Hit It out of the Park: Where to Eat Before a Baseball Game #savortheroad

Oh, yes! Take me out to the ballgame, but, please, skip the peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Admittedly, stadium concessionaires have elevated baseball fare to baseball cuisine. Cuban pretzel dogs and ice-cold craft beer have replaced dirty water dogs and lukewarm draft beer. All good, but I would still prefer to be wined and dined (a bit) and eat a meal sitting at a table (I can forego white tablecloths!) rather than balanced on my lap. I love America’s pastime, and I love eating out. So, let’s make a night of it!

Whether you’re embarking on a summer road trip to make a pilgrimage to some of our national pastime’s sporty cathedrals or staying put to root for your home team, we’ve rounded up nine stadiums and scouted out some of the best spots to grab a bite before the umpire shouts “Play ball!” — or after the last pitch. Batter up! Here’s where to eat before a baseball game, from coast to coast.

Fenway Park is the home of the Boston Red Sox. This storied ballpark offers hungry die-hard Sox fans everything from soup to nuts, literally. Jerry Remy’s is the undisputed go-to spot either before or after a game at Fenway; owner Jerry Remy is a legendary Red Sox broadcaster and a living local treasure. The restaurant serves up comfort food with a modern flair and an enormous craft and micro-brewed beer selection. This is Red Sox Nation. Find other restaurants near Fenway Park. 

Blog BaseballEats1 Jerry Remys copyYankee Stadium, in the Bronx, is now across the street from the original “House That Ruth Built.” The new stadium, completed in 2009, is a state-of-the-art baseball venue. It features 25 concession stands, more than 100 moveable concessions, and three restaurants: NYY Steak, Hard Rock Café, and Audi Club. From dry-aged USDA Prime steaks to sports and music-themed burgers and performance-cooking stations, anyone can score delicious food at Yankee Stadium. Find other restaurants near Yankee Stadium.

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Oriole Park at Camden Yards in B’more is where the Baltimore Orioles play. Built in 1992, Camden Yards is just blocks from Baltimore’s picturesque Inner Harbor and is a destination for baseball and non-baseball fans alike. Located within the Orioles’ complex is Dempsey’s Brew Pub and Restaurant, named after the team’s beloved catcher, Rick Dempsey. Dempsey’s serves up classic pub fare: a variety of Maryland crab appetizers, hearty salads, fish tacos, beer-braised pork belly, beer-can chicken, and eight signature burgers, as well as local and regional bottled craft beers and four in-house brewed, baseball-themed beers. Dempsey’s is open not only on game days, but seven days a week, year round. Find other restaurants near Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Nationals Park hosts the Washington Nationals team. Situated along the Anacostia River in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood, Nationals Park is best accessed by the city’s uber-efficient Metro system. Just east of the stadium is Yards Park and Agua 301, an authentic Mexican restaurant with a modern flair. Ceviche, soups, salads, empanadas, huaraches, and entrees that are both traditional and contemporary — and definitely not Tex-Mex. Dine al fresco along D.C.’s riverfront, and then stroll over to cheer on Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth, and company.

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Wrigley Field in Chicago is the beloved abode of the Chicago Cubs. Known for its ivy-covered, brick outfield walls, old-timey, hand-turned scoreboard, and red marquee, Wrigley Field is the place for Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Directly across the street from the ballpark, in what is affectionately known as Wrigleyville, is Rockit Burger Bar. As one might expect, this is a burger joint — one with unexpected burgers. How about a mac & cheese attack, a huevos rancheros, or a venison foie gras burger? Find other restaurants near Wrigley Field.Continue Reading

August Restaurant Weeks: Dine for Less!

PBRWThe dog days of summer may not be here, but the savings days are! Restaurant weeks are happening now, and whether you’re on the road, or staying close to home, you won’t want to miss your chance to enjoy steals on meals this month.

* Alexandria Restaurant Week offers $35 three-course dinners for one or $35 dinners for two, August 15-24. Book now.

* Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week features $15, $25, and $35 prix-fixe menus, August 9-17. Book now.

* Baltimore Restaurant Week has something for everyone with $15 lunches and $20 and $30 dinners through August 10. Book now.

* Downtown Cincinnati Restaurant Week is serving up $35 dinners, August 11-17. Book now.

* Dallas-Fort Worth Restaurant Week begins next week. Get ready for $25 lunches and  $35 or $45 dinners, August 11-31. Book now.

* Denver Restaurant Week is just around the corner. Reserve for $30 gourmet dinners, August 23-29. Book now.

