Feb
29

Food That's Fit for a King

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Anyone who has been to a Sacramento King’s game at Arco Arena knows the feeling – it’s the beginning of the fourth quarter of a close game and a timeout is about to conclude. All of a sudden you hear a thunderous boom coming from the speakers in the arena. Then slowly rising from the vibrations, you can hear the beginnings of “Sirius” from The Alan Parson’s Project and Big Mike’s voice begins the now infamous Arco Arena dialogue “Welcome to the fourth quarter, in 28 other cities it’s only a game…But this is Sacramento. This is Arco Arena. Now let me hear you make some NOISE!” As fans and players alike can tell you, this is now the time to buckle down and be as much of a part of the game as you can. It seems as if the concessions from around the arena are encouraging it, as they all shut down around then as well.

The problem is that, this usually happens at around 9 o’clock and by the time you get home, it’s going to be too late to eat dinner. If you didn’t bring any food with you, that leaves you only a couple choices. You can either a) go through a drive through and understand the real meaning of the word ironic as you ponder “fast food”, or b) you can surprise yourself at the variety of food at the arena itself.

The doors of the arena typically open about an hour and half before game time. When those doors open, just about every concession stand is as open and ready for your money as your stomach is for their food. Between pregame, timeouts, and halftime (or even the game itself if you are there because your significant other dragged you there), there is plenty of opportunity to scout around for what will make the perfect meal that night.
The most common place for any fan to go eat is at the concession stand. You don’t need me to explain to you about King’s Dogs, nachos, popcorn, churros, etc, etc. Try something new, though – did you know that every concession stand has a carving station where you can try meats that are carved right in front of you such as tri-tip, roasts, or turkey?

Honestly though, except for the meat carving, once you’ve been to one concession stand in any arena or ballpark in the country, you’ve been to them all. The real trick to uncovering some good food is to walk around the concourse. By doing so, you may be surprised to discover an array of choices that are very appetizing. There is Mexican food (made to order burritos, tacos, taco salads, etc.). You can pick up an Asian rice bowl, or go outside to the Arena grill for all of your BBQ needs. But no matter what you have for dinner, make sure you stop off at Dreyer’s ice cream for a ginormous (so big that I needed to create a word) ice cream cone that you won’t soon forget.

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Image courtesy of Arco Arena

There is also one more secret to dining at the arena, and that is the Skyline Restaurant. It is on the fourth floor with as good a view of downtown Sacramento, the river, and the Tower Bridge as you can have. They offer a delicious buffet of premium carved meat, cheese, and pasta. Of course, there is full bar for your “gametime energy drink” needs. Another secret about the restaurant is that it opens a half hour before the rest of the arena, so you can come in before anyone else. Just ask the stadium personnel where to go to get in.

Save the hotdog for that Rivercats or Giants game that starts in April, expand your entertainment center palette. There are all kinds of crown jewels as far as food in the house of the Kings.

By Steven Frith steven-frith.jpg

Arena Skyline on Urbanspoon

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