BBQ plates.

Fish Shack offers Florida seafood favorites, including delicious crispy fried fish sandwiches, fried seafood baskets and garlic crab fries. The Wine Cellar serves premium wines by the glass or full bottle carafe for fans to share in their seats. Enjoy a classic Cuban, Cuban burger or vegetarian Cuban(fresh grilled veggies and mozzarella cheese). The Burger Up! features a behemoth burger (locally sourced beef patty) between two buttery grilled cheese sandwiches. My favorite offered during day games is the Brunch Bloody Mary, a skewer of sausage, egg, chicken and waffles, bacon and donuts served in a keepsake mason jar.

Clubs and Suites

What’s Back? Taco Bus, Pipo’s and Evan Longoria’s Ducky’s restaurant all return this season, as well.  For the second year,  Rays and Green Bench Brewing—St. Petersburg’s first craft microbrewery—have partnered to create a beer just for the Trop: 4-Seam American Lager (4.8% ABV) will make its debut for the 2017 season.  

Craft Beers @ The Brewhouse: With 38 taps, the Brewhouse offers more variety than anywhere in the ballpark. From wheat beers and blonde ales to IPAs and a sour grapefruit Gose, the Everglades Brewhouse is the best spot to sample beer from St. Petersburg and beyond.

Sports Bars We Love

Don’t want to deal with crowds? Why not catch the game at some of our favorite sports bars.

At the beaches, The Guy Harvey Outpost serves up a Rays Watch parties where you can watch the Rays on a big screen TV right on the beach May 14, July 30, Aug. 27 and Sept. 24.  Rumfish Grill is a cool place to chill over tasty appetizers such as firecracker shrimp and Korean BBQ beef skewer.

Want to watch the game and enjoy the beach? Go local at Swigwam’s, Tapz on Corey Avenue, Caddy’s, The Wharf, The Roost, Mastry’s Brewery, Ft. Knox, The Pub, Sea Hags, Players Sports Bar and any of the tikis.

Head over to The Getaway, Courthouse Grill and BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Pinellas where fans from every team often gather.  Over in Tyrone, you can hang out with the boys of summer at the Buffalo Wild Wings, Sports Bar, Hooter’s or Outback Steakhouse or just hunker down in Madeira at the new Slyce (near Publix) or Angry Pepper (now owned by Ka’ Tiki).

Downtown, catch your favorite team at the Tap House (Hollander Hotel), Thirsty First, Caddy’s On Central, Five Bucks Drinkery, all the craft breweries (Green Bench, 3 Daughters) and especially Ferg’s, named the Best Hang-Out in Tampa Bay and one of CNN’s Top 101 Sports Bars in the U.S. Best of all, you can walk to the Trop from Ferg’s!

Article by Nanette Wiser

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