There are variables that get factored into a successful day at any Major League Baseball ballpark. Aside from the play of the respective teams, the overall atmosphere that the everyday baseball fanatic gets to experience is what can really be the deciding factor. Many baseball fans base their feelings on a day at the ball park on things such as views from their seats, weather on game day, in game entertainment and, of course, the food.
PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pa. was recently voted America’s best ballpark by sources such as tripadvisor.com and ESPN.com. The various food options that have become available to the fans that attend Pittsburgh Pirate games at PNC Park have grown within the past seven years. It is not a coincidence that this growth in the menu began around the time of the arrival of PNC Park’s current head executive chef, Adam Holt.
Holt, a Butler, Pa. native, his been working as the head executive chef at PNC Park and with Levy Restaurants since 2006. He trained at the International Culinary Academy and has used his skills to provide each and every fan that comes to a ballgame with an extraordinary dining experience in the many different areas of the ballpark. He puts the fan’s experience before anything else by interacting and receiving input from fans and enjoying his favorite things about working at the ballpark.
“I love working in a beautiful ballpark with great people and creating foods that go far beyond guest expectations,” said Holt.
Every year, PNC Park looks to enhance many elements of the ballpark and now they’re enhancing the dining element with the help of Holt. The different types of suites in the ballpark, including the World Series Suites, Cambria Suites, Club Suites, Lexus Club and Pittsburgh Baseball Club all contain different dining options to accommodate the appetite for every baseball fan that visits PNC Park. Fresh local ingredients as well as seasonal offerings and ballpark favorite choices inspired the new menu that has been incorporated by Holt and his culinary team.
The World Series and Cambria Suites are both suites where fans can watch the ball game and eat gourmet-catered food with just the purchase of the ticket. The World Series Suites, seven in all, were made in honor of the Pirates seven World Series appearances. The Cambria Suites, which are relatively new to the ballpark, are a combination of four one-room club seats that were combined together.
The Lexus club is the most luxurious club in the entire ballpark with seats located behind home plate and a restaurant-style atmosphere and bar located in the indoor area. This club level is strictly for Lexus Club members only and is the only one of the clubs in which other club members in the other suites cannot have access to.
The Pittsburgh Baseball club is the biggest of the five main club options and contains various different dining options for fans. The food is not included with the purchase of a ticket in this area. The new concepts located in the club are Bridges Burger Company and BBQ Pit. Bridges Burger Company, which takes on a theme dedicated to the various bridges located in the Pittsburgh area, contains a menu with various delicious burgers such as the “16th Street Burger,” which is your double bacon cheeseburger served with lettuce and tomatoes. The new BBQ Pit concept tries to allow the fans to experience BBQ from different places around the U.S like Texas and Carolina style BBQ with items including brisket, pulled pork, and pulled chicken sandwiches. Holt and his team have also introduced different side item choices with this concept like tater tots with a twist. Fans may purchase tater tots either plain or with a seasoning that includes ranch and BBQ.
Aside from the various specialty items that the Pittsburgh club includes, there are also traditional “ballpark foods” such as hot dogs, burgers and nachos served at places such as PBC Grill and Bierbauer Grill.
Gunners Grand Slam sausages is also a fan favorite in this part of the ballpark, serving foot long hot dogs, kielbasa and Italian Sausage provided by Silver Star meats. This option also provides fans with a variety of different toppings that they may put onto their food choices.
In order to satisfy the sweet tooth, the Pittsburgh Baseball Club has also incorporated Wagner’s Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company stations in honor of Honus Wagner. This stop is where fans can choose from soft serve ice cream with a choice of toppings, ice cream sundaes and gourmet popcorn.
The gourmet menus that PNC Park contains as well as the always-popular ballpark favorites are characteristics that go into making the ballpark experience special for each and every fan that visits the park, which is something that is also special to Holt, who is known for his experience working in various different venues.
“It is all about the details,” said Chef Holt. “Using the best and freshest ingredients, creating food options that guests may be surprised to find at a ball park and the creative process of nailing every single detail that creates a one and only experience for our fans.”
Levy Restaurants is known as a company that looks to exceed the expectations of guests and fans at ballparks all over the nation, with PNC Park being a prime example of a venue with an outstanding menu and various elements that have a main goal of redefining what fans think of as ballpark food.