By Suzanne Corbett, STLSportsPage.com Food/Travel Editor
Take me out a ballgame – a Cardinal ballgame at Busch Stadium where I can buy more than peanuts and crackerjacks. After checking and tasting a sample of this year’s menu I can report this year’s food roster is designed to be a fan pleaser.
Once again, the year’s food concessions will debut several new players. Big Chicken, Freddy’s, and the hometown player, Mission Taco, which Cardinal management is betting will hit a homerun with fans. An impressive culinary trio that adds even more concession choices and joins the ranks of traditional ballpark eats as Nathan’s hot dogs and Nachos, to St. Louis Barbecue, beer, and Dippin-Dots.
“We’re excited to be here,” said Freddy’s Chef Development Officer Andrew Thengvall, relating how Cardinal management approached Freddy’s last November and asked if they would be interested in coming on Busch Stadium, which they were. “We’ve been in AA and AAA baseball stadiums, and some collage stadiums but this is the first time we’re in a Major League Baseball stadium.”
Freddy’s, located on the top level near the Budweiser Terrence, is offering what Tnengvall described as a limited grab and go menu. Freddy’s original double burger, a double with bacon, crispy shoestrings fries and crispy fried cheese curds.
“ We kept the menu simple so people could get their food made fresh and fast so they can get back to their seats and watch the game.” Thengvall said.
Chicken, the famous Las Vegas chicken comes to the ballpark with its own unique sports ties. Big Chicken was founded and co-owned by NBA Hall of Famer Shaguille O’Neal and Michael Piekarski who is also the VP of Culinary Operations. Big Chicken is just that, big. Famous for its two-fisted sandwiches, its tangy Shaq Sauce, and its specialty sandwiches they create for each city they open a location. The exclusive chicken sandwich for the Cardinal’s at Busch is the 314. Built on a red square cut Vincent Van Donut.
“We wanted to partner with someone locally to create something special, and that’s when we found Vincent Van Donut,” Piekarski said. “Vincent makes amazing artisan donuts, which we believe our chicken is.”
The 314, also called by the Big Chicken top brass the Cardinal Stadium sandwich, begins with a Cardinal red colored maple cinnamon glazed donut crowned with a strip of candied bacon that’s been kissed with a hint of cayenne pepper. It’s fitted with a crisp fried Nashville style chicken breast and dressed with pickles and Shaq sauce. It’s a combination that won’t disappoint.
Chicken is also the MVP on the menu board at Mission Taco. The hometown eatery, located in section 150 right behind home plate. A plumb position for fans to fill their plate with tacos, which includes two new offerings created just for the Busch Stadium.
“We have a Hot Corner Chicken Taco (think buffalo chicken) along with our take on a regular taco – a hard-shell taco filled with ground beef. Tacos that we don’t do in the restaurants that we thought would be a good departure for here,” said Mission Taco chef and co-owner Jason Tilford.
Also sharing the menu are the mango shrimp tacos, vegan soft tacos, and a couple of spins on Mission Taco’s classics as the Carne Asada Fries, which becomes West Coast Nacho Fries. Street corn fans will line up for the on the cob specialty that Mission Taco will serve just the way it’s sold by street vendors in Mexico. Impaled on a stick. Great paired its “Big Ol Margarita.
When opening day arrives plan to wear Cardinal red, arrive early and hungry. And remember, no matter if the Cards win or lose you won’t be leaving the ballpark hungry.
Your 2023 Guide to Busch Stadium’s Concessions http://www.mlb.com/cardinals/ballpark/dining-concessions