Mention food at a ball game, and for most people that doesn’t conjure up anything very tempting. Traditionally ballpark food has been pretty bad for the same reason it’s so overpriced-you’ve got a captive audience of people, including a lot of families with children, that want to eat as part of the overall “day at the game” experience, and so will consume pretty much anything you give them.
There have always been some exceptions however, some ballpark foods that fans rave about. And in recent years those exceptions have become more numerous, as ball clubs have realized that appealing food is one of the things people will come back for.
So let’s look at ten of the top fan favorite foods to enjoy with the game at the ballpark:
* BBQ Stuffed Baked Potato…..Minute Maid Park…..Houston Astros
Key word here is “stuffed.” Start with a giant baked potato, then bury it in pulled pork meat, onions, jalapeno peppers, cheese, and barbecue sauce, and you end up with something that’s arguably as good as it is sloppy.
* Boog’s BBQ Sandwich…..Camden Yards…..Baltimore Orioles
Named for four time All-Star first baseman and Oriole fan favorite Boog Powell, who you’ll sometimes find working the barbecue pit at Camden Yards himself, Boog’s serves up tempting beef, pork and turkey sandwiches, drenched in Jack Daniels BBQ sauce that smell as good as they taste.
* Bratwurst with Secret Sauce…..Miller Park…..Milwaukee Brewers
C’mon it’s Wisconsin, where else would you expect to find the best bratwurst? The spicy Italian sausage is also a Miller Park favorite. Try either with the Secret Sauce and you’ve got yourself a winner.
* Fenway Frank…..Fenway Park…..Boston Red Sox
Any list of top baseball foods requires at least one nod to the tradition, the classic simplicity, of your basic ballpark hot dog. And while many fans swear by their home team dogs, you can’t go wrong with a Fenway Frank. Supplied by local Chelsea business Kayem, who’s been making hot dogs since 1909 (before there even was a Fenway Park), Fenway Franks are steamed, then grilled, then served “New England” style on a bun that’s split on top and crustless on the sides, topped with as many or as few fixings as you desire.
* Gilroy Garlic Fries…..AT&T Park…..San Francisco Giants
A specialty of the Gordon Biersch Company, these tasty, spicy french fries are covered with herbs, minced garlic, and parmesan cheese. Hot enough to pack a punch.
* Ivar’s Grilled Salmon Sandwich…..Safeco Field…..Seattle Mariners
Leave it to the fine folks up in Seattle to come up with a healthy offering that’s actually good. Fresh, wild-caught salmon, grilled, lightly seasoned, and offered up on a fresh baked organic roll, with some cole slaw on the side-tastes as good as it sounds.
* Rocky Mountain Oysters…..Coors Field…..Colorado Rockies
For folks who can never pass up a chance to eat bull testicles (which surely is pretty much everyone), Coors will serve you a good size batch of them battered and deep fried with plenty of cocktail sauce.
* Rubio’s Fish Tacos…..Petco Park…..San Diego Padres
Popular local San Diego restaurant Rubio’s brought its recipe for fish tacos up from Baja, Mexico. The fish taco is beer-battered whitefish, shredded cabbage, salsa, and white sauce, stuffed inside a fresh, soft corn tortilla. Equally tempting is the shrimp taco.
* The Schmitter…..Citizens Bank Park…..Philadelphia Phillies
The ballpark version of the classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich starts with the expected steak and cheese, and tops it with fried salami, fried onions, tomato, and secret sauce, all on a Kaiser roll. Named for Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, right? Actually no. The sandwich originated at local McNally’s Tavern, where a regular used to always order his Philly cheesesteak sandwich this way with a Schmidt’s Beer.
* Ybor City Cuban Sandwich…..Tropicana Field…..Tampa Bay Lightning
Our last stop is down in Florida for the Columbia restaurant’s Cuban Sandwich. That’s spicy ham, melted cheese, pickles, and sweet peppers grilled into a flat sandwich.
Just be sure not to let a little thing like a baseball game distract you from all this good eating.