Ah, AT&T Park. To the lesser-minded, this is simply the San Francisco gem that houses a mediocre relief staff and the robot that replaced Buster Posey after “the slide” , but those who are truly in the know can see the park for what it is– a cornucopia of overpriced culinary delights.
Yes, there’s plenty to indulge in at the ballpark, so much so that the scoreboard will feature clips between innings advertising the lesser-known spots slinging grease (and, on occasion, herbs from the in-house garden). And it was during a recent game where, before the inning where the Reds hit that one home run and after the inning where they hit that other one, the delicacy of the day was the Porcini Doughnut.
This particular doughnut, for those lesser-minded described above, is no ordinary marriage of icing and bread; no, this is the Porcini, whose superior Italian breeding crosses a beignet with some sort of mushroom and pairs it wisely with some stinky cheese sauce from a can. All yours for the low, low price of $10.
It was during that inter-inning promo that my dad loudly proclaimed, “who would want a doughnut that tastes like mushroom?” Well, I do, thank you very much. So while the Reds were busy whizzing more pitches over Jake Peavy’s head, I strolled down to the Porcini Doughnut stand (which had a strangely short line) and forked over my cash.
What I received was six under-cooked balls of fried dough that smelled vaguely of mushroom and tasted 99% like a normal beignet. It wasn’t a bad experience, really, until doughnut number 3 reminded me that this was made at a ballpark, not an Italian “chez”. (Although, during the kiss cam, these places have at least one thing in common.)
I tried a taste of the cheese sauce, too. Well, that’s a bit of a lie– I picked up the bowl, smelled it, made a funny face, and threw it in the garbage, before noticing that there was some on my fingers and licking it off. It was not the worst cheese I’ve ever had, but it was the worst that was sprayed onto my plate. Do with that what you will.
Overall, AT&T’s Porcini Doughnuts were only good enough for me to eat five. Because of that, I’m giving these doughnuts two stars. In the meantime, I’ll put some relish on my Giants Dog and use a spoon with my malt cup if I want to feel refined.
Update: It’s been two hours, and all I can taste is mushroom. It’s not exactly a pleasant sensation. At least I didn’t eat more of the cheese…