Baseball and food have always been linked. Even before Jack Norworth penned the famous phrase, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks” in 1908, concessions were a vital part of a fan’s game day experience.
In 2013, however, peanuts are passé and Cracker Jacks have become stale. Teams are constantly looking for the next big thing to satisfy those midgame munchies. The can range from simple variations of your basic ballpark items to the bizarre. For example, the West Michigan Whitecaps offer their patrons the 5/3 Burger which contains 1.66 pounds of beef, lettuce, tomato, chili, and Fritos chips. Fans who finish the burger receive a free t-shirt along with 4,889 calories, 299 grams of fat and 10,877 mg. of sodium.
Bizarre ballpark foods are not limited to the minor or independent leagues though. Major League baseball has also gotten in on the act. The Colorado Rockies have cornered the market on rocky mountain fried oysters. For those who did not grow up on a farm, these oysters are not seafood, though they are served with a side cocktail sauce for dipping if you choose to do so. Let’s just say they are the nuttiest items ever posted on a ballpark menu.
The Forest City Owls will have their own unique menu items for the 2013 season, many of which will debut at the Easter Tournament this week.
“We aren’t going to do anything too crazy,” said Owls’ general manager Jeremy Boler with a laugh. “But we are going to have some new items available for fans to try. It’s a perfect time for us to experiment and try some new things out. If people like them, then we will bring them back for Owls’ games.”
“We are always looking to bring the best quality product to our fans, whether that is on the field or in the concession stand,” Boler continued. “We only use the best brands of hotdogs, hamburgers or whatever it is. Fans have come to expect the best from us. We are not going to do anything half way.”
The biggest additions this season are the foot long hotdog and the foot long bratwurst, but only one will make the opening day roster. Who knew concessions have to go through spring training, too?
“It’s going to be a contest between those two,” said Boler. “We are going to let the fans pick the winner. They are both great, high quality items. I can’t wait to see which one the fans pick.” Another new item is the barbeque burger, a traditional hamburger topped with a mound of barbeque.
“The barbeque burger is our answer to Gastonia’s Krispy Keeme burger,” said Boler. “It’s our must unique item and I think fans will enjoy it.”
In addition to the foot long hotdog, bratwurst, and barbeque burger, many McNair Field favorites will return as well, including personal favorites deep fried Oreos and the Philly Cheesesteak.
“People seem to like having the cheesesteak for their meal and the Oreos for dessert,” said Boler. “But I’d have to say that the Oreos are our most popular item by far. We can’t seem to fry them up fast enough.”
Of course, the patron has to wash everything down with something, and the Owls offer plenty of options.
“We offer all your usual soft drinks, but the most popular drink is sweet tea,” said Boler. “We started serving it last year and people really responded to it. It will definitely be back this season.”
So, if are you are a fan, hungry for some good baseball or simply a double order of deep fried Oreos, come to McNair Field this week. You can get your fill of both.