Last year, the San Jose Sharks revamped their food options on the club level at SAP Center. This year, the Sharks focused on new food offerings for the concourse level. Prior to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames last Sunday, the Sharks held a media event to formally announce their new food concepts and menu items. You won’t be disappointed with the options, but you may want to make sure it’s a cheat day for your diet because the selections are ample.
Replacing Armadillo Willy’s as a BBQ option is Smoking Pig BBQ, near section 123. I’ve always been a Smoking Pig fan. Even though their signature wolf turds can’t be found at SAP, their burnt ends should be in high demand.
Speaking of replacements, Opa! essentially replaces Nick the Greek for the greek flavor. Another popular addition is Hula Truck, featuring the Dole Whip. Considering the long lines always seen at Rita’s and Cream, this option should be another go-to for your sweet tooth.
If those options just don’t have enough sugar for you, Sharks Boardwalk has several confection selections. You’ll smell Santa Cruz as you walk by the most insane milkshake I’ve ever seen.
Launch Test Kitchen
A personal favorite for me is the Launch Test Kitchen. Located near section 209, rotating food truck vendors will use this space to peddle their tasty wares. The bacon cheddar tomato grilled cheese from current tennant, The Grilled Cheez Guy, is a solid choice. You have until November 2nd to check them out.
- Grilled Cheez Guy – September 17 – November 2
- I Love Cheese Steak – November 5 – November 23 – Offering fresh Cheesesteaks with an Asian Twist.
- Waffle Roost – November 27 – December 22 – An ode to chicken and waffle lovers.
- The Shop by Chef Baca – December 27 – January 29th – Varieties from smoked and cured meats such as Pastrami, Cured Bacon, Coffee rubbed Beef Brisket and New Mexico Style Baby Back Ribs.
- 333 Truck – February 1 – March 5 – Specializing in Mexican, Korean and Indian cuisine.
- Fish Taco Wabo – March 7 – April 4 – Mexican Baja style seafood tacos and much more.
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
It’s always good to see the menu evolve. While I’m bummed to see that Ike’s is gone, I’m stoked for Smoking Pig, Sushi Confidential, and the Launch Test kitchen. I still think a better name for their area on the concourse would’ve been “The Truck Stop” since it features rotating food trucks, but I digress. I can see some of these new vendors becoming long time favorites.
One thing not making its way from the club level to the concourse is Nor Cal Brewing. I’m a big craft beer fan and always visit the Craft Beer Central locations on the concourse. While their beer menu has expanded ever so slightly, the menu is still small and remains the same, game after game. With any luck, we’ll see some rotating taps added somewhere on the concourse next season. Another beverage option bizarrely being ignored is coffee. During those games between Thanksgiving and St Patrick’s Day, the weather can be quite brisk following a game. Perhaps a Peet’s coffee cart outside the north and south entrances could do the trick.
Finally, we come to the price points. Unfortunately, it feels like prices go up every year. It wasn’t long ago when I could run to the beer concession with a $20, grab a beer for myself and a friend, tip the server and still get back change. Admittedly, those days are gone, but perhaps the Sharks could run a happy hour promotion as they did for a limited time last season. However, this year, I’d like that happy hour promotion to include some food options and not just hot dogs and burgers. While I appreciate the recent focus on quality and taste over these last couple seasons, the majority of fans I’ve heard from want to see the focus shift to affordable options.
Throw It Back
What about taking a page out of the Oakland Athletics playbook? I’ve gone to a few A’s games over the last couple years that I wouldn’t normally go to because of their promotion of charging 1989 prices. How would the Sharks fare using a similar throwback promotion for 3-5 games during a season? The Sharks could wear their wildly popular inaugural jerseys while charging 1994 prices for parking, food, and beverage. They could go a step further with the music and graphics employed at the game. Remember that the 30th anniversary season is next year and would be a perfect opportunity for a retro promotion.
Does the food and beverage selections impact your game experience? Leave your take in the comments below.
Official Press Release
Smoking Pig BBQ – From a backyard hobby to three full-service restaurants, Smoking Pig BBQ Company serves long smoked meats and hand-crafted sides. Check out the Pulled Pork, Chicken, and Brisket Sandwiches along with the Burnt Ends. Don’t forget to grab a side of mac and cheese, BBQ beans and old-fashioned coleslaw.
Tenders Love & Chicken – Tenders Love & Chicken is a premium chicken concept featuring delectable chicken tenders, hand tossed golden fries and a signature chicken sandwich complete with a wide variety of dipping sauces found at our self-serve sauce bar. At TLC, we serve up Tender Loving Goodness and always encourage you to double dip at our Awesome Sauce Bar.
Sushi Confidential – Sushi Confidential is committed to delivering high quality sushi combined with surprising new tastes and fresh ingredients to delight sushi aficionados visiting SAP Center. The unique menu options offer the restaurant’s classics like California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Avocado Roll, as well as Sushi Confidential’s very own Cabo Conspiracy. The menu even entices guests with new custom creations like the Sharks Roll (a unique take on Sushi Confidential’s widely popular Geisha Girl) and the bestselling signature Poke Tacos.
Hula Truck – Think Pacific Island flavor with a Nor Cal twist. Check out San Jose’s very own Hula Truck serving up Kalua pork, the BayRitto, and the famous Dole Whip.
Sharks Boardwalk – Imagine sitting at the Boardwalk overlooking the ocean. Check out the hand-dipped corndogs, fried Oreos, twinkies, candy apples, cotton candy, and over the top Milkshakes.
Opa! – An ode to the Greek Islands, Opa! defines the art of Greek family dining. Eating at Opa! is all about celebrating life and enjoying yourself in the moment, which often turns a simple family dinner into an all-night event. Join Opa! in carrying on the Greek traditions by enjoying authentic house made gyros, pitas, and Greek nachos.
Tac-oh! – Upbeat and funky are two words to describe Tac-oh! The food is Mexican comfort at its best and is made from scratch with the freshest of ingredients. Be sure to try the famous Crunchy Tac-Oh!’s, Nach-Oh!’s and Esquite.
Estrella Jalisco Cocina – Although San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley and the epicenter of technology, the City and its surrounding areas maintain a small-town quality where family-owned taquerias and cocinas are nearby and frequented often. With a rich history of its own, Estrella Jalisco was chosen to be the perfect pairing for our cocina. Come visit this taqueria and enjoy handmade tamales, quesadilla’s, churros and our soon-to-be-famous giant taco.
Launch Test Kitchen – The sky’s NO limit at Launch Test Kitchen where, together with local Bay Area Food Trucks, we’re creating the latest dishes that push the boundaries of creativity. Its culinary invention at its best with ever-changing menus. But our recipe for success is missing one key ingredient – YOU! We invite you to help us uncover the real winners, to go on and give us a TASTE, and to TELL us what you really think. And who knows? Your new favorite just may find a permanent home in SAP Center