Fried Concoctions courtesy of the Texas Rangers – by Jordan Kobritz

Ballpark concessions are as much a part of the baseball experience as foul balls and autographs. And if you want to challenge your inner gastronomical self, a number of new and creative concession items are available at ballparks around the country. Some may sound appealing, others revolting depending on your constitution.

The Texas Rangers introduced a fried food stand exclusively for, well, fried concoctions. One of the featured items is a Fried S’more. The name says it all: deep-fried marshmallows breaded in graham cracker crust, mixed with two deep-fried Oreos on a skewer, drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with Cool Whip.

The Rangers stand out among Major League teams when it comes to unique – not to mention high priced – concession items. In 2012 the team introduced the first hot dog to break the $20 barrier, the 2-foot Boomstick which retailed for a wallet-busting $26. As evidence that Texans like their portions large, the Rangers sold almost 20,000 Boomsticks the first year.

And Texans sure do love their fried food. Witness the dessert offered by the Frisco RoughRiders in the Double A Texas League. Take two Oreos, dip them in sweet batter and fry to perfection. Drop them on top of an over-sized cup filled with soft-serve ice cream covered with whipped cream and hot fudge topped with a cherry.

Not to be outdone, the Arizona Diamondbacks are selling a new Churro Dog, a churro sandwiched between a chocolate covered doughnut bun, topped with frozen yogurt and drizzled with your choice of sauce (chocolate, butterscotch or both). The Alka-Seltzer is extra.

The West Michigan Whitecaps in Grand Rapids are famous for outrageous new concoctions and this year is no exception.   Originators of the Famous Fifth Third Burger – a 4,800 calorie monstrosity first introduced in 2009 – the Whitecaps added Joey Pankakes to the menu this year. Two pancakes alternate with layers of hickory pulled pork and bacon, topped with syrup. Any of the ingredients alone may be appealing, but combined?

An hour down the road in Lansing the Lugnuts are offering a Pulled Pork Parfait. This comfort food alternates layers of home-style mashed potatoes with layers of hand-pulled pork, smoked at the ballpark. It’s all smothered with home-made pork gravy and topped with fresh chives. The entire concoction is crammed into a parfait cup and eaten with a spoon. Advertised at a mere 400 calories, a Pulled Pork Parfait may be classified as “lighter fare” compared to some outrageous ballpark eats.

Staying in the Midwest League, the Kane County Cougars are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new burger item they proudly call the Heart Attack Burger, and with good reason. The half-pound patty is topped with grilled onions, a fried egg, a slice of melted cheddar cheese and two strips of bacon. Grilled cheese sandwiches slathered with chipotle bacon mayo serve as the bun. For the low price of $12, this entrée is a bargain – until you add on your cardiologist’s fees.

The Philadelphia Phillies may have trumped the Whitecaps. Fans can purchase a Triple Triple – nine hamburger patties and nine slices of cheese on a single bun. Two years ago a burger chain introduced a similar item which was reputed to contain 5,100 calories and 117 grams of saturated fat, equivalent to six buckets of KFC fried chicken. Sounds more like a heart attack on a bun than a meal.

In St. Louis, the Cardinals’ newest glutinous entrée is a breaded chicken waffle sandwich. As the name suggests, it consists of a breaded chicken patty between two waffles, served with a side of queso tater tots and topped with maple bacon gravy. Bring your own antacids.

The Houston Astros fill a waffle cone with fried chicken, add mashed potatoes and top it off with gobs of honey mustard. No charge for extra napkins.

The Wilmington Blue Rocks’ latest menu item is called the “Sweenie Donut Dog,” billed as “Baseball’s Sweetest Weenie” which it just may be. A standard tube steak is wrapped in a Krispy Kreme donut, topped with bacon and raspberry jam. Not recommended for breakfast – or any other meal, for that matter.

Of course, every ballpark offers standard fare, such as hot dogs, peanuts and popcorn. And those may be the safest options, comparatively speaking. Whatever you choose, enjoy! – by Jordan Kobritz

Jordan Kobritz is a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner. He is a Professor in the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland and maintains the blog: http://sportsbeyondthelines.com Jordan can be reached at jordan.kobritz@cortland.edu.

© Copyright 2015 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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