Monday, August 16, 2010

Qwest Field

I recently went to a football game at the surprisingly lovely Quest Field. It was a gorgeous warm evening and the views from the stadium were awesome. There were some particularly poignant moments in the game:
  1. When a live hawk flew from one handler to the next amidst fireworks as the Seahawks entered the field
  2. When a member of the Army sang the Star Spangled Banner
  3. When the SeaGalls first entered the field in their tiny sailor suits
However, I have a personal message to Quest Field: You suck for vegetarians!! I was all set to eat myself an expensive, junky but still somewhat complete dinner and walked every level of the stadium looking for something satisfying to fit the bill.

What I found that I could eat:
  1. Garlic Fries
  2. Pretzels
  3. Popcorn
  4. Crappy small, pre-packaged cheese pizza slice
  5. Nachos with just chips and cheese sauce
  6. Pre-assembled veggie burger with JUST bbq sauce and a whole wheat bun. Gross.
This list might look like a lot of options to a vegetarian in a small town someplace, but for Seattle, for a new stadium with slew of *restaurant* type food establishments, it is dismal.

Some suggestions (because I'm sure Quest food officials are big Tofu Hunter readers):
  1. Kid Valley: Put a tasty veggie burger on your menu! You have one at your restaurants, why not at the stadium?
  2. Mexican Place: Make bean burritos! Make bean tacos! Beans are cheaper than the chicken you have in everything you make.
  3. Thai Place: Make something, anything, without fish sauce. Ideally have a few veggies in it and some tofu if you're feeling crazy.
  4. BBQ Place: This is actually where the veggie burger is. My suggestion: Put something on the veggie burger other than BBQ sauce. Some tomatoes? Salsa? Cheese? Lettuce?
  5. Sausage/Hot dog places: VEGGIE DOGS. The vendors outside the stadium all have them! I would have gone apeshit for a veggie dog covered in cream cheese and sauerkraut.
  6. Noodles of the World Place: How about Italian style vegetarian pasta? Spaghetti with marinara? Fettuccine Alfredo with steamed veggies? How about Chinese style noodles stir fried with veggies? Pasta is the go-to-item for vegetarians in a non-accommodating meat world, why does every pasta dish you make need to have meat in it???
  7. Stadium Fare: Add veggie dogs to your hot dog list, and add some beans to your nachos.
I realize that the typical football crowd might not be especially interested in tofu and beans, but we are a progressive, diverse city and I am pretty sure that of the 60,000 people in the stadium not every single one was a meat chomping tofuphobe.

For now, I'd advise a vegetarian who is going to the stadium and wants to partake in the food culture of the game to get yourself a veggie dog from one of the dozens of well appointed hotdog stands in the streets outside the stadium. I wish I had. Instead I worked my way through a beer and a 3 foot long bag of kettle corn and went famished to my late night savior, Rancho Bravo on Capital hill, after the game to eat a burrito.


T. said...

TH -- you seem to be in the same denial as I am about the spelling of this place: "QWest", which is just wrong. I pronounce it cue-west.

One must admit, though, that stadium food nowadays is an improvement over stadium food of twenty years ago.

(wv: equalo. Perhaps it should be 'eqwalo'?!!)

Tofu Hunter said...

You're so right about the Quest vs. Qwest (I've edited it now). I even had the thought as typing... make sure not to spell out the wrong one!

I agree that stadium food has gotten amazing if you eat meat. But it's still pretty lame if you don't.