Ballpark food used to be simple fare. You had your peanuts. You had your Cracker Jack. You had your encased meats. And, if you were really lucky, you had your nachos. That was pretty much it, and people liked it, because they were there to watch baseball, not go on a gastronomical adventure.
Thing are different now. Today we expect more for the price of admission than a baseball game. We expect hidden ball games on the jumbotron, we expect t-shirt cannons firing tiny bundles of swag between innings, and most of all, we expect insane ballpark food dreamed up by a carny on acid. Because this is American, dammit. (Unless it’s Canada.) More is always better.
Today, to celebrate the start of the 2015 MLB season, we’re going to take a look at some of the most ridiculous ballpark food options that will be clogging fans’ arteries over the next six months. If you were thinking of taking a road trip to watch some baseball this summer, you’ll definitely want to factor these into your plans. Unless you’re counting calories, in which case never mind.
At #30 we have our only entry from the Great White North, this peameal (i.e. Canadian) bacon sausage with caramelized onions and honey mustard on a cornmeal bun. It doesn't exactly blow your mind, but it's nice to see the Blue Jays—longtime purveyors of the most unimaginative ballpark food in MLB—are actually trying.
30. Peameal Bacon Sausage (Toronto Blue Jays)
The Rockies' "Taco Dog" is a chorizo sausage on a bun topped with shredded cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo. With all that lettuce, you can easily convince yourself you are eating healthy.
29. Taco Dog (Colorado Rockies)
Pretzel dog? Nah.
Cuban dog? Nah.
Pretzel Cuban Dog? Ridiculous. Get the f**k out.
Cuban Pretzel Dog? Jackpot!
(FYI, it's an all-beef dog in a pretzel bun topped with sliced ham, pulled pork, swiss cheese, dijon mustard, and pickles. Or in other words, it's amazing.)
28. Cuban Pretzel Dog (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Oh please. That's not a hot dog smothered in cheese. That's a sausage in a pretzel roll covered in motherf%#&in' crab dip. And you can eat one with a steak knife at Dempsey's inside the Ballpark at Camden Yards.
27. The Walk Off (Baltimore Orioles)
Problem: chicken and waffles, while delicious, are hard to eat at a baseball game.
Solution: make the waffles a waffle cone, stuff it with mashed potatoes and fried chicken, and drizzle the whole thing in honey mustard.
Unfortunately, you do still have to go to an Astros game to partake in this deliciousness.
26. Chicken and Waffle Cone (Houston Astros)
Bacon is good. Fried things on sticks are good. So deep-fried, three-quarter inch Hungarian smoked, maple syrup-dipped bacon on a stick? Nice work, Rangers.
25. Fried Bacon on a Stick (Texas Rangers)
OR you could just cover the bacon in chocolate, graham cracker crumbs, and marshmallows. These babies will go for $8 at Citi Field this season.
24. S’more Covered Bacon on a Stick
Basically, this is just fancy nachos topped with smoked KC-style beef frisket, cole slaw, and something they call "cheesy corn," which sounds amazing.
23. Cheesy Corn Brisketacho (Kansas City Royals)
Did you figure out the D-Backs' secret yet? Here's a hint: the Churro Dog not really a dog at all. It's a churro stuffed in a chocolate Long John donut, topped with froyo, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce. It's got 1,117 calories and costs only $8.50, so you should probably eat two.
22. Churro Dog (Arizona Diamondbacks)
Corn on the cob is pretty good. But the Rangers made it better by putting it on a skewer, dipping it in buttermilk batter, and deep frying it.
21. Chicken-Fried Corn on the Cob (Texas Rangers)
"F**k it, lets just stick a hot dog in a Philly cheesesteak." –Kansas City Royals.
20. Steak and Cheese Dog (Kansas City Royals)
If you thought all hot dogs were meat lover's hot dogs by virtue of the fact that hot dogs are made of meat, you were sadly mistaken. The Cincinnati Reds have come up with a true meat lover's dog: a Queen City Sausage wrapped in bacon, deep-fried, and topped with chilli, pepper jack, and crispy strips of salami.
19. Meat Lover’s Dog (Cincinnati Reds)
At Target Field, you can get baseball's answer to the Turducken: a hot dog stuffed inside a bratwurst, served in a pretzel bun and topped with bacon and sauerkraut.
18. Brat Dog (Minnesota Twins)
There are a lot of words in this title, but if you break it down it tells you everything you need to know about this concoction. It's a pepperjack sausage topped with pulled pork, mac 'n' cheese, and bacon crumbles. Duh.
