The White Sox know that during this rebuilding season, more than ever, that food will be a key part of the fan experience. Concessions have always set the South Side stadium apart from other ballparks, but the team doesn’t expect to contend when the season starts on Monday versus the Detroit. That’s why items like a 16-inch brisket mac and cheese grilled cheese are important.
“We want to ensure season ticket holders that we know there are ups and downs,” chef Sonia Respeto said. “We want to make sure that they have a positive experience no matter what.”
Respeto is the executive chef for Levy Restaurants in charge of the food on the suite level, the premium options. The grilled cheese uses a barbecue sauce made from Syrah. Respeto said she’s also using the wine-based sauce on a new Smokehouse burger with bacon and cole slaw.
The bacon bubble has burst on the suite level, as Respeto said they no longer offer bacon flights. But the regular fan still has access to bacon. Bacon on a stick is still available on the main concourse.
The Sox food crew have also embraced the stadium’s new name. They’ve introduced a new spiked iced tea riffing on the new moniker. Club ticket holders can cool off by sipping the Bourbon GuaranTea.
The club level is a full-service restaurant, and no day at the ballpark would be complete without dessert. Enter the Choco Kebab, imported from an Italian company. While Italians didn’t fare too well in the World Baseball Classic, their presence is still felt at the ballpark. Instead of carving meat off a cylinder, chocolate is sliced off a rotating cylinder and stuffed in a pancake (in lieu of a pita).
But what about fans who don’t have the cash to spend on luxury seating? Last year, the Sox continue to embrace to Hispanic communities that surround the ballpark with cheffy tacos. This year, they’re finally acknowledging Chinatown is nearby. Say goodbye to Wow Bao and hello to wok-tossed noodles. The Wok Off is another pun, as the kiosk is popular in Arizona, where the Sox hold Spring Training games. Fans can order egg lo mein with veggies and garlic. There’s chicken and veggie options. Beggars Pizza Pub in the outfield has also expanded their offerings to deep dish.
The left field bar, where fans can watch games at field level, has been re-named. The Bullpen Bar is now known as the Craft Kave, and features 75 beers—including Rick Bayless’ Tocayo—and eight craft burgers (all messy affairs, including an Italian beef and Italian sausage inspired items) . The Sox have also paired the burgers with beer. For example, the Four-Bagger Burger (four patties), should go well with Goose Island’s Four Star Pils. The Italian sausage-inspired Clean-Up Hitter is paired with an Old Style.
Check back for more on the food, including this year’s stadium dining guide at Guaranteed Rate Field in the coming days.