Okay, the rainy cold days of April and May are over, and real summertime baseball is underway. Kids don’t have to play hooky to go to day games and in most ballparks you won’t need to bring a jacket at least until September.
Hot days at the ball yard got us to thinking about (what else?) food. Not so long ago, about all you could get to eat at stadiums were hot dogs, burgers, nachos and the like. Things have changed dramatically since those days. Fancy brand-new ball parks have sprouted up all over the country and along with them, lots of fancy foods that your Uncle Harry would never would have thought to order sitting out there in the bleachers.
Doggin’ It Chicago-style
Today you can get hickory-smoked beef, pork and turkey at Boog’s Barbecue in Baltimore’s Camden Yards, home of the Orioles, garlic fries at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and shrimp tacos at a Padres game at Petco Park in San Diego. You’ll find an amazing Cuban sandwich to enjoy during a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field, while Safeco Field in Seattle offers sushi, Starbucks coffee, and a half-pound grilled salmon sandwich served with coleslaw on a freshly-baked organic roll. Braves fans in Atlanta can enjoy low-carb smoothies to go with their smoked Cobb chicken salad.
That’s all well and good, but when you’re seated along the third base line on a warm summer evening and the home team has a good rally going, isn’t a great hot dog what you really want to savor along with the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd? That’s what we thought.
Milwaukee’s brats have a “secret” sauce
So without any further warm-up tosses, we’d like to offer up recipes for some classic ballpark dogs that you can cook up when tuning in the game at home, or after the boys have come in from a game of backyard Wiffle® Ball.
Ballpark Hot Dogs that Give You Home Field Advantage
Chicago-style hot dogs have really made the leap from ballpark to mainstream, they’re enjoyed all over the Windy City and across the country, because, well, they’re just that good. So what if the Cubs haven’t won it all in 100 years? Their Chicago-style dogs are championship caliber.
Cincinnati’s Chili-Cheese Coney
Down the Interstate from Chicago lies the land of the bratwurst, Milwaukee. Brewers fans love to watch the sausage race between the 6th and 7th innings, but we have something better: the recipe for the brat that made Milwaukee famous, served up with plenty of sauerkraut and special sauce.
Cincinnati is renowned for its chili and we’ve secured the recipe for the Cincinnati-style cheese coney that everyone’s going to want to adopt as their new pet dog.
Welcome, the Dog Days of Summer. Enjoy them with relish!
What’s Your Favorite Dog?
Fans in L.A. love their Dodger Dogs, Red Sox Nation prefers the Fenway Frank. What’s your ballpark wiener of choice? Which big league or minor league park is your hot dog heaven?
Tell us about the best ballpark hot dog you’ve ever had in our Comments section. For the dogs that lead the pack and score the most votes, we’ll figure out the recipe and post it in a future edition of The Food Channel. Let the sausage race begin!
Our thanks to the management and crew at Hammons Field, Springfield, MO, home of the Springfield Cardinals for use of their beautiful ballpark.