Sherman's Food Adventures: Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium

Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium

For some reason or another, I haven't been to a Vancouver Canadians game in quite some time.  It's not like I don't like baseball because I do play on a softball team.  So when I got an invite to sample the food at Nat Bailey Stadium during a game, it was truly intriguing.  I had already gotten a heads up from past posts about the food there, so I knew it wasn't just about hot dogs and beer.  They do have that there, but there is much more as they smoke their own meats and prepare everything fresh.  We arrived a bit early to get the rundown from Executive Sous Chef Patrick Smith (who is also responsible for Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton during the hockey season).

We got started at the BBQ Picnic in the Park that featured an all-you-can-eat style buffet.  In addition to salads, there was Nathan's hot dogs, burgers, fried chicken and charred corn.  I was able to sample all of these items and I thought the burger was pretty typical except for the addition of sauteed green peppers and onions (and also bacon).  The hot dogs were solid due to the snap of the casing and of course the juiciness of the Nathan's dog.  The chicken was lightly crispy while generally tender and moist inside (the dark meat was more so).  As for the corn it was cooked just right where it still had crunchy bursts of sweetness.  From there, we moved down the 3rd base line and tried the Smoked Turkey Leg (as well as the braised version too).  I personally enjoyed the regular smoked leg more as it was juicy, well-brined and smoky.  It wasn't as if the braised one didn't impress either.  The meat fell off the bone and was flavourful, but less smoky.

Then we tried the Tottine featuring tatar tot fries topped with real cheese curds, pulled pork and gravy.  This was sinful concoction where the tot fries were soften by the gravy, but for the ones that were not, they were still slightly crispy.  The gravy was plenty impactful with certain saltiness that was nicely balanced off by the sweet and smoky pulled pork.  The cheese curds were not completely melted which meant we could get the classic squeakiness.  The best thing we ate was their Smoked Beef Brisket and Pulled Pork Sandwich.  This featured house-smoked meats dressed in 2 types of BBQ sauces including a vinegary version and a smokier one.  Combined with the tang of the pickles, this was a flavour explosion.  Moreover, the brisket was on point being tender and moist while smoky.

The crown jewel of the bunch had to be the 3 Foot-long Hot Dog.  This thing was massive!  I felt intimidated being next to it...  LOL...  Size is one thing, but the sausage was actually very good being juicy and nicely spiced.  It had enough girth (sorry, I had to use that word...) that it was able to be balanced with the bun.  It is equivalent of 6 hot dogs, so beware, it is best to share this with a few people...  For $23.00, I thought it was a fair deal.  Even the Nachos were not plain Jane here as it featured healthy dose of melted and shredded cheeses, tomatoes, olives, green onions, sour cream and pulled pork.  Due to the addition of the pork, this was hearty with the sweetness of the BBQ sauce accented by a noticeable smokiness.  This ate like a meal.  Right next it was a fully dressed dog with more pulled pork.

While watching the ballgame, the kids got quite into it as the score was close until the closing innings.  That didn't stop them from wanting dessert, so I went down and bought them some Mini-Donuts and Ice Cream.  We found the donuts to be crispier than the ones found at the PNE (Those Little Donuts) and a touch denser.  But due to the exterior texture, they weren't heavy to eat.  As for the ice cream, it was Nestle and they were generous with the scoops all served in a mini baseball helmet.  We got chocolate chip mint and chocolate.  Both were creamy and pretty sweet.  The chocolate was the better of the 2.  Overall, we thought that the pricing was reasonable for a sports venue.  The fact they prepare most items in-house is impressive and it shows in the final product.  Combine this with a fun atmosphere (with affordable tickets) and a beautiful setting, I think we are coming back as a family for more games (and food)!

*Some food and beverages were complimentary (tix were comped)*

The Good:
- Meats smoked in-house
- Not your typical sports venue food
- Reasonable pricing
- Quaint setting and stadium

The Bad:
- Hamburger lags behind the other more creative food


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