The Cell spruces up eating options

The Cell spruces up eating options

WBEZ brings you fact-based news and information. Sign up for our newsletters to stay up to date on the stories that matter.
Smoque’s pulled pork sandwich at The Cell (photo by Joseph Storch)

As I discussed last month, Smoque BBQ announced a few weeks ago that it would have a small kiosk at The Cell for the rest of the season, selling its incomparable brisket and pulled pork, plus coleslaw and baked beans. Only problem is - like all of the private suite/season ticket-holding areas at The Cell - the food service for these luxury/premium ticket holders is run exclusively by Levy Restaurants. ‚ When it comes to concessions, a completely different company is in charge. Sportservice doesn’t have the restaurant or fine-dining background that Levy brings to the table, but the company has made some incremental improvements this season.

Wow Bao from left field (photo by Joseph Storch)

For starters, they went out and got Wow Bao to offer some steamed buns out in left field. They also created a “Burger Barn” concept; in addition to offering the namesake, it also offers sausage burgers that are dunked into thick marinara and topped with steamed peppers and onions. A Tex-Mex theme pervades here, from the familiar elotes (corn off the cob, combined with cheese, mayo and chili) they now also offer make-your-own fajitas or burritos. Barbacoa, pulled pork and beef are heated in a steam table, while you choose your toppings from beyond the sneeze guard.

Sausage burger from the Burger Barn (photo by Joseph Storch)

A sandwich carvery station is strategically-placed near the first base side of the field, with roast beef, corned beef and turkey sandwiches on your choice of rye, marble rye and a few other options. They aren’t exactly Manny’s quality, but they sure beat the usual dog and burger show. Speaking of dogs, Bobak’s sausage is now offering a smoked pork dog at the stadium. I wished they were a bit larger though - they look like size 8s or even 10s (to the pound) - and would have probably been better in terms of condiment/bun ratio if they had been 4s or 5s.

Finally, in a respectable nod to Chicago Heights stalwart Zarlengo’s, the team has asked them to set up a few portable Italian ice carts throughout the stadium. They’re a fitting way to keep cool on a warm day at The Cell, and also serve as a shout-out to all those South Siders. If you want to see more of these newcomers at the ballpark, check out the video here after 11:30 am. today.

Cubs fans, I’ll have the lowdown on all of the new food at Wrigley on Friday.