As they continue to revamp the fan experience, the Jacksonville Suns (Class AA; Southern League) are rolling out a wide array of new food options.
The Suns, along with First Coast Concessions, LLC, have announced new items that will add unique, locally-inspired fare to the concession, group, and suite menus at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Regular readers may recall that the Suns recently unveiled extensive upgrades around the ballpark, focusing heavily on the hospitality areas.
“We sought to totally reimagine the dining experience at the ballpark, and give our guests reasons to come out again and again to taste what is new,” said Suns owner Ken Babby. “With food and beverage offerings that are delicious and affordable, the flavors and value at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville will be FUNdamentally Different!”
Entering the first year under new ownership, the Suns established their new food and beverage department as First Coast Concessions, LLC. The full-time staff includes Mary Nixon as Assistant General Manager of Food and Beverage and Special Events, Ernest Hopkins as Director of Food and Beverage, and Tina Gray-Young and Juanita Millhouse as Food and Beverage Managers.
“Our priority as the new food and beverage team was an entirely new level of quality and variety, with outstanding customer service,” said Suns Assistant General Manager of Food and Beverage and Special Events Mary Nixon. “Our new food and beverage team cannot wait for guests to taste the new menu Thursday!”
Traditions with a Twist
At every game this season, the Suns will offer hot dogs for $2 each. But those looking for a little or a lot extra may turn to the Dog House Cart or the Sundowner Lounge, which will serve a Pork & Slaw Dog, loaded with barbecue pulled pork, cole slaw and a dill pickle spear, and a Philly Dog, which combines two classic sandwiches – hot dog and Philly Cheesesteak – for a unique treat. The Sundowner Lounge, offering all fans a climate-controlled view of the game, will also have its own menu with a range of items from Franks and Beans toJambalaya.
Two concession stands will offer Classic Grilled Cheese, as well as an All-American Melt of American and pepper jack cheese, bacon, and tomato served on Texas Toast. For fans in the dugout box seats and suite level, options include the Swiss Bleu Mushroom Grilled Cheese –sautéed mushrooms and onions melted with Swiss cheese and Bleu cheese between two slices of sour dough bread – and “The Ultimate,”which combines American and pepper jack cheese with barbecue pork and creamy cole slaw on sour dough bread.
The combination of chicken and waffles takes its ballpark forms as Buffalo Chicken Bites in a Waffle Cone (available at a concession stand named “Southern Fried Free Bird”) and the Chicken and Waffles served in the luxury suites as donut-flavored waffles served with home-style chicken tenders.
Homage to Heritage
The Suns renamed each concession stand on the concourse and built unique menus with local themes of Northeast Florida.
On the outfield end of the first-base side, Singh for Your Supper is a tribute to the world’s former No. 1 professional golfer and Ponte Vedra Beach resident Vijay Singh. On the opposite side, the outfield end of the third-base side, Sweet Tea-bow honors Florida Gators Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow. Both stands will offer traditional ballpark fare, as well as pulled pork sandwiches or nachos, and the Classic Grilled Cheese and All-American Melt selections. Under the concourse on the third-base side is the Dunkin with Dee stand, named after Jacksonville native and former NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion Dee Brown.
Closer to home plate on the third-base side of the concourse behind home plate is the Southern Fried Free Bird stand honoring Jacksonville rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. It is the only concourse concession stand featuring Chicken “Limp” Biscuit – a crispy whole breast chicken filled with real butter, all on a warm, Southern-Style buttermilk biscuit.
On the first-base side concourse is the All-American JAX stand, honoring the patriotic and military tradition of the First Coast. On top of traditional fare are hamburgers, cheeseburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches. The new Funnel Cake Fries are available at both the All-American JAX and Southern Fried Free Bird stands.
All-You-Can-Eat Picnics and Group Areas
Throughout the ballpark, the group picnic menus are all new. Available for groups of 24 or more people, picnics include 90-minute, all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw, beans, and cookies. Specific areas will serve a menu including everything from barbecue chicken to seasonal fruit.
Fans in the Luxury Suites at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville have access to a full pre-order menu with a multitude of delicious platters to have prepared for the game. Suite holders may choose gourmet Warm-Up and Batting Practice appetizers, Batter Up entrees, Designated Hitter sides and Seventh-Inning Stretch desserts.