If you have ever been to a sporting event at a stadium, you pretty much can guess what food choices you will have available. You have your standards: wings, hoagies, fries, pizza, and so forth. Well, here at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, there’s a new kid in town, Pass and Stow. Get ready to dine like you are at a fine dining center city restaurant!
A quick history lesson. John Pass and John Stow were two Philadelphia foundry workers who recast the original Liberty Bell in 1753, and their names are inscribed on it. This was a nice way to pay homage to Philadelphia’s rich history.
If you enter the stadium through the third base gates, the restaurant will be immediately on your right. It is spacious, inviting, and family-friendly. Outside, there is a large beer garden, and immediately to the right of that is an outdoor pizza oven, and still plenty more seating. If you prefer to dine inside, they have you covered. There is a large bar area and tables throughout the restaurant.
You may be asking yourselves by now, why did we go to a baseball stadium for dinner? Good question. We had free vouchers to attend a Phillies game, and the general manager of Pass and Stow just happens to be our very good friend, John Doyle. John is no stranger to the restaurant world in Philadelphia. He was the general manager of Vespers in center city, and the White Dog Cafe in Wayne. When this opprotunity came around, he couldn’t pass it up. We know John very well, and we knew the quality of food would be outstanding. We were right!
Pass and Stow has a fantastic menu, and their prices are really good. They do have your classics like, fries, wings, burgers, and steak sandwiches, but they take time to elevate the flavors. It is not your normal stadium fare. You can see the care and passion the head chef puts in every dish that comes out of the kitchen. Also, the staff are the friendliest you will ever meet.
We decided to start with an order of cheese steak egg rolls, that came with a delicious togarashi ketchup. They were delicious! They were served hot and crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. Just the way you would expect them to be prepared and served.
For cocktails, I ordered the 1753, which was a combination of sliced ginger, mint, Stateside vodka, and sugar. It was fantastic. The spice of the ginger paired very well with the coolness of the mint and sweetness of the sugar. Eric ordered the Lester’s Folly. That consisted of Bombay Sapphire, lime, simple syrup, club soda, and pinot noir. He loves cocktails that incorporate wine. This drink was outstanding. He immediately fell in love with it, and promptly ordered another. I soon followed suit and ordered one as well. It was really nice and refreshing.
It was a difficult choice as to what to order for our entrees. We both went for one of the specials, the maple bourbon pork belly. It was served with fresno chili, pickled mustard seeds, and topped with a quail egg. Yes, a quail egg. When was the last time you went to a ballgame and had a quail egg?
Readers, let me tell you. The presentation alone was simply stunning. It looked like a dish you would be served at the fine restaurant. As for the taste, it was delicious! It was perfectly cooked, and just melted in your mouth. The sweetness of the maple glaze was the perfect balance to the spicy fresno chili. When you cut into the quail egg, it just spread over the pork perfectly, and added yet another level of texture. We told our super friendly server, Elizabeth, to please let the chef know that this may be the best pork belly we’ve ever had. She told us that this was the first night this dish was feature on the specials menu. The chef hit a home run with this one.
We were still a little hungry, so we decided to give that outdoor pizza oven a try. We ordered their Margherita pie. All pizzas are made fresh and to order. Again, the presentation of the dish was fantastic. The smell and taste of it was delicious! It was perfectly cooked, and the tomato sauce was to die for.
Well, word did in fact get back to the chef about how much we loved all of our dishes. He was so pleased, that he sent out the two complimentary desserts that were on the specials menu. One was a Boston cream cupcake, made with house made vanilla cream, chocolate frosting, and fresh cherries. The other was a passion fruit tart, served with passion fruit mousse, mint, and seasonal fruit. They both were so good. It was really difficult to decide which one I liked more so I decided it was a tie! It was so sweet of the chef to send these out to us. We can’t thank him, the staff, and general manager John Doyle enough for their top notch service, friendliness, and fantastic food.
Next time you go to a Phillies game, you absolutely have to go to Pass and Stow. The food was simply amazing. You’ll keep saying to yourself that you can’t believe you’re at a baseball stadium.
As a side note, you cannot go to Pass and Stow for dinner unless you have tickets for a Phillies game!! I recommend you get some cheap seats, then come!
I almost forgot. If any of you have been to Amtrak’s 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, you will remember the clicker board that showed the status of the trains. It was replaced with a digital board earlier this year. The original board is alive and well! It’s situated behind the indoor bar! John told us that it’s hooked up to Major League Baseball’s website so it’s constantly updating with scores. It still makes that clicking sound. Also, this was my very first Phillies game. We won!