That time of year has come. Spring training is winding down, Opening Day is less than a week away, and teams are getting ready to debut their new food items for the upcoming season. You might also be making your plans as to which ballparks to visit on your tour this year.
If wacky food items and food themed nights are a contributing factor in your road trip, then allow us to help you map out your quest as we bring you a sampling of the most succulent and bizarre food items to hit the concession stands this season:
Hot Dogs Get a Makeover
Hot dogs will always be the quintessential ballpark food. But there’s no reason to spruce up this favorite a little bit. The Kansas City Royals are bringing us the Sunrise Dog, which is a hot dog with two eggs (two!), cheese, bacon, and gravy. (Breakfast isn’t just for breakfast anymore.) The Philadelphia Phillies are giving us two hot dog options: A Harry The K Pastrami Sausage and something called a Jersey Shore Dog, which is a hot dog topped by pork roll and American cheese sauce.
This offering from the Blue Jays is ambitious:
— Kari Van Horn (@KariVanHorn) March 21, 2017
But not as ambitious as the Most Valuable Tamale Dog in Arlington. Remember the Boomstick Dog in Texas? Well, with Nelson Cruz in Seattle, it has been repurposed on a tamale and topped with nacho cheese, sour cream, and Texas chili.
I bet Charles Feltman never thought of this. (Google him.)
Like Funnel Cake? This is Your Year!
Both the Royals and Arizona Diamondbacks will feature interesting varieties of funnel cake items this season. The Royals are giving us the Pulled Pork Patty Melt, which features (you might want to sit down for this) pulled pork, cole slaw, Applewood bacon, cheddar cheese, fried onion strips, and a jalapeno popper in between a funnel cake bun.
Not to be outdone, the Diamondbacks are giving us a funnel cake chicken sandwich, which seems to be as much sweet as savory, featuring a funnel cake bun surrounding a crispy chicken fillet, garlic black pepper cheddar, strawberry jam, powdered sugar, and maple syrup.
— Kari Van Horn (@KariVanHorn) March 21, 2017
But the Texas Rangers have taken the funnel cake and turned it into something spectacular and ridiculous at the same time. These… are the Texas Snow Balls!
A Texas Snow Ball is “ballpark shredded brisket rolled into balls and dipped in funnel cake batter. The balls are deep fried and covered in powdered sugar.” For those who don’t have time to wait for a three course meal to murder them.
Stay in Arizona For a Bit
The Diamondbacks had a tough season on the field last year, but they consistently run away with the lead when it comes to food items. As if the funnel cake chicken sandwich isn’t enough, the Snakes are also providing us with things like the Bacon Cheeseburger Mac and Cheesy (which is exactly what it sounds like) from the Sizzle and Cheese stand, a Bacon Wrapped Pretzel Baguette stuffed with ham and swiss cheese, a chicken enchilada dog (for $25), and they’re following up the success of their churro dog with the Churro Dog 2.0. This is a churro wrapped in “Oreo cookie crumbs sandwiches in a white iced doughnut, topped with frozen yogurt, strawberry topping, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and more Oreo crumbs.”
Not enough dessert? Try the Pretzel Crusted Brownie Sticks …
— Kari Van Horn (@KariVanHorn) March 23, 2017
You might die from all of this, but you’ll do so with a smile on your face.
Beat the Bushes
Hey, don’t forget the minor leagues. They’ll go above and beyond when it comes to assaulting your taste buds. The West Michigan Whitecaps have conducted a fan vote to decide a new food item, and one of the choices was deep-fried bubblegum. The Buffalo Bisons are offering pulled pork in a bread cone. The Durham Bulls have a delectable looking Dirt Cake served in a mason jar.
We got Dirt Cake, Peach Cobbler Sundaes and Club Sandwiches all series long at the DBAP. NOM NOM NOM. pic.twitter.com/A9zjaTZ6qt
— Durham Bulls (@DurhamBulls) August 18, 2016
For one stop shopping, however, the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs menu should do the trick. They feature the following: a pulled pork sandwich with bacon and candied jalapenos on a glazed donut roll, a Belgian waffle taco (yes, it’s taco stuff on a Belgian waffle), and a Belgian Bacon Corn Dog, which is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and dipped and fried in Belgian waffle batter. (Allentown does not have a sister city in Belgium, in case you were wondering.)
Even Bartolo Colon Thinks This is Excessive
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Bartolo Colon signs with the Braves the same season that Sun Trust Park starts selling this beaut:
New at Braves Games: Tomahawk Chop Sandwich with fried pork chop with collard green slaw & white BBQ sauce ($26, serves 4+) pic.twitter.com/3PjFa6Zpkk
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 23, 2017
I love that the tag underneath the sandwich says “Braves Country” because this sandwich might feed an entire country. Remember, it says “serves 4 … +”. I’d bet hard on the plus. The Braves also have a Blackened Catfish po’boy taco and a pretzel baked in the shape of the Braves’ cap logo, in case you can’t find 15,000 friends to share that sandwich with.
Remember Spam? If you don’t, I can’t explain it except to say that it seems to be “whatever’s left.” But people love it, and it is making a comeback in ballparks. The Whitecaps also had a Spam sandwich on their list of finalists known as the “Alan Spammell” (nice touch). But in case that doesn’t win, you could always head on down to Houston for their Pulled Pork Spam Sandwich:
Spam… a lot. It's making a comeback! pic.twitter.com/x9qDTEGxII
— Alyson Footer (@alysonfooter) February 7, 2017
Or, perhaps their Spam Grilled Cheese, which is “a grilled cheese with a cut of Spam on Texas Toast”. Yup, Spam is hot in Houston.
Did that Churro Dog 2.0 not give you the sugar shock you desperately need? How about a drive up north for their take on Churros: Dessert Poutine!
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 15, 2017
Don’t worry, there’s no cheese curds in that puppy.
Or perhaps a trip to Colorado is in order to get yourself some Apple Pie Nachos:
— Tony (Recent Grad) (@SportsMgmtGrad) March 21, 2017
Citi Field will also feature a cookie dough stand! Although the original location supposedly features wait times of one to four hours. But it might be worth missing nine entire innings as long as the game is against the Padres or something.