Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds: Goodyear Ballpark
All week long we're sharing suggestions of where to find breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks near each spring training stadium. Have a favorite spot baseball fans should hit? Leave it in the comments.
Ohio is one of those Midwestern states known for its hearty, high-caloric, or carb-laden cuisine, whether it's the thick and spicy Cincinnati chili or Polish staples like pierogi and paprikash. So it's only apropos that the stadium where Ohio's two teams train in the springtime not only serves plenty of heart-stopping concession-stand fare (including fried bologna on a stick), it's also surrounded by eateries dishing out a variety of gut-busting grub.
TJ's Homestyle Restaurant
As its name and shabby homespun décor portends, TJ's is a folksy breakfast and lunch place serving up greasy spoon fare of the stick-to-your-ribs variety. Most everything on its quaint menu is made from scratch, whether it's the gooey cinnamon rolls, buttermilk pancakes, or the homemade biscuits (which practically melt in your mouth). If a regular-size order of these baked beauties isn't big enough, try the "Farmer's Special," in which a few of 'em are smothered with cheddar, three eggs, bacon, ham, and sausage gravy. Oh, and there's extra cheese on top for good measure. It's almost as ginormous as TJ's 20-ounce hamsteaks, which are large enough to cover an entire plate. Better remove your belt before sitting down.
Ivy League Dogs
Few things are as quintessentially baseball than hot dogs, and this homey eatery has dozens upon dozens of ways one can enjoy their wiener. Wanna go heavy on the chili and cheese or have yours piled with sport peppers? Its no problem, as owner Derek Pyle offers patrons the ability to create a do-it-yourself dogs as they can fill out the checkbox-laden menu, which features nine different franks -- ranging from bratwurst, mozzarella garlic sausage, and even vegetarian options. Each are deep fried and draped with a wealth of toppings, including options both traditional (sauerkraut, jalapeños) and tempting (bacon, fried onions). Other lunchtime treats are also available -- such as succulent Italian beef and loaded cheesesteaks -- each just as doggone delicious. If you're truly famished (or feeling daring), Try the Juaninator, a quarter-pound Nathan's dog drowned in salsa verde, tomatoes, shredded cheese, fries, and a half-dozen other items.
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Flavors of Louisiana
Nope, your eyes aren't playing any sort of tricks on you. They actually cook up deep-fried bits of alligator at this Cajun-style cookery. The toothy beast, harvested in the murky swamps of the Deep South, is not only on the joint's logo, it's also on the satisfied bellies of customers. If feasting on an apex predator isn't your speed, however, consider supping on a vast New Orleans-style repast prepared by proprietor Jennifer Goff, such as savory red beans and rice, aromatic chicken and sausage gumbo, or maybe a zesty crawfish po-boy. Special dishes are cooked up by Goff and her kin daily, whether it's crab Landry on Thursdays, shrimp étouffée on Fridays, or a whole mess of dunkin catfish every Saturday.
Majerle's Sports Grill
The glitzy West Valley location of former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle chain of jock joints boasts a large bar loaded with top shelf spirits, crafted cocktails, and upscale ambience for anyone with discerning palates and a serious thirst. Those eager to simply grab a beer after watching nine innings of action, however, can quaff a pint from the gracious buffet of seven different draughts of the domestic and import kind while watching the highlights from other Cactus League stadiums on any of its high-definition TVs. Meanwhile, inside the coolers are close to two dozen brews available by the bottle, including Amstel, Smithwicks, and Corona, as well as more exotic choices like Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale. Cheers!