If you said the biggest baseball development in Kansas City last season was the Royals winning the World Series … well, of course, you would be right. After all, the loyal fans inside Kauffman Stadium hadn’t tasted ultimate victory for 30 years.
But winning was hardly the only thing whetting the appetites of the Kauffman crowd in 2015. And the successes enjoyed in the culinary field in Kansas City will be spreading across Major League Baseball in 2016.
Aramark, the food and beverage service provider for 10 Major League Baseball teams, announced last week it is expanding its partnership with celebrity chef and “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern in 2016, after a successful debut at Kauffman Stadium last season.
Zimmern’s creative ballpark concepts are just one of many additions to Major League’s menu in 2016, as teams across the league have recently announced their concessions lineup.
From the Texas Rangers’ Cheetos Hot Dog and Chicken and Donut Skewers, to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Cracker Jack and Mac Dog, to the Atlanta Braves epic BurgerPizza (yes, a giant burger with two pepperoni pizzas as buns), there is no shortage of new, mouthwatering takes on old ballpark favorites.
Zimmern pitched two additions to the Kauffman menu in 2015: Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen Links and Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen Skewers, serving hot dogs, brats, sausages and flat bread sandwiches. The new items were so well received, Zimmern’s handiwork will be available this season via Aramark at Fenway Park, Citizens Pank Park, PNC Park, Minute Maid Park and Coors Field.
“Aramark understands better than anyone that fans of all ages want a better culinary experience at the ballpark or wherever folks are convening,” Zimmern said in a statement. “By offering such tremendous variety and depths of products from chefs all over America they are providing visionary leadership where it matters most, at meal time. And most importantly Aramark cares about quality. The food is the thing. No gimmicks. No fads. Just great stadium fare made to order, which is what we all want to settle into our seats with.”
Zimmern is adding these four new items to his 2016 lineup:
AZ’s Canteen Dog — Piedmontese hot dog with roasted vegetable mayo, house-made grain mustard, cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeños, on a toasted bun
AZ’s Canteen Sausage — Cheddar sausage with roasted vegetable mayo, house-made grain mustard, cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeños, on a toasted bun
Lamb Koefte Burrito — Lamb koefte and fried eggplant slices with tomato cucumber salad, green hot sauce and tahini, wrapped in a tortilla
Korean Fried Pork Belly Sandwich — Battered and fried pork belly with grilled pineapple, gochujang sauce and chili lime salt, on a toasted bun
Aramark and fellow Major League concessions partner Delaware North unveiled several other new offerings around the league, from the health-conscious to the trendy to the truly over-the-top. You will never look at peanuts and crackerjack the same away again:
The menu highlight at Chase Field this season is the Cheeseburger Dog, consisting of char-grilled hamburgers, in the shape of a hot dog, on a roll with bacon and secret sauce.
Turner Field is going out with a delicious bang, with three new items on the menu:
Tater Tot Chop – It starts with a tater layer pressed in a waffle iron, loaded with bacon, melted cheese and jalapenos, topped with a second tater-tot waffle and served with ketchup infused by Atlanta’s own Coca-Cola.
T.E.D. a.k.a. “The Everything Dog” – If it’s found at a concession stand, it’s found in a T.E.D. It’s a foot long hotdog layered with fries, chili, nacho chips, beer cheese and jalapeños, topped with popcorn then drizzled with that ubiquitous Coca-Cola infused sauce.
The Punisher – Definitely puts the “brave” in Braves. Consider this: Country-fried smoked rib meat slathered in a Monster energy drink-infused BBQ sauce, topped a fresh cut beer-battered onion and “slawsa” tucked in between a toasted and buttered Hawaiian bun and pinned in place with two slices of bacon. It’s sure to leave you … Chipper.
BOSTON RED SOX
No longer just the home of the venerable Fenway Frank, the Red Sox are adding three new items:
Savenor’s Steak Tip Sandwich – Aramark adds to the Fenway fare with a marinated steak tips with cheese and BBQ sauce, on a crusty roll.
Pork Sandwich – Sliced pork loin with grilled onions, banana peppers, provolone cheese and special sauce on a freshly baked roll.
Cheetos Popcorn – Exactly what it sounds like: Fresh popped popcorn tumbled with Cheetos and Cheetos flavoring.
Great American Ballpark will mix sweet with salty this season. For starters, a red velvet waffle topped with a rich creme and sprinkles sold by Taste of Belgium, not to be outdone by made-to-order ice cream treats on a stick. The ice cream is dipped in milk chocolate then drizzled with a choice of toppings.
