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SunTrust Park starts second season with new food, beverage options

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 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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.

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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 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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.

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