The best ballpark foods from stadiums across the continent
There's a certain magic to live sporting events that tugs at fans' hearts. It's what packs arenas, produces smug season ticket holders, and encourages fans to wear pretty much the craziest get-ups sport has ever seen. But if the essence of the draw lies in our hearts, the motivation to get out to a game is certainly encouraged ... by our stomachs.
That's right. For fans, there's thrill in the spill, excitement in excess and comfort in the calories of stadium food, whether you belong to the salty sorority or the battered brotherhood. And in the especially lengthy game of baseball, a hearty, crowd-pleasing menu is needed to keep fans at their top-notch cheering ability.
We know what you're thinking: hot dogs, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks, all washed down with a side of beer. But as baseball heats up over the spring and summer months, so do the frying oils and grills in the concession stands and kitchens at baseball fields across the continent, where new saliva-inducing menu offerings are popping up.
Take note: The seventh inning stretch may now be teamed with seventh inning stretchy pants -- a uniform you'll need to face some of these wacky new ballpark concoctions. The following is a sampling of this year's best gut-busting menu items that are sure to leave you drooling:
The D-bat Dog: Imagine 18 inches of stuffed corn dog bursting with jalapenos, bacon and cheddar cheese. Now cue the rush to Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where fans will need to un-stuff their wallets at $25 per dog.
Bacon on a Stick: Thick Hungarian bacon, smoked, and finished with a topping of maple syrup makes this a simple, yet comforting offering that can be found at Texas Rangers home games this season.
Deep-fried Beecher's Cheese Curds: The Seattle Mariners feature this sweet and savoury item at Safeco Field, consisting of hometown Beecher's cheese curds deep-fried and layered with local Ballard Bee honey.
Tachos: A spin on the usual park favourite nachos, fans can order this creation at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's a heaping plate of chilli cheese nachos, but instead of nacho chips, the layers are made with tater tots. Yum!
Bill Cosby Triple Decker: This sandwich at Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays' home field, is big enough to make the bleachers bend beneath it. The Bill Cosby Triple Decker is a mouthful, containing corned beef, pastrami and cheese, on three slices of rye bread, served alongside coleslaw and a pickle.
Icy Brew: We can't forget beverages and, lucky for the fans at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, there is a frozen beer machine that keeps fans hydrated with icy cold brews that come with a foamy lid to keep the beer chilled for up to 30 minutes.
Banana Split Sundae Helmet: This enormous dessert available at Chicago White Sox home games is made up of 12 scoops of ice cream, two bananas, flavoured sauces, whip cream and, of course, a cherry on top. Still having trouble picturing its size? Well, just imagine it as it's served: in a regulation-sized batting practice helmet. For obvious reasons, it's families that are usually encouraged to partake in this sugar bomb.
Now that we have you drooling, it's time to head out to your local ballpark as the Major League Baseball playing schedule heats up. You never know what yummy delights you might find. A word of advice: Stash a bottle of antacid into your favourite stretchy pants. You'll thank us later.
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