But if we’re talking Cincinnati, we’re talking Montgomery Inn, and that means a chopped brisket sandwich sold at Mr. Red’s Smoke House. The Smoke House will also feature Triple B smoked beef ribs slathered in “Texas-que.” The Triple B will be the featured menu item when Texas teams like the Houston Astros come to town.
Keeping with the visitors’ theme, the Pike Place SLT, a smoke salmon sandwich topped with candy bacon, shredded cabbage, tomato, garlic aioli on toasted brioche, will be sold at the Smoke House and will be available when teams like the Seattle Mariners come to town.
Also on the menu at the Teppanyaki Grill, which is set to open in May, is a kobe beef sandwich topped with fresh carrots, cilantro, daikon, pickled cucumber and shredded cabbage and a seared pork belly Banh-Mi sandwich with wonton strips.
Last, but certainly not least, is the Flying Pig, a bacon wrapped mettwurst with hot peppers, pickled onion and honey crème, sold — where else? — at the Porkopolis concession stand.
The big news at Progressive Field is a new beer garden near section 164 and by the main team store.
Local haunts Momocho, Fat Head’s Brewery, Dante’s Inferno and The Brew Kettle will also serve food this season.
The new restaurants join last year’s additions to the Right Field District — Melt Bar and Grilled, Barrio, Sweet Moses, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and Dynomite Burger — and those additions to the Infield District announced in January: Happy Dog, Cleveland Pickle and Ohio City Burrito.
Momocho will be serving nachos with made-to-order tortilla chips topped with creamy queso fundido, slow-cooked meats and unique salsas.
Fat Head’s Brewery has its Headwiches — sandwiches the size of a human head, including the Fat Italian and The Southside Slopes — a chargrilled kielbasa topped with pierogi and onions, American cheese and horseradish sauce.
Dante’s Inferno will feature hand-crafted pizzas, including the Spaghetti and Meatball Pizza.
The Brew Kettle will offer some of their signature beers including Four C’s, White Rajah, Black Rajah, Big Woody, Summer Rays and Kitka — a coconut chocolate milk stout. Fans will also be able to enjoy The Brew Kettle’s Wisconsin Burger, a seasoned pork burger smoked to perfection and served on a pretzel bun with Swiss cheese and spicy kraut relish on the side.
The beer garden featuring Great Lakes Brewing Co. will have 8-10 beers available at all times. Two seasonal beers will be featured in addition to their five year-round beers — Dortmunder Gold Lager, Elliot Ness Amber Lager, Burning River Pale Ale, Commodore Perry IPA and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. There will also be an extended brewing of Rally Drum Red Ale available through August.
The Rockies are adding two signature dishes to Coors Field this season, including the Beach Comber, a hot dog topped with pineapple, BBQ sauce and jalapenos, and a corned beef sandwich, with onion tanglers, Dijon slaw and Swiss cheese, on a soft roll.
Aramark is stepping up the Chicken & Waffle game in four ballparks this season, including Minute Maid Park. Here are the highlights in Houston (washed down with a Dr. Pepper, no doubt):
Sweet Potato Waffle Chicken Sandwich – Homemade sweet potato waffle with grilled chicken breast, Greek yogurt, baby spinach and sliced tomatoes.
Chipotle Pescado – Coffee-rubbed salmon on a tortilla, served with mango-jalapeño ranch and a chipotle aioli.
Irish Nachos – Kettle chips covered with jalapeño queso, roasted tomatoes and assorted nacho toppings.
The Flying Pig – A deep fried pork shank in peanut curry ranch, served with a sweet chili apple slaw.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS
Besides the Zimmern contributions, Aramark has these additions to the Kauffman scene:
Champions Alley Dog – Bacon wrapped, tempura battered, foot long hot dog with sweet slaw and chipotle ketchup on a local pretzel bun.
Champions Alley Burger – Cheese stuffed, tempura battered, cheddar bacon burger with sweet slaw, chipotle ketchup and fried pickle on a local roll.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
It’s the last season to listen to Vin Scully in the booth, and the first season to enjoy these handcrafted meals at Dodger Stadium:
The Shock Top Bratwurst is a spicy pork bratwurst link infused with Shock Top beer served on a buttered and grilled lobster roll with caramelized onions and spicy brown mustard.
The King Hawaiian Dog is made with all-beef quarter Farmers John quarter pound dog topped with pineapple salsa, served on King’s Hawaiian sweet bread.
The Gouda Kobe Burger is a 1/3-pound premium Kobe beef burger with caramelized onions, pickles, and Thousand Island dressing.
The BBQ Chicken Wings package consists of 15 BBQ wings served with fries and veggie sticks with two soft drinks for under $30.
The Chicken Verde Sandwich is a chicken breast grilled on telera bread with jalapeno aioli, lettuce, tomato, and tomatillo sauce.
