IN the little over a month that it's been open, the Buds (and their loved ones) have collectively tried nearly everything on Stadiums' menu.
Think we're kidding? We've had the Californian pizza, the Chi Town pizza, the Pittsburgh Polski, the Pittsburgher, the San Diego burger, hand cut fries, broccoli cheese bites and funnel fries.
And we are not ashamed. The yummy food and close proximity to both Bud abodes makes it nearly impossible for us to pass up.
The Chi Town pizza from Stadiums on Edgington Lane in Wheeling was every bit as tasty as it looks.
Stadiums was born when owner Lesley Antonik (of Ruttenbucks Grill) wanted to combine everyone's favorite stadium foods with a cool place to hang out so she researched all of the NFL stadiums and MLB ballparks to discover their signature foods. Thanks to her efforts, you can now get them all at the same place! Located at 95 Edgington Lane in Wheeling, the fast and casual pizza/burger/sub establishment offers drive through, carry out and eat and go options.
We'll start with the pizzas, which range from 10 to 20 bucks and are delicious. Both Buds concur that the thin hand-tossed crust is to die for! Bud Em's favorite is the Chi Town which features pepperoni and cheese. The sauce has a slight sweetness that perfectly balances the salty pepperoni. Try it fresh and hot and it won't last long!
Bud Shaunna's favorite has to be the Californian. This pie features a ricotta and ranch blend, topped with broccoli, zucchini, onions, peppers and both mozarella and cheddar cheeses. Yum! And if you're wondering, the ricotta and ranch act as a white sauce - no tomato sauce on this pizza, and let us tell you, it's delicious that way! Next on the list for the Buds to try has to be The Saint which is topped with sausage, pepperoni, cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers and banana peppers.....it's a little pricier but sure to be a hit.
The specialty burgers and sandwiches at Stadiums, which are served with an order of fresh cut fries vary in price from 6 to 8 bucks for a burger or a 6" sub. Bud Em has sampled both the Pittsburgher and the San Diego burger. These burgers are made with fresh ground beef - no preformed patties here! If you couldn't guess, the Pittsburger is topped with fries and slaw and served on sliced Italian bread. The San Diego features bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle served on a pretzel bun. Delicious! The burgers are thick and juicy and the fresh toppings make each unique burger something to cheer about.
The specialty Pittsburgh Polski is loaded with things every Pittsburgher (and pretty much every Valley resident) loves - shaved kielbasa and perogies, along with carmelized onions and brown mustard. Served on a hoagie roll, the sour of the kielbasa and the sweet of the onions balance wonderfully to make this one tasty sandwich.
Sideline items and appetizers aren't just riding the bench, either! A generous amount of fresh cut fries are served with the sandwiches and burgers, and for an extra 50 cents, you can add garlic-parmesan or Old Bay seasoning to your fries. The broccoli cheese bites are deep fried goodness - with a taste of broccoli and warm cheddar cheese inside.
And did someone say funnel cake? How about funnel cake fries? Oh yes, they went there! It's like being at the ball park every day when you munch on these delectable, easy to eat funnel cakes in stick form! They come dusted with powdered sugar, of course, and only a side dipping sauce (maybe a fruity berry concoction?) would put these over the top.
Next time you've got a hankerin' for some unique sandwiches and burgers, give Stadiums a try. They're definitely in the Buds' starting lineup of top notch eats!
The Buds can be reached at tastebuds@timesleader online.com.