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Trying Petco Park’s Best Food with Don and Mud

Stopping by to hang with the legendary broadcasters and chow down on a whole lot of top-notch stadium grub
Episode of Happy Half Hour podcast by San Diego Magazine featuring Troy Johnson and David Martin trying Petco Park food with legendary Padres announcers Mark "Mud" Grant and Don Orsillo

This week we got out-broadcasted on Happy Half Hour, and we couldn’t be more honored to pass the torch to what Troy calls “the best monosyllabic baseball broadcast duo in the major leagues.” The crew went to Petco Park ahead of the start of the Padres-versus-Rockies series to chat with the voices of the franchise, Don Orsillo and Mark Grant (the Friars lost last night, but there’s another game beginning as I type. Go Padres!).

Orsillo and Grant are better known to the masses as Don and Mud, the announcers of our beloved MLB franchise. The voices of the Friar Faithful, they’re two brotherly types yukking it up as if they were hanging out on a fishing pier—or, as so many fans like to imagine, in our own living rooms. 

Padres legendary broadcasters Mark "Mud" Grant and Don Orsillo at Petco Park
Photo Credit: Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres

Mud’s been with the team as PadresTV’s color analyst since 1996, but his legacy with the Friars goes back longer: He pitched for the Padres from 1987 to 1990. Mud was originally selected out of Joliet Catholic High School in Illinois by the San Francisco Giants as the 10th pick in the first round of the 1981 draft. He played parts of eight Major League seasons with San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, and Colorado before retiring from the sport in 1995 and beginning his broadcasting career as a sports anchor at KMFB Radio, eventually moving to the Padres airwaves. Outside of baseball, he’s a passionate advocate for the Down Syndrome Association of San Diego, as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of San Diego and St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center in El Cajon.

Orsillo, beloved throughout the country for his 15-year-long tenure with the Red Sox before he joined the Padres in 2016, also calls nationally broadcasted MLB games for FOX, FS1, and TBS during the regular season. His numerous accolades include five Emmy Awards for outstanding play-by-play (2003 and 2004 with Boston; 2018, 2019, and 2022 with the Padres) and two New England Sports Best Play-by-Play awards (2014 and 2015). The current Coronado resident and lifelong broadcaster was named Massachusetts Broadcaster of the year twice in 2005 and 2015, and, thanks to his role with the Red Sox, has also appeared in a few movies, including 2013’s The Heat, 2010’s The Town and 2005’s Fever Pitch.

Recently, we learned that Orsillo is also a cult-famous home cook. He regularly whips up meals for friends and, he admits in this episode, enjoys his DIY dishes so much that he had never tried Petco Park stadium food. No Cardiff Seaside Market tri-tip, no An’s Dry Cleaning gelato. Nary a Board-n-Brew turkado in sight. He tells us that it’s hard to get up and grab a bite, considering his job requires him to be tied to a mic. 

But the real reason he doesn’t dabble in Petco’s many incredible dining options is that he’s such a good cook, he doesn’t really need to eat anyone else’s food (which we respect on this here food podcast). Unable to resist the obvious temptation at hand, we hosts teamed up with Mud to usher Orsillo into his first-ever stadium bite. I won’t spoil the goods here, but it’s worth tuning in to find out what he sampled, because it includes a fried fusion mash-up that’s likely to become a Petco Park food icon after this season ends.

There’s a lot more brotherly banter to go around. It’s best heard wherever you listen to your podcasts, and probably not in this written post, considering that we are talking to some of the most celebrated broadcasters in the game. 

Plus, we also go over the news: CH is bringing pan-Middle Eastern cuisine to North Park; Rancho Valencia is launching a summer dinner series with newly minted Michelin-starred Baja chef Javier Plascencia, as well as Fauna’s David Castro Hussong; and Izola is staying in East Village with a new, enormous Fault Line Park storefront, opening soon.

By Jackie Bryant

Jackie is San Diego Magazine's content strategist. Prior to that, she was its managing editor. Before her SDM career, she was a long-time freelance journalist covering cannabis, food/restaurants, travel, labor, wine, spirits, arts & culture, design, and other topics. Her work has been selected twice for Best American Travel Writing, and she has won a variety of national and local awards for her writing and reporting.

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