The Specialty Nachos Verde is a vegetarian option that is gluten free and can be made vegan on request. Crispy tortilla chips are topped with tomatillo verde sauce, pickled jalapenos and fresco Cotija Queso.
It’s possible that Hank won’t be the most popular dog at Miller Park this season. He has to contend with both the Jalapeno Popper Dog, a Klement’s hot dog with cheese sauce, fried jalapeno on a sausage roll, and the Wisconsin Dog, a Klement’s hot dog, bacon, beer jam sauerkraut on a sausage roll.
The Brewers will also roll out the barrel for these tasty treats:
Stormin’ Gorman’s BBQ: A sandwich that features Carolina-style BBQ sauce on a buttery roll.
Buffalo Chicken Fries: Waffle fries, pulled chicken, buffalo sauce, cheese sauce and bleu cheese dressing.
Racing Sausages Chili Loaded Potato: Baked potato, Racing Sausages chili, cheddar cheese and sour cream.
Banh mi Brat: A Klement’s bratwurst with Asian slaw, cilantro lime mayo on a Banh mi bun.
Supper Club Ham and Cheese sandwich: A pimento cheese spread with gherkin pickles on a cibatta roll.
Soba Noodle Salad: Carrots, cucumber, red onion, edamame, sesame seeds and chili lime vinaigrette
Turkey Focaccia Sandwich: With Fontino cheese, andpesto aioli.
NEW YORK METS
Citi Field adds some local flavor with the The 108 Burger, a 6 oz. LaFrieda burger with hand sliced hot pastrami, New York deli mustard and Havarti cheese, on a fresh baked pretzel roll.
Returning to the chicken & waffles theme, Citizens Bank Park offers the Federal Fried Chicken Sandwich, a boneless chicken breast with buttermilk ranch seasoning, American cheese, dill pickle and spicy Rooster Sauce, on a Martin’s Potato Roll.
Also available are the Sonoran Dog, hickory bacon wrapped natural casing hot dog with smoked tomatillo salsa verde, Tabasco mayo, chopped tomato and onions, and Duck Fat Fries.
Heading west across Pennsylvania, PNC Park will have its chicken & waffles entry called Our Chicken: Fried chicken over Rivertowne Lager waffles with vanilla-rosemary syrup.
But the big-ticket addition for the Bucs has to be the Cracker Jack and Mac Dog, foot-long, all beef hot dog with Cracker Jack, macaroni and cheese, salted caramel sauce and fried jalapenos, on naan bread. Served with a bag of Cracker Jack. Not to be outdone, there’s the Cracker Jack Sundae, vanilla-fudge ice cream with crushed Cracker Jack, salted caramel sauce and cream cheese whipped topping. You won’t care if you ever get back.
The Red Sox have Cheetos Popcorn, but the Rangers are clearly going next level at Globe Life Field with the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Dog, an all beef hot dog topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos infused Nacho Cheese and sprinkled with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos for an atomic kick.
And if that doesn’t grab you, take a shot at the multi-purpose Chicken & Donut Skewer, a 12-inch skewer of fresh donut holes & fried chicken drizzled with sweet & spicy buffalo honey sauce.
Then there’s the Wicked Pig, a Hawaiian roll layered with pulled pork, thick cut Danish bacon, a split sausage, prosciutto, thick sliced ham, covered in barbecue sauce, topped with coleslaw and pork rinds.
But not everything is big, calorie-wise, in Texas. The Rangers will also feature the Ballpark Vegan, a vegan-themed portable cart that offers a variety of popular ballpark fare and other healthy options that do not contain any animal bi-products. The menu consists of: Southwest Black Bean Burger, Vegan Nachos, Vegan Hot Dog, Vegan Jerky, Vegan Chili, Vegan Spinach Wrap, Shake It Up Salad and Fresh Cut Fruit.
There’s also the Shake It Up Salad, a house-made garden salad served in a shakeable cup with a side of dressing to conveniently enjoy on the go.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS
The chicken & waffle tour ends north of the border at Rogers Centre, with Chicken & Waffle On A Stick: a maple Sriracha drizzle, served with a broccoli and cabbage slaw. The Blue Jays will also feature the Meat Loaf “Burger,” a house-made ground beef and spicy sausage meatloaf with Rogers Centre’s signature tomato sauce, provolone cheese and arugula, on a brioche bun, the Buffalo” Cauliflower Poutine, a lightly breaded cauliflower, tossed in classic buffalo hot sauce, topped with cheese curds, “cheesy” gravy and fresh, chopped scallions and for the sweet-tooth, Chef’s Elizabeth’s Handcrafted Mini Sugared Donuts with a crème anglaise dipping sauce.
Images courtesy of Aramark.