The Chicago Cubs have one of the richest and most interesting histories in baseball. And even though it’s a crumbling disaster-waiting-to-happen, Wrigley Field is still one of the greatest ballparks ever built. Two things they don’t do well are food and winning. After all, it’s a rebuilding century for the Cubs. We’ve all heard the nicknames – Scrubs, Flubbies, Goatriders. Attending a Cubs game is like watching a 3½ hour disaster with nasty beer and shitty food. Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox pride themselves on food at US Cellular Field. Many baseball fans flock to scalpers for tickets to Opening Day just to be reunited with the food.
Hot dogs at The Cell are made from Vienna Beef franks, whereas Wrigley uses Ballpark. Although the Cubs did recently work out a deal with Vienna. Ballpark Hot Dogs are a cheap, low-quality wiener fit for feeding to a dog. At Wrigley, ketchup on a hot dog is a perfectly acceptable practice. Nobody over the age of 18 should EVER put ketchup on a hot dog. Only crazy people and Texans do it. It’s an insult to Chicago style food! Adding ketchup to a hot dog in Chicago is a mental illness. At Comiskey, hot dogs are usually cooked over a griddle or steamed, then topped with sauerkraut, mustard, and grilled onion.
Nachos at The Cell are one of the best foods available. Sure, they do have the crappy chips and cheese wiz for a couple bucks, but most people go to the Tex Mex stand for Nachos in a baseball helmet. You can get: two different kinds of barbacoa, carnitas, black beans, pinto beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos, salsa, nacho cheese, and black olives. All of this plus a souvenir baseball helmet for only $11.50. Nachos at Wrigley cost about the same amount, but it’s just the plain, boring tortilla chips and cheese wiz.
Bud Light is the official sponsor of the Chicago Cubs, but Budweiser isn’t even a Chicago beer. Nobody drinks that rice water crap at bars. Nobody buys it in liquor stores. Bud isn’t even American anymore. You’ll be able to find a few other beer selections at Wrigley, but not many. Miller Lite is the official beer of the White Sox, and it’s the beer of choice for true Chicagoins. In fact, Miller products are so popular in Chicago that their corporate headquarters moved here. Aside from that, The Cell has stands for Coors, Leinenkugel’s, Corona, and several imported beers.
Camarena is the official tequila of the White Sox, and margarita vendors walk up and down the aisles with coolers full of it on their backs. For $7.50, you get a sizeable margarita with a souvenir cup. You can also get yardsticks of it on the concourse. At Wrigley, they have… well… nothing. You can get wine coolers! *barf*
Sausage-type sandwiches are usually the most common foods associated with baseball games. Comiskey has Vienna Beef hot dogs done three different ways, Bobak’s Polish sausage prepared Maxwell Street style or just steamed, grilled or boiled bratwurst, and Italian sausage cooked on a griddle with red gravy or grilled onion and sauerkraut. At Wrigley Field, you have just a hot dog and just a brat. There’s nothing special about them, no diverse preparations – just plain old boring sausages. Some stands do have a few basic options, but most just give you a bare-bones dog.
One of the biggest differences between food at Wrigley and The Cell is food diversity. Wrigley just has your boring, stereotypical stadium food. Nothing really stands out about anything they sell. At US Cellular Field, every food stall and vendor sells all the foods representative of the south side of Chicago. You can get: elotes, churros, Italian ice, burritos, bao, Cuban sandwiches, Italian beef, Irish nachos, corned beef and rye, and deli sandwiches.
Outside the Park:
Cubbie fans pride themselves on having such an awesome bar and food scene in Wrigleyville as they continue slamming beers and paying no attention to the game. Let’s be serious here – The Cubby Bear, Billy Goat Tavern, and all those bars around Wrigley Field are just massive douchebag hangouts. Sure the bars and neighborhood are nice, but where is the true sense of baseball spirit when you are elbow-to-elbow in some half-rate bar surrounded by a bunch of bandwagon Cubs fans who don’t even care about the game; meanwhile the bartender completely fails to serve you because it’s too busy.
On the other hand, Bridgeport is a true baseball neighborhood. White Sox logos are displayed throughout the entire neighborhood. All along 35th Street, hot dog stands, t-shirt vendors, and small bars line every street corner. Everyone is easy-going, loves the game, and will talk to you for hours about baseball. For that reason, I call Bridgeport my home.