09/25/15 / Padres360.com / @Padres360
by Rebecca Herman & Wayne McBrayer at Petco Park
Rebecca’s first memories of Club 19 go back to 2006, before she was a season ticket holder, when a friend used to invite her and her son to games. They would often meet in Club 19. Such an amazing place with a great atmosphere, nice views, indoor & outdoor seating, and a terrific menu. Their favorite item at the time was the Donovan burger – it was fantastic. Going to Club 19 became a regular pre-game ritual.
Another great thing about Club 19 is its namesake – Tony Gwynn. His jerseys, Gold Glove awards, and Silver Slugger bats are on display there. Not only that but originally, many of his mom’s recipes were on the menu. A favorite was the macaroni and cheese – YUM!
In the beginning, the Toyota Terrace was intended to be pretty exclusive for those with tickets for that area. Only full season (now Platinum) packages were available for the Toyota Terrace Infield and you also had to purchase Founders’ Club Membership before becoming eligible to buy season tickets. The restaurants were touted as one of the “many” benefits for the extra fees associated with Founders’ Club Membership. Those days were grand.
Change happens – Toyota Terrace is not exclusive any longer; the organization has been through various ownership/leadership changes; and we lost our hero – #19 –Tony Gwynn. Along with those changes came a continuous change in the menu offerings at Club 19 and as the food quality and service lessened, the prices kept rising. We have always wanted to do a story about Club 19 so fans would stop in there to see all the great memorabilia but it didn’t feel right to give a less than favorable review to the restaurant named after our baseball hero.
So why the story today?
On September 2, we were approached by some fantastic folks in the Entertainment Department and asked if we were Members – but of course! We were then asked if one of us wanted to RING THE BELL! That was a ringing YES!! Rebecca would be the Mission Bell Ringer to start the game and that meant all four of us would be on the field for the remainder of batting practice and pre-game ceremonies.
While waiting, our friend, Don Welke, Vice President of Scouting Operations, walked over to chat with us and he introduced us to Scott Marshall, Vice President & Chief Hospitality Officer. Scott knew that we were “Padres360” and wanted to talk with us about our Taco Tuesday story.
As the conversation progressed, we tried to validate a rumor that we had heard regarding Club 19 – that is would not be back next season. Scott indicated that wasn’t accurate and said the reviews for Club 19 are always outstanding. We shared our previous observations and he encouraged us to go back because he believed significant improvements had been made. Thus – our visit a week later on September 9, 2015.
We started with adult beverages. Rebecca ordered a Padres Cooler ($12.50) – Deep Eddy grapefruit vodka, club soda, and lemon. It was light and refreshing. Wayne ordered the Cabo Wabo Margarita ($14.00) – Cabo Wabo Tequila, lime juice, and sour mix. The Margarita was very tasty and enjoyable. We ordered Tony’s Tenders ($6.50) as an appetizer and Wayne selected the Sirloin Sliders ($14.75) while Rebecca decided to get the Pretzel Pastrami ($14.75) because the waiter said it was the best item in the entire ballpark!
Tony’s tenders were brought out first, which consisted of 4 pieces of breaded chicken with homemade potato chips and a delicious ranch dressing. The chicken was moist and the breading on the outside was light so it didn’t detract from the chicken. The chips were fresh and tasty and in a generous portion.
Within a few minutes, our entrées were delivered and they looked great. The sirloin sliders (2) consisted of garlic mushrooms, tobacco onions, smoked cheddar, and horseradish sauce with a juicy piece of sirloin that was very flavorful and a definite winner. The Pretzel Pastrami was enormous! It consisted of pastrami, pickle planks, Diego queso, tomatoes, tobacco onions, jalapeno mustard, and topped off with a fried egg – all on a pretzel roll. Each entrée was served with kettle chips. We elected to split each entrée and highly recommend doing that so you can enjoy them both!
Overall, we would have to say Club 19 is a winner. It’s a little pricier than eating on the concourse but the food is excellent, the staff is friendly and attentive, and the air conditioning is cool; always important on a hot day.
There’s only a week left this season – be sure to stop by Club 19 and have a bite & an adult beverage!
Wayne & Rebecca