Coca Cola Park raises the bar on club level fare

Sauteed Calamari ($10)/photo D. Boylan

Frequent visitors to the club level at Allentown’s Coca Cola Park may have noticed something different at the FMO Painting Club bar, menus.  Bored with traditional ball park favorites?  In addition to the many food offerings available throughout the home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA Phillies), there is now a bar menu.  Following opening day bound menus could be found along the bar enticing fans to order new upscale versions of traditional favorites in addition to classic pub fare.

Average price for items from the bar menu is $10 and while at first glance some may scoff at the price point, it must be noted that these items are generously portioned, cooked with the freshest of ingredients and made to order. No heat lamps or dried overcooked made for the masses food here.  I have sampled several items off the new menu up to this date and I can say with full confidence that the Iron Pigs catering division have hit the ball well out of the park.

The Iron Pigs have made several positive changes in their concessions both on the club and main level. One of the most notable is the new Bypass app which allows fans to purchase food from various concession points via their smart phones. They will receive a text message when their items are ready for pickup rather than having to endure a long line to order and purchase. To clear up some confusion, there is no seat delivery and although the app asks for your seating section, this has no bearing on which concession you purchase from or the operation of the app. There is a .99 convenience charge per order, but compared to potentially long wait times for food, this is a worthwhile expense. I know I would rather spend my time watching the on field action rather than waiting on-line. Each Bypass enabled concession features a dedicated Bypass order pick up line. Since Bypass users have already ordered and paid for their food in advance, the Bypass line moves swiftly. The Bypass service is available throughout Coca Cola Park including Hog Heaven on the club level and various points along the main concourse.  If long lines aren’t your thing, then definitely check it out.

Regarding the new club level menu, orders are placed right from the bar with any one of the friendly bartenders on duty. When your order is ready it is delivered directly to you. Orders are covered in tin foil to insure they arrive at the perfect temperature. I was impressed the last two times that I ordered, the Executive Chef came to see me personally to ask my opinion of the meal. He was very concerned that I was having a positive dining experience.  I am quite certain if I didn’t he would have made it right.

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Mary Nixon, Director of Events and Catering for her creativity and open-minded vision regarding new ideas and fostering the evolution of food selections beyond the ballpark basics. The highest of praise also goes to Executive Chef Jan Giedja for his creations, he is the man behind the magic, preparing each meal by hand for your gastronomic pleasure. Mangia!




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Filed under Dining Out, Iron Pigs

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