17. Pulled Pork Mac 'N’ Jack Sausage (Kansas City Royals)
"The Hammer" is a fried chicken and bacon sandwich with waffles instead of bread. It's named after Hammerin' Hank Aaron, and it's one of two finalists for "Best Ballpark Food Name" award.
16. The Hammer (Atlanta Braves)
At #15 we have "The Closer," the other finalist for "Best Ballpark Food Name."
Of course, seeing as how this sandwich consists of four slices of bread, nine different cheeses, candied bacon, plus an apple and leek compote, we assume they mean it's an artery closer.
15. The Closer (Pittsburgh Pirates)
That's right. It's a bloody garnished with a slicee of 'za and a beef stick, and it costs $19.
So, what, limit four per person?
14. The College Daze Bloody Mary (Minnesota Twins)
Nachos are delicious, but they require two hands to eat, leaving no hands for beer. Luckily, the Brewers have solved this problem with their "Nachos on a Stick." It's taco meat and refried beans rolled in Dorito crumbs, then deep-fried and drizzled with sour cream and cheese sauce.
Obviously, the Brewers will win a Nobel Prize for this.
13. Nachos on a Stick (Milwaukee Brewers)
Don't worry about the confusing Derek Holland-inspired name. This is basically a bunch of tater tots tossed in Buffalo sauce, topped with fajita fillings and a spicy queso hollandaise sauce, served in a mini Dutch oven. Because that's Derek Holland's nickname—Dutch Oven.
Is it really worth $17.50? Probably. It sounds pretty great.
12. Holland Hot Tot’chos (Texas Rangers)
By bacon they mean a half-inch thick slab of bacon, and by eggs they mean Sriracha deviled eggs topped with deep-fried jalapeños.
11. Bacon and Eggs (Detroit Tigers)
You can't name a hot dog after a guy who hit 612 career home runs and not have it be ridiculously awesome. That's why the Cleveland Indians packed this foot-long beef dog with diced onions, kraut, and three pierogis—which are potato dumplings, for those of you who aren't familiar with Eastern European cuisine.
10. The Thomenator (Cleveland Indians)
The Texas Rangers have been offering this insane 24-inch, $26 hot dog for several years now. Each season, fans have the option of getting a Boomstick classic (with chilli, cheese, grilled onions, and jalapenos) or that season's player-inspired Boomstick like the Totally ROSSome, which was inspired by relief pitcher Robbie Ross and topped with smoked beef brisket.
9. Boomstick! (Texas Rangers)
What, haven't you ever seen a gouda-stuffed meatball served on a bed of five-cheese truffle mac and cheese with garlic panko crumbs?
8. Gouda-Stuffed Meatball Mac ‘N’ Cheese (Houston Astros)
Meet the Rangers' S'mOreo, a marshmallow breaded in graham cracker crumbs and deep-fried, sandwiched between two deep-fried Oreos, skewered on a stick, and drizzled in chocolate sauce.
For $8, you can put this in your mouth.
7. Fried S’mOreo (Texas Rangers)
In 2013, the Pittsburgh Pirates introduced the Brunch Burger. It features a special burger patty made of 60% beef and 40% bacon, topped with bacon, a fried egg, and cheddar and sandwiched between a goddamn donut. You can get in the Rivertown Brewing Hall of Fame Club above the left-field bleachers.
6. Brunch Burger (Pittsburgh Pirates)
For the extra hungry Phillies fan, there's the Wayback Triple Triple Cheeseburger, which features nine beef patties, nine slices of American cheese, and 5,100 calories.
Now, I'm an American, so I actually have no idea how many calories a fully grown human male should consume in a day. But I assume it's something like 7,000 or 8,000, so you should be good.
The Brewers' Pulled Pork Parfait is just like a regular parfait, only instead of yogurt and berries and granola it has layers of pulled pork, mashed potatoes, and chives.
4. Pulled Pork Parfait (Milwaukee Brewers)
This is not a joke. At Stand 144 at Coors Field in Denver, you really can get yourself some deep-fried "Rocky Mountain Oysters"...which of course are deep-fried bull or bison testicles.
3. Rocky Mountain Oysters (Colorado Rockies)
If you can eat this four-pound burger featuring eight slices of cheese and 32 strips of bacon, you get two free tickets to a Rays game plus—that's right, there's more!—a free Rays t-shirt.
Of course, you would also be dead, so, you know.
2. Rays Fan vs. Food Burger (Tampa Bay Rays)
The number one most insane ballpark food item in America (or Canada)? That would be the "StrasBurger" at Nationals P. Judging by the fact that it's eight pounds and costs $59, I'm going to say it was probably designed to be shared.
Of course, they also say a single "serving size" of Fruit Loops is like a half cup, but we still eat them out of a salad bowl. So screw it, eat the whole thing yourself.