After a coronavirus-shortened, largely live spectator-free season in 2020, Major League Baseball is back in 2021, and so are the fans. And so is the ballpark food available in the concession stands at the big ballpark and stadiums. But it’s not exactly hot dogs and soda anymore.
Lumberjack Slammie (Toronto)
This baseball glove-size monster is technically a sandwich or a “sammie,” but in the confines of the ballpark it’s a “slammie.” It starts with a seeded bun, which is piled with a meat patty made from ground pork sausage topped with sweet maple spread, creamy coleslaw, some tomatoes, and half an order or so of waffle-cut potato fries.
Chicken and Waffle Boat (Atlanta)
Fried chicken and waffles are a classic American combo, but hard to eat while holding in one’s lap in a stadium seat. The Braves’ ballpark found a solution — vendors make a “boat” out of a big, floppy waffle and place inside of it a boneless, fried chicken breast that’s been tossed in mango habanero sauce. Then they top it with pecans, honey, and powdered sugar, and throw in a side of curly fries.
Slider Dog (Cleveland)
You can still get an old-fashioned hot dog at every stadium in the country, but many ballparks offer some variations on the theme. At Progressive Field, for example, there’s the Slider Dog: a standard beef hot dog in a bun, but topped with bacon, pimento macaroni and cheese, and a couple handfuls of Froot Loops cereal.
Candy Cloud Waffle Cone (Cincinnati)
The Great American Ballpark is home of the Cincinnati Reds and also this super-sweet pink dessert. It starts with cotton candy (or candy floss) wrapped around a waffle cone instead of a paper stick. Then that’s topped with vanilla soft serve ice cream, which in turn is crowned with a wreath of sprinkles.
BBQ Funnel Cake (Houston)
Funnel cakes, those deep-fried favorites of county fairs, aren’t just for desserts anymore. At Minute Maid Park, the mountain of fried dough is the cornerstone of a savory meal. The funnel cake is topped with multiple helpings of different Texas-style barbecued meats — beef, smoked sausage, pulled pork — along with kale and black bean slaw and barbecue sauce.
Dessert Sweet Potato Fries
At Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago White Sox fans can have fries for dessert. They top julienned and fried sweet potatoes with pecans, powdered sugar, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and Nutella.
Creepy Crawly Critters (Seattle)
For years, the Seattle Mariners have served crunchy grasshoppers — imported from Mexico, baked, and rolled in a spicy spice mixture. In 2021, grasshoppers are but an ingredient in Creepy Crawly Critters. Pacific Northwest ice cream maker Salt & Straw produces it for T-Mobile Park, blending green tea ice cream with mealworms cooked into toffee brittle, and then topping it with toasted, chocolate-covered grasshoppers.
For more baseball fun, take a swing at Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Takes a Swing at Baseball, and Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Sports Spectacular.