We often talk about how much we enjoy exploring local restaurants when we're on our baseball tours across the country. Besides asking the locals for recommendations or just stumbling into our own finds, we often map out our meals based on places we've seen on Food Network or the Travel Channel.
Now that job has just been made easier...
Here's a site, TV Food Maps, that allows you to search for restaurants based on the show, the episode or the location of the business. This is great if you saw a show featuring a business that you wanted to see but you couldn't remember the name.
For instance, Guy Fieri featured a Baltimore pit barbeque shop on Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, but I couldn't remember the name of it. A quick search on this app reveals that it is Chaps Pit Beef. So now as I plan my trip to Baltimore on our East Coast Baseball Tour this summer, I can be sure to incorporate a visit to Chaps.
We've enjoyed some great dining experience on our tours as a result of these shows. Here are some past blogs that featured our stops: Lucky's Cafe (Cleveland), The Stand (NYC), and Flip Burger (Atlanta).
Here's a shot of the Cheddar Biscuits and Gravy (above) that we tried at Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland last year. They were fantastic. After talking with Chef Heather Haviland for a few minutes, she brought out a blueberry float for my son to try. It must have been good because he didn't let anyone else at the table have a chance to sample it! You know that our tour guide will be making their way over to Lucky's on our Midwest 2 tour again this year!
So check out the TV Food Maps app and use it when you are planning your baseball trips and tours this summer. Or better yet, join up with us on a 2012 baseball tour and we'll experience them together!!
The Big League Tours' Midwest 2 Tour will make its way to four great, newer ballparks to see eight different teams vying for playoff positions.
Our guests will arrive in Cincinnati on Wed., July 18th to check into the hotel and prepare for their luxury baseball vacation. On Thurs., we'll head over to Great American Ball Park for an early afternoon game with plenty of time after to visit the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Cincinnati area sportscaster, Will Chambers, recently blogged about his favorite things at GABP. Here's a link to that blog post Will Chambers on Great American.
Friday morning takes our tour up to Detroit to see Prince Fielder and the Tigers battle the White Sox in an evening contest. We're off to Cleveland the next day for the Indians game at 7:05PM. We plan to arrive in Cleveland with plenty of time for you to visit the sites before the game. Want to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Just ask your tour director to help make the arrangements.
Finally, our tour ends in one of our favorite ballparks- PNC in Pittsburgh. Here's a link to a blog by SI.com writer Will Carroll about PNC- Will Carroll on PNC Park
. As always, you can expect a Big League Player experience, lower level seats, first class hotels, sensible itineraries and all the BLT extras. CLICK HERE for the complete info on the Midwest 2 Tour. A printable/shareable brochure is available for the Midwest 2 Tour. Click on this link MIDWEST 2 BROCHURE to get access to the brochure
. Book by Feb. 8 and dinner is on us!
Book the Midwest 2 Tour by the end of the day on Feb. 8 and we'll buy you dinner* at the Palomino Restaurant and Bar in Cincinnati after the game on July 19th. Just use the coupon code DINNER when purchasing your tour. Ready to purchase your tour? Here's our RESERVATION PAGE.
*Dinner gift certificate value is $150. One gift certificate per room booked. Not valid with any other offers or discounts.
November 27, 2010 - Our Midwest Plus Tour is swinging through Cleveland on Saturday, July 23rd. Luck be a lady for this big league baseball tour, and her name is Heather Haviland, Chef and Owner of Lucky's Cafe, just outside of Cleveland. We'll definitely be working our itinerary around a visit to this local eatery. On the weekends, they serve up an amazing brunch menu that is bound to send us to the baseball stadium feeling more than satisfied. In fact, it looks like we'll be prepared for extra innings!
Watch the video and tell me if the Reuben sandwich that she grills up doesn't look like the best Reuben you've ever seen made in your life. It looks fantastic. Oh, and the biscuits and gravy look divine, too. So maybe we'll have to go there twice?? The granola looks fantastic as well. It's fortunate for us, or "lucky", that we'll be in Cleveland over a weekend for one of our sports travel tours and we'll be able to take advantage of this menu!!
