There’s a new restaurant opening in Tarrant County in 2020. The spacious dining area seats 40,000 guests, but it still might be advisable to make advance reservations.
They’ve named the joint Globe Life Field in Arlington. We think of it primarily as a place to play baseball games, but it’s also very much a place where people eat and drink. In addition to the traditional option to eat hot dogs in one’s seats, the ballpark will offer plenty of actual restaurant spaces, plus fine dining (and hot dogs) in its private suites.
The man who has his fingerprints on everything fans consume there (not literally – he wears sanitary gloves when appropriate) is Cris Vazquez. He serves as executive chef for the Arlington emplacement of Delaware North Sportservice. He engineers a lot of the fun food items we’ve seen over the years at Globe Life Park. I get to see him at least once a year away from the stadium at the Fort Worth Stock Show where he conducts a cooking demonstration for Nolan Ryan Beef.
Ryan himself was not there, although Big Tex did return to the area for Globe Life Park’s final game last September. Whether he’ll be back to see the new park remains to be seen, but his beef will be there. When it does arrive, “Chef Cris,” as many call him, will know how to prepare it. He helped put together the brand’s cookbook. As we got ready to start the video interview that accompanies this blog post, I told him I wanted to ask him a bit about what he was going to be preparing. He ducked to the back and returned with what appeared to be half a steer. For all I know, it could have been performing in the nearby Dickie’s Arena the night before. Actually, I know that’s not true because Nolan Ryan is apparently pretty choosy about his beef. I asked Vazquez about that in the interview, too – how does Nolan know his beef as well as his breaking balls?
Someday I’ll be able to do a blog post that lets you experience the exquisite smells of the Bud Light Roadhouse when Vazquez and his team are cooking in it. Get on that, please, Science. In the meantime maybe you can pick up something from Chef Cris to do the trick in your own kitchen, or just try his version at his new restaurant in Arlington. You can’t miss it.
Disclosure: Nolan Ryan Beef paid my company to record their demos on video