Last week Carl snaked his way into the 1914 Club at Wrigley Field. His entire account was divulged from the highest of high horses, and only a way that a Cubs fan could appropriately appreciate. It was stuffy, nose-in-the-air rhetoric that doesn’t belong in our beloved game of baseball.
As such, I decided to saunter down to the bowels of Guaranteed Rate Field last week to collect imagery of what a real stadium experience looks like. If he thinks hand-crafted wooden staircases, “neat” cocktails, and prime rib is “classy” and “rich”, then he obviously hasn’t partaken in a Guaranteed Rate Field Patio deal. So I did that for him, and documented my experience. Buckle up my friends, you’re about to embark on a great adventure
When Comiskey Park/ US Cellular Field/ Guaranteed Rate Field opened in 1991 and launched a new wave of sorts of stadium designs. The field was applauded for its easy access, open concourse, upper deck seats that were constructed at about an 85 degree angle, and beautiful view of the Robert Taylor Homes on the other side of the Dan Ryan. Though the stadium didn’t initially offer world class perks like it does today, it was built with the ability to add whatever necessary to enhance the fan experience. In the following years, the bright blue seats were painted forest green as an ode to Chicago’s gothic architecture, the Fundamentals deck in LF that offered easy access for patrons to sneak down and/or pay ticket takers $10 to let them to the lower levels, and of course, the bull pen patio bar. Today, though only a handful of stadiums are older than Guaranteed Rate field, it offers a truly A1 stadium experience that is second to none.
Tickets range anywhere from $7-$50 dollars on any given day, depending on how much of a sucker you are. It’s printed on standard white ticket paper as a way to remind you that you’re not a poor, but you’re also not showing off. You’re a working class man, and root for a working class team. Just how we like it on the South Side. Blue collar as fuck.
If indulging in a patio deal at Guaranteed Rate Field, you are blessed with two hours of all you can eat spirits and cuisines that attracts only the finest clientele south of 290. When walking into the patio you feel a rush of excitement; the people all share a common thought, and that’s to get as fucked up as humanly possible, while still acting with the class and sophistication you’d expect out of 1700 people attending an all you can eat/drink buffet deal at a baseball game. People are clad in cutoff shirts, throwback/unbuttoned Magglio Ordonez jerseys with wife beaters underneath and often times cutoff jorts, as if to say “I’m better than you, and you know it”. The epitome of boujee living.
The best part about partaking in a patio deal is the food, that much should be obvious. Guaranteed Rate Field offers only the finest French cuisines, handcrafted by the Bertucci Brothers with their 100 year old family recipes. Here is a list of my favorites:
Côtes Levees – barbeque ribs
Slow cooked for 2 hours prior to the game, these ribs are succulent in every way. Seasoned to perfection before being warmed in a chaffing dish, these melt-in-your-mouth bad boys will satisfy even the biggest of South Side gluttons. If a dashing of paprika, salt, pepper, and chili powder doesn’t do it for you, they can be smothered in the finest of barbeque sauces, Open Pit or Sweet Baby Ray’s.
Poulet frit – fried chicken
Not for the faint of heart, this fried chicken recipe is over 100 years old and South Side legend states that the Bertucci Brothers aren’t allowed in the same car or plane at the same time, as they’re the only two people on earth who know its recipe. We don’t know the recipe, but what we do know is the Bertucci Brothers hunt and prepare the particular game birds used in their recipe themselves, and fry it in Kraft vegetable oil to sheer perfection.
Chiens chauds – hot dogs
A Chicago staple, this hot dog recipe has hints of ingredients from the Agignon region of the French Alps. This all beef frank is steamed for 72 hours before it’s ready for consumption, and you can taste the choice pork byproducts in every bite. A truly majestic fare.
Salade de pommes de terre – potato salad
Simply the most exquisite canape’ the Guaranteed Rate Patio has to offer. Dressed in the finest mayonnaise Hellman’s has to offer, this dish is the perfect starter before you partake in the mastication of the rest of your 5 course meal. A true delight
The Guaranteed Rate Patio offers only the finest of spirits, and here are the most popular
This classic American craft lager comes in both “heavy” and “light” versions, and is meant to be consumed as fast as humanly possible. Though it’s strict stadium policy that one can only possess two beers at a time, this rule can simply be curtailed by gathering as many beers as you can, placing them on your plastic coated utility table, and going back in line for more.
A change of pace offering; brewed in the Sonora Desert region of Northern Mexico, this finely crafted pilsner is perfectly paired with the after dinner choco tacos served for desert and brownie heated to sheer perfection.
This aged 3 week wine is procured from grapes in Western France’s hallowed Bordeaux wine region. It comes in both boxed and plastic bottle versions, and you can taste the fine vintage in every sip. A true delicacy meant for only the most special of occasions.
Final Verdict – A+
Simply put, the perfect stadium experience. When leaving the patio to make my way to the Section 108 RF bleachers, I can say with 100% sincerity that for the first time in my life I felt better than everyone around me, and let me tell you, looking down on people for being lesser than you is a feeling I don’t want anyone else to ever experience, because I want that feeling all for myself. With that said, for the small cost of about $55 + processing fees, you can experience too. That’s a gift from WSD to you.