Going to a ball game these days doesn’t always mean suffering through soggy hot dogs, watered-down beer, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. It’s a brave new culinary world in Major League Baseball, one in which stadiums align themselves with notable chefs, major breweries, and popular local eateries.
America’s ball parks are also raising price points at the concession stand for items that are getting more exotic and decadent each season. This year’s group of novelty eats stands out, with several dishes priced well above $20, and several extreme food promotions challenging customers to binge eat in return for perks.
To get a sense of the new age of ballpark grub, check out these standout MLB dishes around the country.
D-Bat Dog at Chase Field
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks
What is it? An 18-inch-long, $25 corn dog stuffed with bacon, cheese, and jalapeños. Due to its enormous size and hefty price tag, the D-Bat has been the MLB food story of the season.
[Photo: Phoenix New Times]
Baked Bear Ice Cream Sandwich at Petco Park
Team: San Diego Padres
What is it? Custom-built ice cream sandwiches made with fresh cookies, brownies, and waffles. If you’re crazy enough, you can even get cookie dough ice cream smashed between a waffle and a brownie. The Baked Bear is a wildly popular ice cream sandwich shop in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego.
[Photo: U-T San Diego]
Chesapeake Crab Roll at Camden Yards
Team: Baltimore Orioles
What is it? Chilled crab salad with Bibb lettuce on a fresh brioche roll screams Maryland like few other foods can. Other exciting new offerings at Camden include an Old Bay half-smoke sausage and an early bird dog topped with bacon, egg, and cheese.
Fan Vs. Food Burger at Tropicana Field
Team: Tampa Bay Devil Rays
What is it? A four-pound bacon cheeseburger served with one pound of fries. Customers who can polish off the plate will receive two complimentary Rays tickets and a t-shirt. Not a bad deal.
[Photo: Fox Sports]
Poutine Dog at Comerica Park
Team: Detroit Tigers
What is it? A hot dog topped with french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. The Poutine Dog joins several new over-the-top “mash-up” snacks at Comerica Park, including a Late Night Dog topped with a fried egg, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
[Photo: Bless You Boys]
Pork Chop Sandwich at U.S. Cellular Field
Team: Chicago White Sox
What is it? A boneless pork chop with grilled onions on a roll. The sandwich is an iconic Chi-Town classic, dating back to the heyday of the famous Maxwell Street Market.
[Photo: Bar Stool Sports]
“The Choomongous” at Globe Life Park
Team: Texas Rangers
What is it? A $26, 24-inch all-beef hot dog topped with Asian-spiced beef, spicy slaw, and Sriracha. It’s named after newly-signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. The Rangers have several other extreme, player-inspired dishes including the new bacon and jack cheese “Beltre Buster” burger, named after third baseman Adrian Beltre.
[Photo: Dallas Observer]
“The Closer” at PNC Park
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
What is it? A quadruple-decker grilled cheese sandwich with nine types of cheese, candied bacon, and an apple compote. The other new attention-grabbing snack at PNC Park is “Tatchos,” which are nachos that swap out tater tots for tortilla chips. The Tatchos are topped with chili, spicy nacho cheese, sour cream, and scallions.
[Photo: CBS Local]
Mussels at Citizens Bank Park
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
What is it? Beer-steamed mussels from Prince Edward Island with bacon and toast. The mussels will be available at “Harry the K’s,” a restaurant located below the left field scoreboard inside the stadium. The restaurant is named after Harry Kalas, the late Hall Of Fame Phillies broadcaster.
The Bacon Challenge at Great American Park
The Team: Cincinnati Reds
What is it? One pound of bacon with lettuce, tomato, and black pepper mayo on an “artisan” roll. A platter comes with four sandwiches, potato chips, half-sour pickles, and potato salad. Customers who can finish the platter in an inning get their meal on the house, with a free, “I Conquered The Bacon Challenge” t-shirt.
[Photo: Cincinnati Business Courier]
RELATED: How to Make Your Own Dunkaroos