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SunTrust Park starts second season with new food, beverage options

First & Third Italian Beef: Sausage beef with au jus on a hero roll, covered with provolone cheese and giardiniera Los Bravos Gigante Burrito: Four flour tortillas layered with grilled chicken or barbacoa beef, sofrito seasoned rice, queso Chihuahua and salsa roja Pig Pickin': A BBQ seasoned tortilla shell filled with smoked pork and smothered in Coca-Cola BBQ sauce, mac and cheese, coleslaw, grilled corn and cracklins Souvenir Loaded Tots: Tater tots heaped with smoked brisket, covered with jalapeno chee

The food roster for the Atlanta Braves’ second season at SunTrust Park will feature several familiar favorites joined by some eager-to-please rookies.

First up is Punch Bowl Social, opening Saturday in The Battery, the entertainment district adjacent to the ballfield. The Denver-based "eatertainment" concept will serve a menu overseen by celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, the name behind another concept at the park, Achie's at the Omni Hotel at The Battery.

Punch Bowl Social’s resident mixologist and beverage director Patrick Williams pours one of his tequila concoctions called a Watermelon Polo Bowl during a media tour. Punch Bowl Social will open Saturday in The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT
Punch Bowl Social’s resident mixologist and beverage director Patrick Williams pours one of his tequila concoctions called a Watermelon Polo Bowl during a media tour. Punch Bowl Social will open Saturday in The Battery Atlanta adjacent to SunTrust Park. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT

Breakfast items will include ricotta cheese pancakes and a grits breakfast bowl while lunch and dinner will bring a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, sides, sharable plates and entrees as well as “Big Baller Plates” meant to be shared by three or four people. Notable dishes include OMFG GF Southern Fried Chicken, Hugh’s Pimiento Cheese, Lobster Bacon Fries, Lil’ Street Tacos and It’s Nacho Mama’s roasted cauliflower nachos. The brunch menu borrows heavily from the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus with some extra dishes including avocado toast and wild mushroom hash brown skillet.

Thirsty? The extensive beverage list designed by beverage director Patrick Williams has a variety of punch bowls meant for sharing, including a seasonal “featured punch,” cocktails, adult milkshakes, wine and a beer list made up almost entirely of local brews. On the nonalcoholic side, look for juices, mocktails, sodas, floats and shakes.

All the food and drinks will keep you satiated as you try your luck at shuffleboard, two outdoor pingpong tables, video games, eight bowling lanes, virtual reality, Skee-Ball, a bocce court, private karaoke rooms and a 360-degree bar with several televisions.

Joining Punch Bowl Social in The Battery later this season will be Garden & Gun Club, a cocktail bar from the publishers of Garden & Gun magazine; sandwich shop El Super Pan, showcasing Latin American cuisine from chef Hector Santiago; Sweet Pete's Candy Shop and Farrell's Restaurant and Ice Cream Parlor, offering a variety of sweet treats; and Burn by Rocky Patel, a cigar bar that will also serve a selection of spirits.

You'll also be able to try out several culinary concepts that opened in The Battery after the end of last season, including Ford Fry's Mexican concept El Felix; Goldberg's Bagel Company and Achie's in the Omni Hotel.

Inside the park, you'll find many of the same food and beverage offerings at concession stands as during the Braves' first season in SunTrust Park, with some minor tweaks (a blackened shrimp po'boy taco will be subbed in for the catfish taco and a barbecue chicken sandwich with white sauce will take the place of a Tomahawk pork chop).

Another change fans might notice is shorter wait times for food. The Braves worked with Georgia Tech graduate students to study line times and how long food takes to produce, and used the research to streamline the process this year.

The Frankenstein’s monster hybrid dishes that were introduced at the park last year  will be joined by some creative new dishes.

For a meal to share with some fellow Braves fans, there’s the Los Bravos Gigante Burrito — four extra-large flour tortillas layered with your choice of grilled chicken or barbacoa beef, sofrito seasoned rice, queso Chihuahua, and salsa roja. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT
For a meal to share with some fellow Braves fans, there’s the Los Bravos Gigante Burrito — four extra-large flour tortillas layered with your choice of grilled chicken or barbacoa beef, sofrito seasoned rice, queso Chihuahua, and salsa roja. CONTRIBUTED BY CHRIS HUNT

Look for Fizza, house-cut fries topped with marinara, shredded mozzarella and fried pepperoni; the Los Bravos Gigante Burrito, a 2-foot burrito that comes in a carrying case, designed to be shared by four people; and the Pig Pickin’, which made its debut at the end of last season and offers smoked pork covered in Coca-Cola BBQ sauce, mac and cheese, coleslaw, grilled corn and cracklins.

