Those are good burgers, Walter
So here’s the natural follow-up to a post about in-the-park food.
As a general rule, day games can be a little tough, just because they throw your rhythm off. Day-after-night is pretty brutal when you work until 2, 2 1/2 hours after the game and then try to get there at least 3 hours before the next day. (for reference, I arrive at least 3 1/2 hours, ideally 4, before a night game).
But there’s one major upside to a day game — the chance to get out and sample the grub in the city where the team is playing. And few cities are better on that score than Chicago — I had pizza from Gino’s East this evening.
Side note — I have the Bulls-Sixers game on in the background as I type this, and they just showed Carlos Zambrano at the arena. TLR is there as well; I’m doubting they hung out together. Anyway…
Favorite places to eat after a day game around the NL…
* Florida — There’s a Cuban place in Fort Lauderdale that I used to love, but I had a bad experience last time I went there. I’ll need to get around to finding somewhere else.
* New York — What’s NOT to like? There’s too much good food in New York to mention, but as a general rule I always try to get at least one Italian meal when I’m there.
* Cincinnati — Skyline Chili. Not exactly highbrow, but so, so, so very good. Three-way chili, or of course the aforementioned cheese Coney at the park.
* Houston — Whataburger before a night game. For a sit-down meal, there’s a place called Irma’s right by the ballpark, Southwest/Mexican stuff, and it’s fantastic. Not to mention affordable. I’m a fan.
* Milwaukee — The Pasta Tree, near UW-Milwaukee, is excellent and reasonably priced. I also have a coffee place that I love there, but installment three of the NL eating tour will focus on non-meal options.
* Chicago — Gino’s East is it for pizza for me, though Giordano’s is high-quality and so is Due. I also absolutely love Heaven On Seven, which is a Cajun/Creole place with at least two locations — one downtown and one right near the ballpark.
* San Francisco — Another place with scads of great options. I love The Stinking Rose, which is a garlic restaurant. And I always have to go get a burrito in the Mission district. My favorite taqueria in the Mission is Taqueria Cancun, but it’s like the North End in Boston — you can’t go wrong anywhere. I had an unbelievable steak at Harris’ steakhouse there once, but that’s the kind of place I can’t afford on a regular, or even sporadic, basis. Let’s just say if I see ballplayers at a restaurant, it’s probably out of my price range.
* San Diego — Old Town Mexican Cafe. The beer is good and cold, the food is better and hot, and their freshly made tortillas are just wonderful.
* Anywhere in Southern California or Arizona — In-N-Out Burger. The reigning champ. There is none better. Phoenix has both In-N-Out and Whataburger, and that’s not even fair.
If I didn’t list a city, it’s because I haven’t found a favorite place there yet. But I’ll keep looking. Because I’m always looking out for you, the readers. Yeah, that’s it.
Now playing on the iPod — Cat Power, The Greatest