CLEVELAND — With the 2019 All-Star Game in town, Progressive Field executive chef Josh Ingraham and his team have brought their A-game in an effort that Ingraham says is a process that takes years. The stadium normally has a strong all-around food game (try the Fat Rooster spicy chicken sandwich), but they put together some specials for the All-Star Game, and I was fortunate enough to get a food tour from Ingraham and company. Let’s take a stroll, shall we?
First up, out in left field, “MA, THE MEATLOAF! WE WANT IT!”
This is one slice of meatloaf and one slice of ciabatta cut in half and topped on each other. Do not confuse that with a half sandwich because it’s massive. I could barely get a whole bite. This sandwich is outstanding. I don’t usually really like this type of slaw but it works here because there is so much meatloaf. The meatloaf is on point, too. I would have housed the whole thing, but we have a lot more work to do.
Next up, in center field, there’s a stand that has loaded pierogies. Basically, just think of the toppings you’d get on a loaded baked potato (bacon bits, sour cream, green onion, etc.) and you get three pretty good sized pierogies. They were great. My only complaint was my picture didn’t turn out, but my idiocy isn’t the fault of Progressive Field. At the same stand, a massive gyro.
That orange sauce you see is Greek hot sauce and it pulls everything together here with the sweet heat.
Onward to The Melt stand in right field, a Cleveland icon. For those unaware, The Melt is a famous grilled cheese-style restaurant that started with one location in Cleveland. It is top notch. The special for this occasion:
Very good variety of flavors here, again, that work like a perfect marriage. You don’t get knocked over the pierogi, but get just the right amount of flavor in each bite.
On the opposite side of The Melt in right … next up:
An utter mountain of corned beef and I really liked the flavored kraut. Man, the flavor of the corned beef. This hits No. 1 on the power rankings for the day for me. I would have finished it with ease, but I was already completely stuffed during this amazing tour. This was my limit.
The final stop was to check out the gluten-free/Keto diet stand on the first base side lower concourse. Look at this variety:
As already noted, I was tapped out by now and this stuff isn’t really up my alley anyway. To each their own, however, and lots of people would be ecstatic to see something like this at a ballpark, given how the traditional foods are heavy on meat, salt and sugar.
It was an excellent trip around the ballpark with great food. Kudos to Chef Ingraham and his talented and hard-working staff. Now let’s get to the All-Star festivities.