Campo’s at the ballpark

7 07 2009

Matt and I are taking advantage of our trips to Citizens Bank Park this summer and trying different vendors and food each time. Last night (during that really “close” game against the Reds), since we had treated ourselves to good seats in section 109, we were sitting close to Ashburn Alley. Cheesesteaks were definitely in order. Tony Luke’s line was obnoxious so we opted for Campo’s, whose line was just a bit less obnoxious. We got in line at 6:15 and sat in our seats just in time for the first pitch at 7:05.

Phils 109 007

Phils 109 010

Phils 109 012

Phils 109 014

Phils 109 015

We both decided that cheesesteaks are by far the best option at Citizens Bank Park. Matt ordered “The Works” and I ordered a chicken cheesesteak with Whiz and fried onions. They were juicy but not greasy, filling but not heavy, and tasty but not too salty. We did not feel the need to get any other food or snacks throughout the rest of the game because we were so satisfied with these steaks. It will be hard to try a different food at our next game–maybe we’ll give Tony Luke’ s a try for a basis of comparison. The only way Luke’s could top Campo’s was if they used more Whiz. I can never have too much Whiz.


The Schmitter

31 05 2009

Matt and I finally tried The Schmitter, a sandwich created by McNally’s Tavern in Chestnut Hill **which is not named after Mike Schmidt!** (Thanks, Joe, for the correction–I can’t believe I didn’t catch this.) When Citizens Bank Park opened, the sandwich got its own stand at section 139.


Long lines are obviously always expected.  On a stormy evening, though, there was no wait after the game started.


The sandwich is a bit pricey–I don’t think I would pay for a whole one again although I might consider sharing one with some fries on the side.


The concept is genius and the diagram very handy.


Anticipation!  Why do yummy foods that cause heart attacks always come wrapped in foil?  It drives Matt crazy to wait for me to take my photos but it is usually worth it.


This sandwich is cut in half.  Thumbs up!


Matt lifted up the top so I could get an inside shot.  It was so unappetizing no matter what angle you looked at it.


The bun was soggy and the meat a little slippery.  I’m pretty sure that the “special sauce” is Thousand Island and the onions were more sauteed, not fried.  We were hoping for ring-style deep-friend onions–that would give it more texture and some fun crunch.


The cheese was melty.  Matt liked the salami and I liked the steak, mainly because of how they were cooked.  The salami was a bit underdone for me and the steak a bit over done for Matt (the edges were a little brown and crunchy, just the way I like it).


The general consensus: The Schmitter is greasy, cheesy, and tasty, but we agreed that it wouldn’t taste as good with no beer in your blood stream and would probably be like Filet mignon after too many beers.  The price is high although only a $1.25 markup in the ballpark from the Tavern’s price.  If we get this again, it will be in the 7th inning (after a couple more beers) and not the 3rd and we will share it.  I am very interested to taste one directly from the Tavern because I have a feeling it tastes much better out from underneath the heat lamps.


Check out these reviews of The Schmitter:

Eat Charm City


The 700 Level

Philadelphia Summer Wish List

19 05 2009

While day dreaming, I decided to create a Philadelphia Summer 2009 Non-Recession-Friendly Wish List.  Enjoy!

1. Eat at Matyson once a week.  Try every tasting menu ($45/person) This week: “Outrageous Onions!”

2. See Jason Mraz and G. Love at the Festival Pier ($45/ticket) on Aug. 9th 

3. Get baseline seats to a Phillies game.  Any Phillies game.  ($60/ticket)

4. Eat at Susanna Foo before it closes (dumpling sampler+crispy duck+short ribs+fried rice+bok choy+dessert+”Sparkling Susanna”+Lychee Martini+tax+tip=$135)

5. Grease at the Kimmel Center!  ($25-$100/ticket)

6. Attend the Culinary Herb Party at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College ($45/person)

7. Sunday Supper at Supper ($35/person)

8. Spend a weekend in New Hope at The Mansion Inn or Porches (~$200/night) and eat dinner at Marsha Brown.

9. Go shopping at Terrain at Styers (maybe pick up a terrarium) and go to the Cafe for a monthly Chef’s Dinner ($45/person).

10. Eat at Vetri (grand tasting=$135/person). 

I’ll be sure to report on anything I might check off of my wish list this summer!

Philadelphia Phillies

28 04 2009

Philadelphia welcomes thousands of tourists during the summer months.   A unique experience for those who visit Philadelphia this summer starts on the Broad Street Subway Line (aka Orange Line) and goes south to South Philadelphia, where our sports teams play (and often disappoint) year round.  A Phillies Game, especially, can show you the heart and soul of the city through the fans who have stuck by the team through a World Series win in 1980, heartbreaking series in 1993, second Championship in 2009, and all of the boos and jeers in between.  With the new family-friendly Citizens Bank Park as the new home, a night at the ball park can be liberating, exciting, or boring.  It’s always a gamble and you take your chances–especially with the Phillies.


The crowds start arriving at the park early–usually between 5:30 and 6:00 for a 7:05 start.  The cheapest reserved seats are $16.  There are no bad seats in the park.  The only drawback to the cheap seats is that they are in the outfield and always catch the setting sun until around 8:00.  On a 90-degree day, those seats can be brutal.  Matt and I often watch the game from the concourse until the sun sets and then we settle in.  The best seats cost $41.  Call the box office about Standing Room Only seats–these can usually only be purchased when the regular seats are sold out or on the day of the game: (215) 463-1000.


The ballpark serves some premium beers–imported bottles and drafts are $6.75.  Hop Devil, Corona, and Sierra Nevada are our usual picks.


Get to your seats early to see the players warm up on the field (shown are my favorite active players, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth).


The fans are extremely interactive.  Most games will be filled with waves and boos.  If you are visiting from a rival city, be careful wearing that gear in the stands.


Ashburn Alley (below) is where the action is.  Packed with shops and food, many people will watch the entire game from this spot (and do a lot of people watching between innings).  Food selections include Tony Luke’s cheese steaks, Chickie & Pete’s crab fries, and Philadelphia soft pretzels.

ashburn alley

The outfield is usually filled with rowdy fans.

rowdy crowd

Phan-o-vision is a fun distraction between innings.  Every game features the “Kissing Cam,”  “Flex Cam,” or Septa races.  If you’re lucky, you’ll see a proposal.

septa race

Many nights are promotion nights, and some are easy on your wallet, such as Dollar Dog nights.  Despite the reasonable prices of tickets, it’s possible to spend $40-$80 on food and drink in one night for two people, depending on your choice of drink (alcoholic vs. non) and food (nachos cost much more than hot dogs).

Dollar Dog Night

The fixings stand can be a bit scary, but it’s all for a dollar so wade in with your life preservers on.  Just stay away from the onions unless you like them pureed.


This is a Dollar Dog;


This is also a Dollar Dog:


Oh, and this is one, too.  My husband is trying to show how small they are.


And if you are lucky, the Phillie Phanatic (the best mascot in history) and the Hatfield Pig will shoot a dog up to you in the stands.  Phanatic

Play ball!