Fans have been going to Major League Baseball games for over 140 years and certain things about going to the ballpark have remained consistent throughout. Stadium snacks have been around as long as the game itself and just like the game, ballpark food has evolved to meet the needs of every fan that comes through the turnstiles.
Baseball has come a long way since the days of peanuts and Cracker Jacks (though both are still available in virtually every stadium) and as team owners have been trying to make the experience of going to a baseball game more enjoyable for fans of all ages, shapes and sizes, ballpark food has been getting a serious upgrade.
It’s reached the point where stadiums are becoming known for some of the specific food items they offer as much as they are for the unique aspects of the building itself or the teams that call it home. Here are a few examples of some of these ballpark creations that have been giving fans a new reason to come to a game on an empty stomach.
The StrasBurger- Nationals Park, Washington D.C.
Made to feed eight people, the StrasBurger is eight pounds of glory. An all-beef burger that’s a combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs is served on a large bun with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, red onions, pickle chips and the Nationals own secret sauce. The $59 burger is served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and comes with a pitcher of the soft drink of your choice.
The Closer Grilled Sammie- PNC Park, Pittsburgh
A grilled cheese lovers dream, the Closer Grilled Sammie (named after former Pirates closer Jason Grilli) features four slices of thick-cut sourdough bread and not one, not two, not three…but nine different cheeses. Add to that several slices of candied bacon and a leek-and-Granny Smith apple compote and you’ve got one of the most appetizing grilled cheese sandwiches ever built. It’s not that bad of a deal either, costing fans $14.50.
D-Bat Dog- Chase Field, Arizona
When you start with something as yummy as a corndog it’s hard to go wrong. The Diamondbacks debuted the D-Bat Dog at the beginning of the 2014 season and it has been a very popular item at Chase Field despite the $25 price tag. The 18-inch corn dog is stuffed with cheddar cheese, bacon and jalapenos and is served with a side of fries.
Crab Waffle Fries- Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
A trip to Maryland is never complete until you have some local crab cakes. It’s a dish that’s easy to find, even if you’re at the ballpark. The Orioles have put an interesting twist on the classic favorite and it’s getting rave reviews from fans in Baltimore. The Crab Waffle Fries are a basket of fries covered in a house made Old Bay crab dip.
Fan vs. Food Burger- Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay
The only thing better then great ballpark food is when the food comes with a prize. That could be by Cracker Jacks have been such a popular stadium food item for so many years. Perhaps that’s what inspired the Rays to come up with the Fan vs. Food Burger. The $30 four-pound burger is topped with cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and onions and comes with a pound of fries on the side. Any fan that successfully cleans their plate, fries included, scores two tickets to a future Rays game and a t-shirt.
Pulled Pork Parfait- Miller Park, Milwaukee
It may not sound like the most appetizing thing to ever hit a baseball game, Milwaukee’s Pulled Pork Parfait even resembles what a dessert parfait usually looks like. Reasonably priced at just $7, the parfait has layers of pulled pork, mashed potatoes and pork gravy.
Three-Pound Banana Split, U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
What list of delicious food would be complete without something for dessert? For those brave enough to order the White Sox super-sized $17 sundae, you can only hope that dinner was light or eaten hours before hand. The 12-scoop banana split comes with equal parts of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and is drizzled with strawberry sauce, chocolate syrup and caramel. It’s then topped with two bananas, whipped cream and cherries. All that sweetness will end up weighing around three ponds.
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