The lunch hour was approaching Monday when Charles Wiggins, an attorney with Pensacola’s Beggs & Lane firm, suggested to fellow lawyer, Robert Jones III, they check out this new takeout food service offered by the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Driving up to Blue Wahoos Stadium, the two purchased the Carne Asada Burrito Basket, created by Blue Wahoos executive chef Travis Wilson. Ten minutes later, they were on their way, toting a lunch to go.
“We’re always in the market for someplace new and interesting to go for lunch,” said Wiggins, who learned of the Blue Wahoos initiative through area media outlets. “This is one more option, one more good opportunity.”
With the global coronavirus pandemic shuttering Pensacola restaurants and affecting dining options, the Blue Wahoos began a service this week with their concessions staff to bring a taste of ballpark into curbside delivery.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m to 7:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, customers can call ahead or order when arriving at the park at the Blue Wahoos tailgate tent located in front of the Hancock-Whitney Club entrance on the third base side of the stadium.
“We are really just trying to do our part, because there are so many people out there who have expressed having such difficulties going to a grocery story and doing this or that,” said Eric Kroll, the Blue Wahoos general manager for food and beverage.
“People are asking around on ‘who is open, who can do meals?’ So really we’re just trying to help families and people in the community and do our part with just being available for people who can’t cook or aren’t available to.”
The stadium itself is not open, baseball everywhere is on hold, but the Blue Wahoos are trying to bring a flavorful sense of the famed ballpark into a drive-thru setting.
It’s also a way to provide some sense of normalcy.
“Our number one concern is keeping jobs in the community and having a way for local families to enjoy food and the ballpark area without being able to have baseball games,” said Blue Wahoos president Jonathan Griffith. “We feel this is a good thing to do at this time in keeping with our mission to improve the quality of life in the community.
“Our priority is to keep as many of our employees with jobs.”
Customers can place an order by dialing 850-934-8444, ext. 451 to place an order ahead of arrival. Most food orders take 10 minutes or less.
The menu, which is listed below, offers a variety of hot dog, hamburger baskets, along with bacon-crusted shrimp tacos, a grilled chicken basket, the burito dish, and a build-your-own pasta.
Prices range from $8-$12 including a beverage and side item of fries. There is also a lunch kids menu for $3 apiece.
“While we can’t offer baseball games, we can offer great food and a way for families and people to come to our ballpark and take a break,” Griffith said. “The area around our stadium is the best view in baseball and this is a way for people to come down, get some food and be at the park without a game going on.”
It’s a concept that was well-received on the first day of offering.
“We’re still working and you need somewhere to get reasonably good food, “ Jones III said. “Last week, I was walking downtown and some places were closed completely. In our situation, we still have to make money, get lunch, and we have to do what we can.”
If interest merits, Kroll said there might be a way to produce family-style meals to feed families of four or six.
The menu options are as follows:
$3 Kids Lunch Special
Available 11:00 AM-2:00 PM
1. Shredded Chicken Taco, Fruit Salad, Cookie, 12 oz Soda or 20 oz Bottled Water
2. Hot Dog, Fruit Salad, Cookie, 12 oz Soda or 20 oz Bottled Water
3. Chicken Tenders, Fruit Salad, Cookie, 12 oz Soda or 20 oz Bottled Water
Available 11:00 AM-7:00 PM
All Baskets include french fries, and a drink (12 oz canned Pepsi product soda or 20 oz bottled water)
Grilled Kayem Hot Dog Basket-$8
Grilled Kayem Foot Long Hot Dog Basket-$10
Heater Burger Basket-$11
Bacon, Cheddar, "Heater Sauce", Onion Straws
5-Star Chappie Basket-$11
Kayem Footlong Hot Dog, Chili, Shredded Cheese, Diced Onion
Crab Mac & Cheese Dog-$12
Kayem Footlong Hot Dog, Parmesan Crab Mac & Cheese, Pico de Gallo
Philly Cheesesteak Basket-$10
Grilled Steak, Onion & Pepper Mix, Queso, Roasted Garlic Bayo
Bacon-Crusted Shrimp Tacos-$12
Jalapeno Slaw, Pico De Gallo, Heater Sauce
Carne Asada Burrito Basket-$12
Marinated Steak, Cilantro Lime Rice, Onions & Pepper Mix, Roasted Poblano Crema, Shredded Cheese
Change-Up Chicken Basket-$11
Grilled Chicken Breast, Bacon, "Heater Sauce", Cheddar, Onion Straws
Home Plate Special-$10
Pasta: Bowtie or Fettucine
Sauce: Marinara, Spinach Alfredo, or Basil Pesto
Protein: Herb-Grilled Chicken, Seared Shrimp, or Grilled Steak