Summer. The time of year when sports fans flock to baseball stadiums around the country to see pro stars such as Justin Verlander, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout in action, as well as the rising players on minor league teams. At least, that's what they say. The real reason to explore different stadiums around the country is to test the various foods available for consumption.
Granted, it's difficult to pass up the classic hot dog and beer combo, just ask the Oakland A's. However, ballparks have decided to mix up the formula in recent years. Instead of simply providing the basics, multiple franchises are offering updated menus that range from fairly standard to downright bizarre.
At this point, everything is on the table for baseball fans. Donuts, nachos, and burgers provide the foundation of a solid meal, but certain teams add meats, vegetables, and condiments in order to create very odd — but delicious — concoctions. Not all of these menu items are mouth-watering at first glance, but they do deserve some extra attention and at least one bite.
Let's go through the list of the 10 most bizarre foods that can be eaten at baseball ballparks around the country.
Warning: do not read this list before taking a lunch break. The consequences could be dire.
Voodoo Donuts is a company that started out quietly in Portland, Oregon before exploding with fame. Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson and Tres Shannon founded the first location in Old Town, Portland and immediately set about creating some of the wildest donuts around.
One of their creations is the "Portland Pickle Donut," which was made in honor of a local baseball team. This concoction features peanut butter, Sriracha, and pickles on a traditional raised yeast doughnut. Although the flavors are anything but traditional.
At one point in Voodoo's history, the bacon maple bar was one of the more unique donuts offered. Now, that has changed with the addition of the Portland Pickle Donut.
Located on the other side of the country from Voodoo Donuts, Marlins Park is home to the Miami Marlins. Despite the three-hour time change, the fascination with wild flavor combinations remains the same in this east coast ballpark.
One of the more unique items available for purchase is the Fruity Pebbles Pretzel. Selling a salt-covered pretzel with queso is nothing new in MLB ballparks, but adding a breakfast cereal to the mix is something else entirely. It also appears that there is a caramel or peanut butter base to hold the Fruity Pebbles in place.
This combination of sweet and potentially salty foods could be one of the better options in all of MLB.
Philadelphia is a city known for many things, ranging from history to sports. Defeating Tom Brady in Super Bowl LII is a bright spot in the city's history while the interactions with Santa Claus are on the lower end of the scale. That being said, it's difficult to top the newest addition to the Phillies ballpark, the Donut Burger.
Made with Applewood bacon, American cheese, and spicy cherry pepper jam, this burger is not that different from other options across the nation until the first bite. Instead of a traditional bun, the creators opted to use glazed doughnuts. This is a slightly stickier option than a sesame or onion bun, but it provides a superior mix of sweet and savory. The bacon just takes this delicacy over the top.
Progressive Field is a stadium known for a wide mixture of food and beverage options. After all, the home of the Cleveland Indians features standard ballpark fare (hot dogs, beer) as well as food and drinks from 12 local restaurants. There is a wide variety of options to fit every dietary desire.
One such vendor, the Market Garden, offers a slider worthy of inclusion on this list. One of three different slider options at the Market Garden, the Spicy Sliders are made with spicy mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and poblano peppers.
As the picture shows, this trio of sliders looks messy due to the ingredients involved, but there is no denying the appeal of something that utilizes both poblanos and spicy mayo.
It's difficult to top the food options provided by top MLB stadiums, but the Sacramento Rivercats have done just that with the latest item on the list. Introducing the Maple Bar Bourbon Bacon Burger.
On paper, this should be a fairly standard burger due to the bacon and beef involved. However, the Rivercats mix up the formula by using a maple bar sliced in half as the bun. Fortunately, the creators of this dish opted for the traditional maple bar instead of going with the creme-filled version. That addition to the flavor profile would have been fascinating or disastrous.
Bacon and maple go together surprisingly well, as evidenced by the popularity of these two items around the country. This burger is only the latest iteration to pair the sweet and savory flavors together and achieve profound success.
The Boston Red Sox may be known for winning the World Series four times since the turn of the millennium, but the food offerings at Fenway Park are changing the conversation. Between the Dunkin Donuts coffee, bacon on a stick, and Cuban sandwiches, the home of the Red Sox has a vast array of delicious options for baseball fans.
However, one of the biggest draws at Fenway is the sizable Strawberries and Cream Fried Dough. This is one of the tamest items on the list, but it doesn't need to be wild in order to warrant attention. It's difficult to top the foundation of fried dough in any circumstance. Adding strawberries and whipped cream just makes this treat even better.
One underrated breakfast treat growing up was waffles with strawberries and whipped cream on top. Fenway just found a way to make it for adults.
Kansas City is synonymous with delicious food. After all, this city has been constantly discussed when comparing some of the best BBQ in the country. However, Kauffman Stadium, home of the Royals, is changing the conversation with one item on the menu.
One of the more intriguing items introduced by this franchise is the Meatball and Parmesan Sub. This twist on traditional ballpark fare uses housemade meatballs and marinara on a toasted farm roll. The sub is then topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
This Meatball and Parmesan Sub is offered at the Craft and Draft, a vendor within Kauffman Stadium that offers custom-made pizzas, food made with local ingredients, and more than 75 beer options.
Chicago is a city in which the "hot dog" can be viewed as a very controversial item on the menu. Specifically, many hot dog vendors in the Windy City refuse to put ketchup on their wares. Well, the White Sox found a way around this controversy with one option on the stadium menu.
Known as the Chili Cheese Frito Dog, this twist on the traditional ballpark food does not need ketchup to be delicious. Instead, the makers rely on a Nathan's foot-long hot dog as the foundation. They then cover pile on beef chili, chili cheese, and Frito's corn chips.
This hot dog is definitely one of the more intriguing items on the list, but it could have benefited from the use of Chili Cheese Frito's instead of the standard corn chips.
The Pericos de Puebla (Puebla Parakeets) are a Triple-A Minor League baseball team that is part of the Mexican League. Based in Puebla, Mexico, this team is the only entry on the list that suits up south of the border, but their stadium offerings are well worth a trip.
For example, attendees of games can try the Cemitas, which are Mexican sandwiches that originally hail from the State of Puebla. These items are named after the bun, which is also known as a cemita.
However, the Pericos de Puebla take their Cemitas to another level by stuffing them full of avocado, tomato, peppers, onions, and potato chips. That is the perfect example of ballpark food.
The final entry on the list, the Texas Rangers are proof that "everything is bigger in Texas" is an apt description for the ballpark food.
Attendees to Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas have been indulging in bigger-than-life meals for years on end, including a two-foot-long hot dog known as the "Boomstick." However, the Philly Cheesesteak Nachos are on another level entirely.
The only item on this list that comes in a handy container, these nachos are made for eating with a utensil in order to avoid a mess. Where the burgers and hot dogs sold at other stadiums require multiple napkins in order to avoid spilling the contents of the meal all over the seats. The Philly Cheesesteak Nachos, on the other hand, are far more convenient.