Butter Up, Angels Fans!
While Edwin found the places inside Angel Stadium where you should eat (I still get a kick from buying ice cream in little helmets, even if the price is obscene), both he and I agree that the better option is to eat beforeentering the ballpark. But don’t bother with the restaurants within walking distance of the game, unless you enjoy eating overpriced, so-so grub alongside drunkards. Anaheim is perhaps the most diverse city in Orange County, not only in population, but also in food choices, and while your Halos might play relatively far from Little Arabia (really, just a 15-minute drive away on Ball Road), there are great options just up State College Boulevard.
Doner G has proven to be a spectacular choice since it opened two years ago—the county’s first Turkish restaurant meant for Turks, without letting entrées veer toward more-mainstream Arabic or Greek variants of its dishes. The menu is purely Anatolian, with an emphasis on the meats—the namesake doners are petal-thin slices of tender, spiced meat as delicate as carpaccio but more intense, piled on a large plastic plate. Even better is the iskander plate, the same meat shavings now accompanied by sharp yogurt tinted yellow because they poured gallons of butter into it. Don’t bother looking for much Angels fandom here, though—the tables will be filled with the laughter and bonhomie famous to Turks, all properly buzzed on steaming tea. 2139 E. Ball Rd., Anaheim, (714) 956-0123; www.donerg.com.
Far more sympathetic to sports talk is El Gaucho Meat Market #2, located a couple of blocks up State College. The focus here, though, is on soccer. This Argentine grocery dots five televisions throughout its market and deli, so you can shop for Brazilian, Peruvian and Colombian goods without missing a wondrous Lionel Messi charge in this year’s FIFA World Cup; after the tournament is done, the TVs spend the rest of the year tuned to every possible Argentine soccer division imaginable, with European leagues thrown in (but rarely Mexican or MLS, alas). Everyone will be chomping down on El Gaucho’s stellar milanesa sandwiches, the breaded cutlet raining sweet crumbs on your plate and hanging outside the French roll, or the baked-in-house empanadas; the Weekly’s food crew agrees El Gaucho’s spinach version—spiked with nutmeg and ricotta, steaming inside a buttery crust—is the closest the albicelestes will come to total victory this summer. 847 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 776-6400; www.elgauchomeatmarket.com.
If you’re too poor to attend an Angels game during our Great Recession, do what we Anaheimers have done since before the Halos played in Anaheim: Watch the game at Angelo’s Burgers. I defy anyone to find a finer summer Friday night than the kind you get here: a burger-fries-and-Coke combo for 6 bucks, a girl/boy by your side, nameless kids chucking pickles at one another, buxom waitresses skating around the restaurant without pause to fulfill orders, and the half-Latino, half-white crowd communally willing another Kendry Morales horsehide bomb into the television sky—oh, wait, Morales broke his leg. . . . 511 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 533-1401.
But if you insist on the ballpark experience and don’t want to test the limits of your palate with ethnic cuisine beforehand, read TheOrange County Register—kidding! No, place a call to Pizza Boy before the game, pick up your order, and eat inside the park. The hoagies shine; the cinnamon stix are caked with frosting and almost as delicious as the Stadium’s legendary cinnamon rolls. But you’re here for pie: almost greaseless, a sturdy crust that ensures a slice won’t flop down when you pick it up, with reasonable prices and fresh ingredients. It did the job at the recent Floyd Mayweather-Shane Mosley boxing dud for a roomful of sports geeks, so it should do the job for you. 1177 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 772-7716; www.pizzaboyanaheim.com.
One bit of advice: The above restaurants will all be closed by the time you get out of a night game. If you’re looking to drown your sorrows afterward, you’re best heading to where the players like to go—Fritz That’s Too. This is strictly for the boys, as this is a strip club where the food is bad, but the drinks strong and the women more than happy to help you get through this bad, bad season. Happy gyrating! 710 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (877) 809-5112.
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