Some of the new food you will find at Seahawks home games this season: a sandwich from the famed Salumi in Pioneer Square, pho and a kimchi hot dog.
In hopes of upping its food game, the concession group for the Seahawks has signed some big names to its starting lineup. Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Pioneer Square will sell sandwiches at four games at CenturyLink Field this season. Din Tai Fung, which had one concession stand last season, will get three now to hawk its wonton soup. Manu’s, a popular Pioneer Square lunch spot that made a cameo last season, will have a permanent concession stand to sell nachos and tacos.
At a time when food at baseball ballparks has been getting more buzz than at football stadiums, the Seahawks, like many NFL teams, are playing catch-up. The First & Goal Hospitality group, which is in charge of providing food at Seahawks home games, announced Monday that it will also feature pork belly banh mis and, its most ambitious item to date, pho. Executive Chef Michael Johnson said the kitchen will cut up the briskets and rice noodles to make the pho easier to eat.
The increase in Asian comfort food comes at a time when many Seahawks fans are making Chinatown-International District their pregame meal destination. Johnson is pulling out all the stops to get you to eat inside the stadium.
He has recruited restaurants in Sodo, Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District to run food stands in a stadium area designated as “Night Market,” with a rotating roster of a dozen local restaurants. Salumi has signed up for Night Market to sell its hot Soppressata sandwich with tapenade, garlic sauce, fresh mozzarella, roasted red pepper and baby arugula.
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Johnson has also added more organic and locally sourced meat and food to concession stands.
In the last five years, the most notable sporting-event foods arguably have come out of ballparks. Seattle is exhibit A. Last spring, the Mariners made headlines nationally by offering fried grasshoppers at home games. Big names such as chef Ethan Stowell and the bartender behind the acclaimed bar Rob Roy in Belltown also joined the roster.
Vendors tend to favor baseball games. Baseball’s slower pace makes for a better eating environment. It’s also logistically easier for vendors since eaters are spread out over nine innings instead of a surge at halftime and between quarters. Plus, football fans already come full from tailgating. And there are only eight home games compared to 81 home games in baseball.
Chef Johnson wants to make a case that grub at football games can be just as sexy and compelling. If using a spoon and chopsticks for pho is too challenging, the stadium also offers a pho burrito, which it rolled out last season.
The goal is to show that football stadiums have more than just hot dogs, Johnson said. “We want people to know that we are passionate about food. We have chefs who care about food.”
New concession food for this season:
- Cheesesteak ($13) with peppers, onions, cheese sauce; Cheesesteak Portable at section 132
- Kimchi Dog ($9) with cilantro and mirin lime aioli; Seattle Dogs stands at sections 109, 124, 135, 149, 313, 324, 331 (Note: Seattle Dogs will run a $12 special that includes two hot dogs, two waters and a bag of popcorn)
- Pho ($13) with braised beef brisket, rice noodles, Thai basil, bean sprouts, Fresno chilies and beef broth made from Pho Cyclo; Pan Pacific Bistro Stand at section 208
- Smokehouse Wings ($13), sweet-tea brined and Applewood-smoked chicken with a hot honey glaze; Club Smokehouse at sections 214 and 230
- Kaffeeklatsch Pretzel ($5 regular, $10 for one-pound pretzel) with sweet hot mustard or Queso Bravo; Local Eats stand at section 116
- Pork Belly Sammie ($13) with kimchi, house-made pickled vegetables, cilantro and mirin-lime aioli; Pioneer Square and International District at sections 105 and 323
- Fiesta Bowl ($13) with Mexican rice, black beans, pulled chicken tinga, pico de gallo, cilantro slaw and chipotle crema); La Cantina stand at section 339 (Note: a Fiesta Bowl with a pork option is also sold at section 113)