Earlier this week, the Stumptown Footy staff got the journalistic opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to try some of the new concessions that will be served up at the remodeled Providence Park. As we sampled the little baby pizza slices and neatly quartered hamburgers, all served up on those disposable square wooden plates people use at weddings now, we thought, “this food reminds us of soccer players! But which ones?”
A heated discussion followed. There was slamming of fists and assassination of character. Zach nearly knocked the table over, standing up and leaving in a huff (ok, kidding).
Friends, we give you: the definitive 2019 concession-PTFC player pairings.
HOTLIPS Pepperoni Pizza: Zarek Valentin
Solid. Dependable. You know what you are going to get and you are pretty happy that you are getting it. Sometimes really improved by the addition of a little sauce.
Are we talking about a slice of pizza or are we talking about Zarek, the man who just keeps winning a spot in the Timbers’ starting XI? Either way, I like it.
Impossible Burger: Meghan Klingenberg
Kling is vegan, and so is this hamburger (which is delicious, by the way). The only real question is why they’re not calling it the Klingenberger.
Oregon Berry Wine Spritzer: Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic
This was my personal favorite item from the tasting—it’s a very refreshing wine cocktail consisting of Underwood rosé with fresh strawberries and club soda. I took one sip and asked, “which PTFC player is the biggest wine mom?”
The answer, of course, is Ana Crnogorcevic, the Thorns’ responsible, hard-working, but still very fun parent-figure. Plus, Edie loves her! You don’t need kids to deserve wine with ice cubes in it.
Western Burger: Bill Tuiloma
What would stadium menu would be complete without a cheeseburger? And what would a soccer team be without a centerback? Like Bill “Ol’ Bill” Tuiloma, this cheeseburger is a reliable staple of the new Providence Park concessions line. Nothing flashy, but you know what you’re getting, and it always gets the job done.
The Tamale Boy Tamale: Lindsey Horan
Without a doubt, the best all-around item on the menu. Tamale Boy have served up an impressively full-featured tamale, an excellent dish that extends beyond its class across categories. The chicken tinga topping pairs well with the cabbage slaw, but the real star of the show is the bean tamale itself underneath. It’s probably the most fundamentally sound tamale in the city, with perfectly crafted masa wrapping up a masterful black bean mash core. The only concern with this entry is how to eat it to effectively maximize its impact.
Zenner’s Hot Dog with Bacon: Lucas Melano
This maybe an unpopular opinion (Lizzy Acker certainly disagrees with me), but I’ve never liked the trend of just slapping bacon on everything. Similarly, this hot dog with bacon didn’t do much except inspire, “Yup, that’s a hot dog with bacon on it.” It’s an unnecessary luxury that ultimately fails to provide the value that you’re expecting.
Pulled Pork Sandwich: Sebastian Blanco
A very simple dish done luxuriously. Podnah Pit’s pork is a standout player: it’s rich and powerful meat with delicious fatty chunks throughout to give the sandwich plenty of flavor. The delivery (the bread) was a little dry and predictable in our sample, but it shouldn’t detract from what is overall an excellent entry.
Bacon Queso Nachos: Brian Fernandez
The bacon queso nachos are cheesy as heck, but are ready to put in the hard work for you throughout the match. The chips and cheese are a classic, but the addition of some savory bacon to the mix really elevates this dish to among the best in the stadium.
As with any new food item, it remains to be seen what kind of staying power they have throughout the year, but early reactions seem to indicate that these nachos could be a major part of the Providence Park food scene for some time.
Vietnamese noodle salad: Andy Polo
These thin noodles with vegetables and sauce showed a lot of promise. You could see where the dish was trying to go and, at first, believed that it could get there. But by the end of the bowl, you’re left wanting more. More flavor, more substance, more finishing ability in the final third. That said, with some tweaks, this could become a regular on the scoresheet of my credit card statements.
Uncle Tony’s Pork Rinds: Midge Purce
Just a snack? Think again. These specialty pork rinds are a flavorful and sophisticated take on a classic. They’re highly savory with plenty of crunch. That said, these are still, for now, a side dish. By themselves, they’re a bit lightweight; it’s alongside a broader platter that they really shine. With just the right level of salt and some added spice, this crunchy snack makes a compelling case to be a part of everyone’s game-day experience.
Breakfast Quesadilla: Diego Chara
It’s pretty much exactly what you think it is (bacon, eggs, and cheese), which, it turns out, is pretty awesome—at the end of the day, there’s really nothing else quite like melted cheese in a tortilla. It’s delicious, filling, and compact, it works at any time of day, and supposedly it’s never gotten a second yellow card. It’s worrisome to imagine what would happen if this staple someday disappeared from our plates.
Philly Quesadilla: Christine Sinclair
Like the breakfast quesadilla, there are no surprises here; sound fundamentals paired with classic flavor combine to make a cornerstone of the stadium dining experience. This is the sort of dish that you can rely on to get you through a game, and, as it turns out, pairs up pretty nicely with one of those Oregon berry wine spritzers to attack your hunger.