Baseball fans, I’ve got a Cheney Stadium dining update for the 2019 Rainiers season.
The Ribachi restaurant is out, La Familia Cantina is in, and park diners still can order the Best Hot Dog in Baseball and garlic fries at Cheney Stadium when the home games begin Tuesday (April 9).
There’s a bit of musical chairs for some of the restaurants. Here’s what you need to know about the new concession stand and where to find last year’s stands that have moved.
La Familia Cantina: Last year, the Basecamp food station, located along the concourse, was a collection of seafood, such as macaroni and cheese with crab and seafood chowder served in a sourdough bowl. This season, the Basecamp food station will change its theme to align with the ballpark’s initiative to celebrate Latinx culture as part of a minor league baseball initiative called Copa de la Diversión. Menu items are still being tested and will be announced shortly, said AJ Garcia, Director of Media Relations and Content Development at Cheney.
More on Copa de la Diversión: Garcia said that the Rainiers will wear new uniforms that are branded under the moniker of La Familia de Tacoma for five games this season (but the La Familia Cantina will operate through the season). The Rainiers are one of 72 minor league teams participating in Copa de la Diversión (which translates into Fun Cup). Copa, Garcia said, “is Minor League Baseball’s initiative to celebrate and bring awareness to Latin culture.”
Those new uniforms: Garcia described the Copa uniforms as light blue. The hat design is also new. Garcia said fans can get a preview at the team store.
Now back to the food: To avoid duplication of menus with the nearby La Familia Cantina, the Flying Taco booth that operated in previous seasons next to Fowl Territory will be replaced by R Haus Brats, which last year was located up along the terrace walkway. The R Haus Brats stand is expected to have the same menu of gourmet sausages and lots of topping options.
Also moving: BaRBQ, the stand with barbecue sandwiches and southern sides that operated last year along the terrace, will move down to the main restaurant location behind home plate where Ribachi operated last year (and the former home of The Red Hot stand before that). Ribachi, the Hibachi-themed food stand, will not return this season.
BaRBQ this year will have a brisket sandwich as well as southern-style barbecue sides. There will also be “barbecue beef sliders, sloppy joes, mac and cheese, and a rotation side selection of cornbread, coleslaw and mac salad. There will be a wide selection of barbecue sauces for every palate,” said Garcia.
What about the terrace? Garcia said the restaurant stands along the terrace walkway where R Haus Brats and BaRBQ operated last season will become service locations for the distribution of food at the nearby R Bar. And speaking of the R Bar, here’s something cool ...
R Bar food delivery: For the first time, fans at the “R Bar down the third base line (will have) the opportunity to order food which will be delivered to them, a perk that was unavailable last season. There won’t be any unique foods to R Bar, but instead a mix of items from different stands in the stadium,” said Garcia.
Returning this season: Ivar’s, Kidd Valley Burgers and Invincibles Pizza will operate along the first base side of the stadium. Additionally, Fowl Territory will serve its chicken-themed menu items along the third base side.
What about The Best Hot Dog in Baseball? Love your hot dog topped with onions and beer mustard? That Cheney concoction is a holdover from past menus and was also served at the hot dog stand from Tacoma’s The Red Hot when it operated at the stadium (it exited in 2017). The hot dog is a fan favorite because of its classic flavor pairings — a beef dog topped with grilled onions and fancy mustard.
Find it at multiple stands this year, just like last year. It’s my go-to order at games, along with the garlic fries.