August 3, 2010 - Where has the summer gone? I can't believe that the last of our small group tours is going to kick off this Friday. It should be a fantastic trip. We'll start in Detroit on Friday, catching the Angels at Comerica Park against the Tigers. We'll then load up the bus on Saturday and make our way to Cleveland. Once in Cleveland we'll take a private stadium tour of Progressive Field before seeing the division rivalry of the Twins and the Indians.
Sunday involves a short hop over to PNC Park in Pittsburgh for an afterno
on game between the Rockies and Pirates. For our travelers who haven't been to this stadium, it's a fantastic place to catch a game, especially a day game with the view of the river, bridges and downtown Pittsburgh as the backdrop. After the game, the group will make its way to Cincinnati for the next two nights.
Monday will be the perfect ending to the tour. We'll take a tour of Great American Ball Park and be joined by Mr. Dave Parker. As most of you will recall, The Cobra was the MVP in 1978, appeared in six All Star Games, won three Gold Glove Awards, and was an instrumental member of the 1979 World Series Championship team with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cobra will share stories from his playing days, talk baseball with our guests, and take pictures with the group. Here's a picture from his appearance with our group in 2008. Looks like he could still play, doesn't it?
We'll finish the tour with the heated division rivalry between the Cardinals and the Reds with a game and series that couldn't be hotter or mean more for these two teams.
Stay posted for up to the minute posts from the final tour of our 2010 sports travel packages.
May 22, 2010 - We've had a chance to see most of the stadiums in the major leagues either on our family tours and on the baseball vacation packages that we offer. This trip was to Atlanta and Turner Field (or "The Ted") for a two-game stand. It was great to get to see the stadium for a night game and a day game. Sometimes the stadiums have two completely different personalities based on the time of the game.
We stayed in downtown Atlanta so the stadium was only a 1.5 - 2 miles from our hotel. The
concourses were really wide and made getting around the stadium very easy. Here's a photo taken from right inside the centerfield gates. As you can see, there is a ton of room for getting people in and out of the stadium.
The Ted also has plenty for kids to do at the park. The Cartoon Network Fun House offers a break for the kids as does the many different batting cages and pitching booths that they have all along the third base side. They also offered face painting which seemed apprapos given the team's mascot.
The concourses around the outside of the stadium reminded us of Jacob's Field in Cleveland. (I'm sure that should be said the other way around based on when the stadiums were built but we were at the Jake first...) They were easily maneuverable but, they do cutoff your sight lines to the field.
We weren't knocked out by the food, either. We were sitting in the premium seats so we were able to order and have it delivered to us. The menu was your basic ballpark food but nothing that really stood out. We've grown accustomed to local restaurants or foods being incorporated into the ballparks like the Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh or the Montgomery Inn in Cincinnati. Or the other thing parks have done is include former players into the mix like Boog's Barbeque in Baltimore, El Tiante's Cuban Sandwiches in Boston, or Bull's Barbeque in Philadelphia. All great features that represent the team well. We didn't find this at The Ted.
All in all, we had a great experience. It would be hard to beat the southern hospitality that everyone working at Turner Field displayed. So if you are looking for a place for one of your baseball road trips, I would definitely recommend Turner Field.
Pre-season pricing on all our tours ends today! So if you haven't already signed up for the package tour of your dreams, don't miss your chance to get the special pricing! Here's a preview of what the prices will be tomorrow morning:
Atlanta: Today = $550/person, Tomorrow = $700/person
Midwest 1: Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person
Midwest 2: Today = $1,600/person, Tomorrow = $1,800/person
East Coast 1: Today = $2,600/person, Tomorrow = $2,800/person
East Coast 2: Today = $1,050/person, Tomorrow = $1,250/person
West Coast 1: Today = $825/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person
West Coast 2: Today = $1,100/person, Tomorrow = $1,300/person
Big Apple: Today = $1,350/person, Tomorrow = $1,550/person
Texas: Today = $1,425/person, Tomorrow = $1,600/person
Midwest 3: Today = $900/person, Tomorrow = $1,000/person
** All prices are per person based on double occupancy
So what do you have to do to secure those prices? Just submit your application for a trip and make your deposit by April 5th and you'll be locked in at the special pricing. Have questions about our tours? Give us a call or drop us an email. But don't wait too long or you'll miss out on these great prices!!
