On the Road: Turkey Mike’s in San Jose

To see all posts from my August 4 visit to the San Jose Giants, click HERE. To see all my posts from my August 2016 “Out West” road trip, click HERE. To see all my “On the Road” posts, click HERE. If interested in seeing posts covering a visit to a particular team, search for that team’s name in the blog search bar (it’s to your right).

Never before in the history of this blog have I split a designated eater post into two parts…UNTIL NOW! The San Jose Giants have brought me to this historic moment, simply by offering too much food to coherently document in one post. After previously highlighting the offerings found along Gigante’s Alley, we now move on to the main event: Turkey Mike’s barbecue.

Turkey Mike’s, located on the third base side of the ballpark, has long been a staple of the San Jose Giants experience. The lines are generally long, as one can see from the zig-zagging rows of chain-linked stanchions that guide patrons to their barbecue hopes and dreams.


Turkey Mike’s is named after turn-of-the-20th century outfielder “Turkey” Mike Donlin, who logged time in San Jose during a long and generally illustrious baseball career. He was named “Turkey Mike” because of what Wikipedia refers to as his “unique strut” (not because he was an actual turkey).

Turkey Mike’s has a sprawling menu, which fans have plenty of time to contemplate as they pass stanchion after stanchion after stanchion.

img_0196Turkey Mike’s is overseen by food and beverage coordinator Ramiro Mijares.
img_0197After taking that picture of Ramiro, I said “Ramiro, can I take another one? You weren’t looking at the camera.” Ramiro obliged, but then once again didn’t look at the camera (though one of his employees picked up the slack).

I think Ramiro was messing with me. But Ramiro wasn’t there to make friends. He had a barbecue plate to assemble:


First row: Chicken Apple Sausage, Ribs, Chicken

Second row: Tri-Tip, Big Filthy, The Heater

(The Kansas City-style barbecue sauce is made for the team by San Jose’s Oso Pepper Company.)

Two of the above six items need a bit of explanation. In addition to being Donald Trump’s Secret Service code name, the “Big Filthy” is a double cheeseburger topped with pulled pork. The “Heater” is a hot sausage link topped with pulled pork and jalapenos.

In lieu of close-up photos of the above items, please view this Vine. The man at the end of it is John Lambert, who was the evening’s designated eater.

Mike, his wife, Kristen and their friends Julia and Mike quickly dug into this barbecue feast. I was not able to document their thoughts and reactions to the extent I did in the previous post, as I kept having to leave the scene to observe (or compete in) between-inning contests.

Mike and Kristen certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves, however.

img_0200“The chicken sausage was delicious, but the ribs weren’t very good,” said John. “The chicken was great, because it had a good rub to it.”

“My favorite was the Heater,” added Kristen. “It as phenomenal, but not burn-your-mouth spicy.”

Those in the know know that no visit to the San Jose Giants is complete without a visit from Paul “Super Churros Man” Cerda. He’s a ballpark icon, to the extent that the Giants sell “I’m Just Here for the Churros” t-shirts in the team store (Kristen wore one to the game, in fact). For more on Paul, check out my MiLB.com story HERE.

churrosPaul, Mike and Kristen are the stars of this not-at-all awkward Vine video.

When you’re in love, this is the only way to eat a churro.

img_0204Oh, and we also got some ice cream in a helmet. This is Willow Glen Creamery’s famous “Dole Whip.” 

img_0206And…that’s it. I’m done. Between this and my previous San Jose Giants posts and articles, I’ve written over 4000 words about my night at Municipal Stadium. This is insane.

John, please accept this “Designated Eater” t-shirt as a token of appreciation for your food consumption efforts.

img_2366And thanks, everyone. It was my pleasure.





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