The guy sitting next to me at Petco Park on Sunday, June 26, had to admit that he liked what he saw—a late rally that took the Padres to a 4-1 win over Atlanta. The hitters, he said, were crafty and patient for once, unlike the day before, when the Dads lost 10-1. Nobody's hitting with men on base, he lamented over and over—especially at home, where the Padres had just won only their 18th game of the season. And at the rate things are going, he pointed out, the team will have been shut out 26 times this year—not a record but still a serious splotch in a season filled with serious splotches. Except for the one up the Swinging Friar's ass, the bats have all but disappeared.
Like me, the wretched fella was seeking an outlet for his considerable misery. That's why we happened on Neighborhood, just north of Ground Ze—er, Petco Park. Wet your whistle and dry your eyes over some 66 bottled and draft beers, and while you're at it, try some of the greatest bar food in the Major Leagues. The fare is not for the faint of heart; even the small orders, like the sweet potato fries ($7) and the onion rings ($5) could feed the Padres bullpen, with some left over for the ticket staff. And the best burger in the joint—the 777, at $11—is outfitted with bearnaise sauce and spinach, condiments reserved for meals at twice the price. Soups and salads rule as well, but be advised: The house salad's citrus vinaigrette oughta be outlawed as an addictive controlled substance.
Amid the carnage at Petco these days, it's nice to know that there's yet another nearby choice at which to drown one's obvious sorrows. This one's at 777 G St. and is open seven days for lunch and dinner. Hours vary; for more info, see neighborhoodsd.com or call 619-446-0002. My impromptu dinner companion came up with a clever device for memorizing the number's last three digits. Just plug in Anthony Rizzo's batting average, and you'll be connected posthaste.