Ballpark Digest is previewing what every MLB team is doing to begin the season, both on and off the field, as the 2018 campaign launches next week. Up next: the Houston Astros and Minute Maid Park.
Fresh off the first World Series title in franchise history, the Houston Astros are shaking things up at Minute Maid Park.
A year ago, the focus of Minute Maid Park was on a major renovation project, one that involved removing Tal’s Hill from centerfield and replacing it with a new concessions area and social space. This year, the Astros are taking a particularly unique approach to their food offerings, introducing a wide variety of items.
The Astros and Aramark have unveiled a revised menu for 2018. One of the more intriguing new food items is the .45 Express, an All Beef Nolan Ryan Hot Dog, topped by hot Cheetos, green chili queso, tortilla strips, cheese, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, sour cream and cilantro. It will be served on crisp, corn tortillas inside a flour tortilla. Minute Maid Park will also offer the Astros Slider Trio, an offering that includes Texas Pulled Pork Cheesesteak, Texas Brisket Cheesesteak, Hot Dog Sliders.
Those in the mood for local cuisine will have an interesting option at Minute Maid Park, as the ballpark will include a stand for the Houston-based Jackson Street BBQ. Located in section 124, the stand will feature menu items like a Smoked Sausage and Queso Kolache and Cheddar Biscuit with burnt ends.
Minute Maid Park is also included in Aramark’s push to bring taco trios to more ballparks this season. In Houston, the taco trio will offer smoked pulled pork served on flour tortillas with pineapples and salsa verde. Jane Dough Cookie Dough is also slated to be served at Minute Maid Park, giving the ballpark a desert that features edible cookie dough and can be offered with or without soft ice cream. That desert will be available at a few other ballparks this year, including New York’s Citi Field, Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, and Toronto’s Rogers Centre.
Obviously, the concessions are a major point of emphasis for the Astros, but plenty of attention will be paid to what happens on the field at Minute Maid Park in 2018 as the team looks to defend its World Series title. The Astros are planning a few promotions to honor that championship, including the unveiling of a pennant on Opening Day (April 2) and a World Series ring ceremony the following night.
Image of Pineapple Pulled Pork Taco Trio courtesy Aramark.