February 28 2010-You know, the only food that I can recall from going to the ballpark as a kid are hot dogs or sausages, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. I realize that part of the reason that my recollection could be so limited is that kids often zero in on their favorites and rarely stray from them. I was no different so I get that.
But seeing that Target Field will offer "Walleye on a Stick" (see my post from this morning) has me thinking about the varied foods that have cropped up at ballparks on our MLB tours. From the garlic fries at AT&T Park in San Francisco to the "corn off the cob" at US Cellular Field in Chicago. They serve sushi in Cleveland at Progressive Field - didn't see that one coming. And have some signature sandwiches like the Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh.
Teams have also incorporated former players' shops in or around the stadiums. There are barbeque stands in Citizens Bank Park and Orioles Park that don the names of Greg "The Bull" Luzinski and Boog Powell, respectively. You can buy a Cuban sandwich on Yawkey Way just outside Fenway Park at El Tiante and sometimes get an autograph from Luis Tiant himself.
Soon we'll be heading out on our baseball travel tours hitting baseball stadiums across the big leagues. It will give us a chance to sample the newest food offerings from each of the ballparks. So we want to know...what is your favorite ballpark food whether inside or out of the stadium? What are the gems from each of the cities that you think other baseball fans need to check out? Share your insights with other fans as we all prepare to hit the road for sports travel.
January 30, 2010 - One of the things we pride ourselves on at Big League Tours is offering tour vacations that our guests enjoy. It makes us even happier when our guests become repeat customers. That's why this is such a great time of year for us when we're finding out who is going to join us on our package tours this year.
One such group of guys traveled with us in 2008. They took a Midwestern tour that year but this year they are joining us out West. Here is a testimonial that we received from them.
"I traveled with a relative and his 10-year-old grandson, who was awestruck most of the time. The Midwest 2 Tour was our first with Big League Tours and was by far the best of the four I have taken, the first three with another company. George had taken two other tours with another company.
The price of all the tours (we've taken) was comparable, but the services provided by Big League Tours was far superior, in our opinion.
"The primary things that set Big League Tours trip apart from the others, in our opinion, was two-fold: 1) location and quality of the hotels and 2) location of the game ticket seats.
"On this tour, we visited four cities and ballparks (Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati). The hotels were all located within walking distance of the ballpark (15 minutes or less), and all our tickets were in the lower level. Great seats at all parks.
"Another added touch that we liked was the idea of staying downtown in the cities visited, which made it easier to become more familiar with the cities (Detroit has a fabulous river walk).
"On this tour, we had a sit-down visit with baseball great Dave Parker, a two-time major league batting champ, who had a long and illustrious major league career. This was a great experience for us. This, to us, was the exclamation point to the whole trip.
"We would recommend traveling with Big League Tours." Bob Ward (Texas) and George Wood (California)
Thanks to Bob and George for the kind words about the group travel tours that we offer. And when booking with us again this year, George commented that, "We didn't even look any where else. We knew we were booking with you." We're glad you're coming back!
We hope that you'll join us this year so that you can experience the difference of a Big League Tour!
Baseball Stadium Tours Continues To Cleveland
August 22, 2008 - In Cleveland our guests were able to take a stadium tour of Progressive Field. We had a wonderful tour guide who was full of information about the team's history and the field itself. I was unaware that Progressive Field had a memorial area, Heritage Park, similar to the National Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. This area commemorates some of Cleveland's finest players throughout the years ranging from Shoeless Joe Jackson to Cy Young. It was great to experience Heritage Park since I am not very knowledgeable of Cleveland's past.
Big League Tours guests were able to experience a suite, batting cages where guests saw Ben Francisco practicing, and dugout seats to just name a few of the big stops. Unfortunately, Cleveland's winning streak ended to Baltimore on Wednesday August 13th. The Indian's put up a good fight but in the end could not hold the Orioles who won 6-1. To see official MLB stats click here