One of the beauties of minor league baseball is the creative things teams do to attract fans. It might be with a great promotion, or that they have an excellent team that year, or it could be food options.
With the minor leagues, the talent on the field is only going to be there a year or two. Players come and go, based on the whim of the Major League affiliate. It’s a bit different when it comes to independent leagues, but players from those teams are plucked by affiliated organizations as well.
Therefore, teams have to have an identity as a whole, rather than based on the parent club or certain players. That means there could be a lot of items to help said teams.
Food is always one.
It seems most minor league teams have a signature item — or something they are known for. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad. You never know. But the creative limits of the ballpark culinary delights are definitely pushed.
MiLB has something going on right now called Food Fight, where fans can vote for their favorite foods. Some of these are pretty interesting, but the signature foods are definitely out there. Some look amazing. Some, not so much.
I’ve looked at the full list of foods and have pulled out ones of places I’m planning on hitting this year, or possibly might hit, or that I’ve tried in the past and put them below. Then, I’ll give my comments on if I plan to try it or not.
Obviously, too, I have to watch myself when eating some of these things as I don’t want my blood sugar to get so out of whack that I get worried. Being diabetic makes some of these things a little tough to try, though I usually plan for things like this when I go to a park.
So, without further adieu… here’s a look at some of the food I might look to try this year.
The Squealer (Akron Rubberducks): Half-pound, all-beef, foot-long hot dog stuffed with pulled pork and cheddar cheese, wrapped in bacon, deep-fried and drizzled with BBQ sauce.
My take: I’m not sure about this. As much as I think I’d like to try it, this seems like a whole heap of calories and a lot of bad stuff going in you. I can’t say I won’t, though, so I’ll put it at 50-50.
Pork Cantina’s (Carolina Mudcats): Slow-roasted seasoned pork with salad mix, mango salsa, aioli on a flour tortilla.
My take: This actually sounds really good. Right now, visiting the Mudcats this year is up in the air, pending when the “Southern Swing” trip happens. If I end up there, this will likely be tried
Pulled Pork Nachos (Buffalo Bisons): Corn tortilla chips topped with slow-roasted BW’s BBQ pulled pork, sharp cheddar cheese, jalapenos and sour cream.
My take: If I could get it without the jalapenos, then yes, I’d be in to try it. If I can’t, then no.
Chicken and Waffle Cone (Charlotte Knights): Waffle cone stuffed with house-made macaroni & cheese, fried chicken tenders, topped with slaw and BBQ sauce.
My take: This is one of those things where if I ate it, I’d be looking to take several laps around the park after it. That being said, I’m strongly going to consider this one.
Angus Barn Steak and Cheese Sandwich (Durham Bulls): Certified angus, grilled onions, peppers, cheddar cheese, ‘secret sauce,’ toasted roll.
My take: Where do I sign up? Though, to be fair, I will see if I can get it without the peppers as I am not a pepper eater. If the answer is no, I’ll have to debate if it’s worth trying to pick them off.
Shipwreck (Erie Seawolves): Beef burger, American cheese, Italian sausage, Swiss cheese, lettuce, red onion, tomato on a brioche bun.
My take: Erie is likely a longshot for me this year, but if it happens — then I think I’d be in to try this one. I’d have to see it, though, as I might feel it’s too much for me.
Sweet-n-Salty Grilled Cheese (Greensboro Grasshoppers): Texas toast, prosciutto, brie, mascarpone, vanilla, strawberry preserves .
My take: This sounds extremely interesting. This is one I’d for sure like to try.
Mac & CrawDog (Hickory Crawdads): Footlong hot dog topped with Monterey Jack mac & cheese.
My take: Hickory is another team that’s up in the air, based on when the Southern Swing Happens. This sounds interesting, but I often tend to shy away from things like mac and cheese on my hot dog. It’s 50-50.
Southern Hudson Comfort (Hudson Valley Renegades): Belgian waffle with scallions, bacon and cheddar baked in, topped with chicken tenders, crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey bourbon BBQ sauce.
My take: I am not sure if this was at Hudson Valley when I visited there last year. I would like to make another trip to the stadium this year as I enjoyed myself. If I so, this would be interesting to consider. There’s a lot of stuff on this, though. I’d have to hopefully see it live before I said yes or no.
Mater Sandwich (Kannapolis Intimidators): Grilled white bread, tomatoes and mayonnaise with salt and pepper.
My take: I’d probably give this a go.
Jersey Delight (Lakewood Blueclaws): Case’s pork roll, deep fried in funnel cake batter, topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
My take: I love going to Lakewood and I like attempting to get there at least once a year. But I think I’d skip this one … just doesn’t sound good to me.
Bacon, USA Funnel Cake (Lehigh Valley Ironpigs): Funnel cake topped with confectionery sugar, thick bacon crumbs and maple syrup.
My take: The Pigs definitely think outside the box when it comes to culinary delights. But I think this one would have way too much sugar and carbs for me. Not saying I wouldn’t split it with somebody, but no way I’d do it on my own!
The Mount Dessert Island (Portland Sea Dogs): Fried dough shell filled with soft-serve ice cream and topped with hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms and cherries in a Sea Dogs helmet.
My take: While this sounds delightful, I think it would have to be shared with several people.
Desperately Seeking Chicken (Rochester Redwings): Mac & cheese, Buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese dressing, chicken and cheese sauce.
My take: I’ve already been to Rochester this year and decided to pass up this choice. Though it sounded interesting, it wasn’t something I was curious enough to try.
Pierogie Pulled Pork Sandwich (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders): Fried pierogi, pulled pork (smoked in-house), homemade Bent Buckle BBQ sauce.
My take: In my first trip to see the Railriders this year, I tried their poutine and there wasn’t any cheese in it, so that disappointed me. This, though, sounds somewhat interesting and I might be up to giving it a go.
Pop’s Tots (Syracuse Chiefs): Tater tots, queso cheese, bacon, sour cream, chives.
My take: This is an easy one — next time I’m at a Syracuse game, I’m trying this.
Pig Pen (Trenton Thunder): Chopped pork roll, pulled pork, bacon bits on a bed of mashed potatoes.
My take: There’s no telling if I’ll get to Trenton or not this year, but they have a lot of good food options. Therefore, I don’t see me going for this one.
The Sweenie (Wilmington Blue Rocks): Hot dog in a custom-glazed donut bun, topped with raspberry jelly and bacon.
My take: I only put this on the list because I was in Wilmington last year and I tried this. While I thought it was OK, and I’m glad I took the risk to have it, I likely wouldn’t do it again. A one-time experience!
Cheesy Pig Dog (Winston-Salem Dash): Hot dog topped with BBQ, macaroni & cheese and shredded cheese.
My take: Not sure about this one. Again, not always a fan of mac & cheese on my hot dogs, so I’m not sure if I’d try it or not.
There you have my thoughts on some of the food options at places I am hoping to visit this summer. Visit the link up top to see all the choices and see if there’s any you’d be looking to try if the chance was presented to you!
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