With an all-star closer nicknamed "Grilled Cheese," it was only a matter of time: The folks at the Rivertowne Brewing Hall of Fame Club in PNC Park came up with a lights-out sandwich to rival Jason Grilli's lights-out performances in the ninth.
The Closer — a sandwich special costing $14.50 — is a quadruple-decker grilled-cheese sandwich with apple-leek compote and candied bacon. What kind of cheese? Provolone, and mozzarella, and parmesan, smoked gouda, cheddar, pepper jack, Swiss, bleu and feta: nine cheeses, symbolizing the number of innings, or perhaps the number of pitches Grilli needs to mow down three batters in an ideal final side.
While The Closer is the marquee addition at the Hall of Fame Club, there are other changes. "Tatchos" are tater-tot nachos. A Maine lobster BLT alludes to executive chef Dave Artiano's roots at his last ballpark — Boston's Fenway.
Elsewhere, BRGR, which brought the gourmet-burger craze to town in 2010, has a new stand near section 116, with several burgers and shakes, including a ballpark-only burger called "Abso-Bac'n-Lutely," with bacon. The "California Lovin'" turkey burger is on the menu; a veggie patty can sub in on any style of burger.
The park's most pervasive change: Coca-Cola takes over the soda fountains. Last week, those Pepsi-bottle display lights over right field were being plastered over, not with Coke logos, but Highmark ads. The health-care wars, at least in Pittsburgh, are the new cola wars.