A’s unveil new Coliseum pub, food

The Oakland Athletics are set to show off their brand new West Side Club hangout — the Shibe Park Tavern — complete with a fresh menu.

Offerings include everything from classic bullpen fare like garlic fries and hot dogs to those less common on such menus like S’mores Lava Cake and Ahi Poke Tacos.

Executive Chef Effie Speigler is responsible for constructing the new menu, one he is proud to present the stadium and its visitors. At a Thursday tasting, which featured a small assortment of his new cuisine, he told SFBay:

“The stadium needed this — the fans, they needed this. This is long overdue”

But even the simple stadium food comes with a more-than-simple twist.

An order of garlic fries from the pub above the first base-side seats comes in the form of “sidewinders.” A cross between thick-cut steak fries and curly fries, these delicious twists on the classic fry taste like they have the garlic flavor cooked directly into the crunchy crust. Don’t worry though, garlic-lovers, your order will include a healthy heap of Gilroy’s favorite flower plopped directly on top.

The hot dog — more of a sausage — is a larger-sized stadium dog, with a crispy bacon-wrapped outer layer. This contemporary take on an all-time classic is even tasty with a dash of mustard. Perhaps the perfect opportunity for Bay Area sports fans to sample the Stadium Mustard new to the Coliseum this season.

For your burger fix, you’ll have a choice. Thursday’s presentation gave members of local media a sample of two such options.

Skipping the classic burger, even with avocado? Indulge in the Caprese Turkey Burger and its delightful blend of flavors including basil aioli, buffalo mozzarella and marinated tomatoes.

In the mood for a sandwich? Speigler and the A’s have got you covered with Monte Cristo Sandwich. A grown-ups grilled cheese, this ‘wich brings together Black Forest Ham, turkey and Gruyere cheese all toasted to melty perfection between two slices of buttery Texas Toast.

And fans stepping away from the more common — albeit twisted — baseball will food will be rewarded. Whether it’s the loaded tater tots with nacho cheese, chives and sour cream or a fried chicken and waffle sandwich, complete with syrup on the side.

Vegetarian? You’re covered.

The Coliseum Salad is a sweet and tangy blend of Mandarin Oranges, beets, shallots, candied walnuts, goat cheese and balsamic dressing tossed in a bath of baby watercress. With the inclusion of goat cheese, this particular offering is indeed not vegan, but new team president Dave Kaval has insisted that A’s fans living an animal by-product-free lifestyle will have options catering their dietary needs.

Speigler admitted that poke tacos are not the type of food that most fans are looking forward to, coming to a ballgame. But he thinks it will be a hit, and judging purely based on the quality, he is correct.

A shoyu — soy sauce — ahi poke with hints of Maui (sweet) onions and macadamia nuts laid over a bed of fresh guacamole and wrapped in a crispy wonton shell. What makes this meal stand out is the quality of the fish. As any fish-eater will tell you, the flavor of old or poor-quality fish will totally commandeer any flavor blend, and that is not the case with these succulent bites.

And for desert, Speigler will not be killing you, Smalls. A unique Coliseum take on molten lava cake combined with the sweet snack that has been tied to the game since “Squints” and “Ham” made it so in the classic flick “The Sandlot,” the S’mores Lava Cake is that which haunts the nightmares of those on a diet, but makes its way into every hungry person’s dream.

The perfect meal

Start with an order of poke tacos (3), and follow it up with a chicken and waffle sandwich. Finish it off with the S’mores Lava Cake. Wash it all down with which ever of the now more than 90 different beer options tickles your fancy. And do it all surrounded by trinkets and decorations honoring the roots of the A’s franchise trailing back to Philadelphia.


Kalama Hines is SFBay’s Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.