* Houston Restaurant Weeks have begun. Feast on $20 lunches, $25 brunches, and $35 + $45 dinners through September 1. Book now.

* Hudson Restaurant Week is happening now. Don’t miss $13 and up lunches and $25 and up dinners through August 8. Book now.

* Miami Spice is heating up. Get in on $23 lunches and $39 dinners through September 30. Book now.

* New York City Restaurant Week is on! Celebrate with three-course $25 lunches and $38 dinners through August 15. Book now.

* Coolinary New Orleans has rolled into the Big Easy. Let the good times roll with two- or three-course lunches for $20 or less and three-course dinners for $35 or less through August 31. Book now.

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OpenTable Reveals the Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in America

San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas, tops the list of most romantic cities for the second year in a row.

As we anticipate the romance of Valentine’s Day, we are pleased to release its rankings of the Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in America.

While our nation is known for its diverse food culture, our analysis revealed that romance is a popular dining trend in cities across America.  In order to provide a ranking of cities where romantic dining is inherently part of the culture, the OpenTable Most Romantic Cities Index was calculated using three variables: the percentage of restaurants rated “romantic” according to OpenTable diner reviews; the percentage of tables seated for two; and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine’s Day last year.

The following cities, listed in order, comprise the Top 25 Most Romantic Cities in America. The complete list may also be viewed here.

Top 25 Most Romantic Dining Cities in America

1. San Antonio, Texas

2. St. Louis, Missouri

3. Providence, Rhode Island

4. Atlantic City, New Jersey

5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

6. Salt Lake City, Utah

7. Columbus, Ohio

8. Houston, Texas

9. Brooklyn, New York

10. Louisville, Kentucky

11. Austin, Texas

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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Tripe

Tripe alla parmigiana, grilled bread, soft herbs at Balena in Chicago, Illinois.

Long before offal was in vogue in this country, I once (Once!) tried tripe. I was a kid attending a very Sopranos-like gathering at a friend’s home. Trays of old-school Italian and Italian-American delights were spread out buffet-style for guests. As I made my way down the line, I happened upon one that appeared to be yet another tray of saucy, cheesy goodness with some sort of protein, so I greedily heaped a healthy serving on my plate. I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but even before someone told me it was tripe, I knew it wasn’t for me. Since then, to the joy of more adventurous eaters, tripe and other forms of offal have taken center plate, if you will, at restaurants. Beyond frugality, offal offers diners different tastes and textures, and enlightened chefs consider it the best way to honor the animal — by carefully and creatively using every bit. Tripe, otherwise known as the lining of an animal’s stomach, typically cow, is turning up on scores of menus. While I won’t be ordering it, many folks are. Find out they’re saying about this offal offering.

Angèle Restaurant & Bar, Napa, California: “Our dinner was like an evening in the French countryside. The sweetbreads on the menu were done perfectly. The tripe on special was very flavorful. These items are not commonly found on U.S. menus.”

Ava Gene’s, Portland, Oregon: “The menu has unique preparation of Italian favorites, and everything we ordered was just great and flavorful. Best tripe I’ve had, including Batali’s.”

Babbo Ristorante, New York, New York: “Sweetbreads are to die for, the best tripe ever, testa luscious and unctuous as anything you’ve had. Hard to go wrong with nearly anything on the menu.”

Cafe 2825, Atlantic City, New Jersey: “It’ s traditional Italian done very well. My husband adores their tripe.”

Charlie Bird, New York, New York: “Run, do not walk before word gets put. This place is amazing!!! Tripe was to die for!”

* COCO500, San Francisco, California: “Our party tried some favorites — squash blossom-truffle oil flatbread from the wood burning oven, housemade pate, tripe, and beef cheeks. All were delicious.”

Da Silvano, New York, New York: “Great food, great service, best tripe alla fiorentina, and best for people watching. ”

* Daniela’s Restaurant, Naples, Florida: “Food is prepared a little different than in my region of Romania, but very good. Tripe soup is to die for! We will definitely be back.”

Franco, St. Louis, Missouri: “Our server recommended the tripe appetizer. My wife and I were intrigued by the offer to sample fried cow stomach (tripe, for the unknowing), and it was exceptionally well prepared and delicious. ”

Le Virtu, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: “The tripe keeps me coming back! The first time I had it, I wanted to cry because it tasted just like my mom used to make on Saturday afternoons. Please never take it off the menu!”

Maialino, New York, New York: “I am a foodie and a Rome native. Thus, I was looking forward to dining at Maialino. I had the tripe as an appetizer. Romans make the best tripe, and the tripe at Maialino did not disappoint. Excellent.”

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