Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd, buy me some … sushi and toasted ravioli? Yes, the boys of summer are back, and so are the gourmet menus at Major League ballparks. Forget the peanuts and Cracker Jack: Here’s an all-star roster of unlikely yet downright delicious game-day dishes. Batter up!
Primanti Brothers Sandwich – Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park
The classic Primanti sandwich has been busting guts in Steeltown since the Depression. Try steak or pastrami with cheese, fries, coleslaw and tomato, all nestled between thick slabs of Italian bread. It’s a time saver, but your belt may go into extra innings.
The Walk-off – Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards
Talk about local flavor. This $14 anchor is a Roma sausage (whose meats are the beating heart of Baltimore sports fans) tucked inside a pretzel roll, smothered in crab dip and sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. It’s the ultimate franchise player.
Corn Off The Cob – Chicago White Sox, U.S. Cellular Field
Released from the confines of its tiresome cob, this corn-in-a-bowl classic at the “Cell” really pops because of its toppings. Sure, there’s lime and red pepper as healthier options. But you’re at the ballpark, so cue the extra butter, salt, cheese and, yes, mayonnaise.
Ichiroll – Seattle Mariners, Safeco Field
Mariner fans still get a kick out of this spicy wasabi-doused tuna roll even though its flashy inspiration, Ichiro Suzuki, was traded to the Yankees in 2012. An even bigger kick? It’s made right before your eyes by bona fide sushi chefs.
The Hammer – Atlanta Braves, Turner Field
What better way to sandwich a Southern-fried chicken breast smothered in apple-smoked bacon, onions, pepper-jack cheese and pecan-maple mayo than … between toasted waffles? Yep. Named for the great Hank Aaron, hitter of 755 home runs, The Hammer doesn’t exactly brush back the batter.
The Cha Cha Bowl – San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park
What do you call a Caribbean bowl of jerk chicken, rice, black beans and salsa made with cooked zucchini, carrots, onions and pineapple? Well, at Giants games, they call it a Cha Cha Bowl. You might call it heaven.
Pulled-Pork Parfait – Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park
From a baseball’s throw away, it might resemble a frozen parfait of ice cream and chocolate fudge. But this tall cool customer is all meat (pulled pork, to be precise) wedged between layers of chive-laden mashed potatoes. In Wisconsin, looks can be deceiving.
By Sean Deasy
Up Next: 7 Easy Game-Day Party Recipes