It’s Opening Day, also known as the only day that baseball fans in Miami or San Diego can say they are in first place (at least until they play). For those of us that love baseball this is one of the greatest days of the year. For those who are not big baseball fans however there needs to be something to look forward to other than insanely overpriced beer and grotesquely oversized fans, and what is better than bat shit crazy ballpark food? Here’s some of the best that MLB ballparks are offering new for 2016:
This is Houston’s Sweet Potato Chicken Waffle Sandwich. Looks good, but it’s grilled chicken, Greek yogurt, and I see fresh tomato and spinach. I expect more from my ballpark food, especially from Houston, which is synonymous with big fat people eating slow smoked brisket. Your ballpark is named after cheap instant lemonade mix for God’s sake! Houston, I am disappoint.
Say hello to Toronto’s chicken & waffle on a stick with a side of buffalo cauliflower poutine slaw. This is a much stronger entry into the chicken & waffles category with bonus points for it being on a stick. When food is on a stick it immediately improves its flavor by a factor of 9. But all that work is for naught by having the word “cauliflower”, which totally negates both the “on a stick” as well as the “poutine”. And look at that presentation. Square plates are pretentious and the herb garden behind it screams “trying to impress a date, failing miserably, and hitting the Wendy’s drive thru on the way home for a Baconator and some sadness”. Once again Toronto shows itself as trying too hard to show that they aren’t Buffalo.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Coated Thick Cut Bacon On A Stick courtesy of the NY Mets. NOW we are getting into the good stuff. The only reason this isn’t higher on the list is that it isn’t nearly as ostentatious as some of the upcoming entries. Still, good work. There is a reason the NY Mets are my favorite squadron…
A hot dog covered in “Flamin’ Hot Cheetos”. Good try, Texas Rangers, but I can get crazier food at Taco Bell. Another Lone Star State disappointment.
But then you show me the fried chicken & donut skewer. AND TOTALLY REDEEMED YOURSELF!
Arizona is coming on strong with a hot dog that is stuffed with a bacon cheeseburger. The only thing keeping this out of the top tier is the lettuce & the “special sauce”. Sorry if I don’t trust sports venues for special sauce. I’ve seen the industrial sized cans of “nacho cheez”, so I am probably skipping this one. But I do haz an intrigued.
Best of the Best
Pittsburgh has a hot dog with macaroni & cheese, jalapenos, Cracker Jack & caramel sauce on what looks to me like a piece of naan. This is a quality entry into the “why the hell did I eat that?” category. Bonus if it actually comes with a prize on each order.
Atlanta is celebrating the final year of playing in their current ballpark by putting everything they can think of on a hot dog and calling it “The Everything Dog” or “T.E.D.” (which is cute because they are owned by Ted Turner and T.E.D. is an acronym for “The Everything Dog” and I’ll stop now). This monstrosity has chili, beer cheese, popcorn, tortilla chips, and probably shreds of shirts that read “Atlanta Braves World Series Champions 1991/92/96/99”.
At Yankee Stadium every day is a nice day for a Barnyard Wedding. This is a cheeseburger, a fried chicken patty, and a hash brown slathered in BBQ sauce and put on a pretzel bun. The only downside is that since it is in Yankee Stadium it probably costs upwards of $40, but I hear you can get a discount if you say “27 Rings” obnoxiously enough.
You all knew Texas was not done being on this list, and this puppy is a strong contender for the top spot. It’s really a virtual tie between this and the next entry. This entry into God’s Gift to Prilosec stockholders is called The Wicked Pig. It’s pulled pork, bacon, sausage, prosciutto, ham & pork rinds and it is served with a giant freaking knife, which is the least deadly thing about this sandwich.
If anyone can give Texas a run for it’s money in the “come for the ballgame, stay for the myocardial infarction” game it is Georgia, and my winner for best WTF ballpark food of 2016 is the Burgerizza (which is what inspired me to write this article). A big burger that is covered in 5 slices of cheese and served between TWO 8 INCH PEPPERONI PIZZAS. I’ll give you a second to digest that mentally, because if you make it to Atlanta and get one of these there is no way you will be able to digest it gastronomically. This was invented by a stoned guy who had some ground beef in his fridge that he needed to cook and halfway through he realized he didn’t have any bread, but while panicking he realized his roommate had a couple DiGiorno pizzas in the freezer and VOILA!
BONUS WTF ENTRY
This is the Slider Dog. You have to go to Cleveland to get it so most likely this photo is as close as you are going to get anyway but just in case you are looking at a hot dog covered in macaroni & cheese, bacon, and for reasons that only make sense when you live next to a river that actually caught on fire once, Froot Loops. This is a food that has crossed the event horizon from crazy fun food to something you eat because someone bet you $10 you wouldn’t eat whatever they thought of but they could only use 5 ingredients and your car is almost totally out of gas. So now Cleveland has Chief Wahoo and Froot Loops on a hot dog. Oh, and the Browns. So…congratulations?