High Plains Bison Grilled Meatloaf Sandwich

By Chris Rewers on Friday, July 23, 2010

One of the negatives of attending a night game at Wrigley Field for a 9-5 worker is the rush that is necessary to get to the ballpark on time.

An afternoon game usually affords us the luxury of dining out for lunch at a restaurant or at least a bite at one of the many bars that surround the the Friendly Confines. But even if we get off the Red Line at the Addison stop at around 6, the anxiety that comes with not wanting to miss the first pitch prevents me from enjoying a meal out.

We've discovered, however, that the Sheffield Grill is an adequate substitute for dining out. The restaurant is located in the right-field corner to the right of Gate D and offers standard ballpark fare as well as some menu items that aren't usually associated with the national pastime.

On our most recent visit to Wrigley - for a night game - Denise and I arrived at 6:30. We decided to hit the Sheffield Grill and grab some dinner that we could take to our seats. I'm happy to report that we were settled and enjoying our food by the time public address announcer Paul Friedman began to read the starting lineups.

The dining area, a very cramped space to begin with, was crowded and we had to force our way through a congested row of tables in order to make it to the service counter, but once we made it there, we were pleased with the friendly service.

We ordered one of the "homestand specials" off the menu - the High Plains Bison grilled meatloaf sandwich -which we decided to split. The sandwich, which set us back $9.50, consisted of a big, thick slice of meatloaf served on a standard hamburger bun and garnished with a slice of melted cheddar, a drizzle of basil mayonnaise, and two delicious crispy onion rings. It was accompanied by a generous pile of potato chips and a dill pickle spear.

The meatloaf was tasty - not too dry and full of flavor - but the bun left a lot to be desired. It was bland and kind of mushy. I would have enjoyed the meatloaf more if it had been served on garlic bread or at least an Italian roll.

A money-saving tip: Wrigley Field allows patrons to enter the ballpark with plastic bottles containing water and soft drinks not exceeding one liter. On nights I choose not to drink beer, I stop at the 7-Eleven across the street from Gate D on Addison and Sheffield and buy a beverage to take into the park. On my most recent visit, I brought a 24-ounce 7-11 iced tea into the ballpark that cost just 99 cents.

I've always appreciated that Wrigley Field allows fans to bring outside food and beverages into the park. Many Cubs fans probably take it for granted, but I remember a few years back being refused entry on a cool evening at the South Side major league ballpark because I was carrying a full cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee. I was told by an usher that I would have to discard the cup in order to enter the park, but that coffee was available at most concession stands.

I stubbornly took a seat on a bus stop bench and finished my coffee before walking through the turnstile.

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