“We came up with some fun new stuff,” said Shawn Mattox, district manager for food service and hospitality company Delaware North Sportservice. “But that doesn’t mean we’re done creating for the season.”

In addition, First & Third and Terrapin Taproom — the two restaurants accessible from both SunTrust Park and The Battery — are offering new menu items in the form of an Italian beef sandwich and smoked wings, respectively.

The Braves, in partnership with Delaware North, are continuing the “Taste of Braves Country” program, which showcases Southern cooking from six states considered to be “Braves Country”: Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Also returning is the “Farm to Fan” initiative, which brings in fresh, homegrown ingredients from Atlanta-area farms and other local producers.

Local purveyors that sold food inside the stadium last year are back for another season. They include King of Pops, H&F Burger, Chick-fil-A and Waffle House, which is set to open a hash brown bar inside the ballpark in mid-April.

The Braves' outside food policy remains the same. The organization will continue to allow fans to bring food into the stadium so long as it fits in a clear, gallon-size container. Fans are also allowed to bring in a sealed plastic bottle of water. One bag of food and one bottle of water per ticket will be permitted. All bags of food will be subject to additional inspection at security gates.

You’ll be able to get your hands on the new offerings at The Battery and SunTrust Park during the Braves’ home opener March 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

OPENING NIGHT PARTY

On its opening night (Saturday), Punch Bowl Social is hosting a ticketed party open to the public from 7-9 p.m., with proceeds to benefit the Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that serves restaurant employees facing hardship. $20 tickets include two full hours of Punch Bowl Social's food and beverages, access to games and live music by New Junk City. 875 Battery Ave., Atlanta. Tickets can be purchased online.

DINING OPTIONS AT THE BATTERY AT SUNTRUST PARK

Achie’s — American restaurant from Hugh Acheson located in the Omni Hotel at The Battery.

Antico Pizza — The popular Neapolitan-style pizzeria has its third location at The Battery.

C. Ellet’s — Steakhouse from restaurateur Linton Hopkins, who also operates an H&F Burger inside the ballpark.

Cru Food and Wine Bar — The eatery offers Napa-style foods, including stone-fired pizzas and artisan plates, as well as a broad wine selection.

El Felix — Restaurateur Ford Fry serves up Mexican food with an Austin vibe at the second location of his Tex-Mex concept.

Feed — The fried chicken and Southern food concept from chef Marc Taft of Chicken and the Egg in Marietta serves up fried chicken, catfish, country-fried steak, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese and other Southern staples.

First & Third Hot Dog and Sausage Shack — The Hugh Acheson concept offers artisanal sausages and hot dogs from local butcher Patak Meats in Austell.

Goldberg’s Bagel Company — Serves deli favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Haagen-Dazs — The chain offers its signature ice creams, gelatos, sorbets, sundaes and frozen drinks.

Live at The Battery Atlanta — Developed by the Cordish Companies, which operates Live venues at ballparks across the country, this concept includes three sections: Sports & Social Club, a two-level area that features a 40-foot diagonal, high-definition LED screen as a backdrop for social games and activities; PBR Bar & Grill, which is branded for the Professional Bull Riders Association; and Todd English Tavern, a concept from celebrity chef and Atlanta native Todd English, who calls his restaurant a “neo-tavern” featuring Southern dishes with an international influence and an extensive beverage program.

Terrapin Taproom featuring Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q — A collaboration between Athens-based Terrapin brewery and Atlanta’s popular Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, the taproom features several Terrapin beers and favorites from the Fox Bros. menu.

Wahlburgers —The high-end burger concept from brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg made its Atlanta debut with its Battery location.

Yard House — The pub chain, which has an Atlanta location at Atlantic Station, serves up 130 draft beers, including several local and regional brews, along with upscale bar food.