Opening day in baseball.
There is absolutely nothing like it. A day to skip work (but of course, cough … cough … I promise that was real). A day to enjoy America’s pastime. And a day to put Thanksgiving and Christmas gluttony to shame.
This is the day when major league ballparks across this great, corpulent land of ours break out the greatest hits to see who can trump whom in terms of the fastest trip to the toilet and to the pharmacy for the giant tub of Pepto-Bismol.
I’m talking ballpark food and, in my fair burg of the new Globe Life Park, my gut became as round as our planet with the above-pictured token of angina — the Choomongus, named after Texas Rangers’ free-agent pick-up Shin-Soo Choo. And after you grab this two-foot-long, Asian beef sandwich with spicy slaw on a bun (for only $26), you will think you have died and … nah, that’s it.
Just a certain death. I bought it, ate “a generous portion,” and have been, um, sliding into home ever since. To wit, our latest inspiration for The Hit List: 8 most insane ballpark food concoctions in the majors!
8. Brunch Burger (PNC Park, Pittsburgh Pirates). Nothing in this glorious world says hangover food, stoner munchies and breakfast like bacon and doughnuts, amiright? And now, the two join holy matrimony with this ballpark food that screams “Thunder …Thunder … Thunder Thighs!” This inventive snack is 60 percent beef and 40 percent bacon patty. This also offers a fried egg drenched with sharp cheddar cheese. And then, if that’s not enough hankering for you, take all that crap and squeeze it between two doughnuts, lightly dusted with fried, toasted sprinkles. (Followed by you trying to squeeze your hocks back into your seat.)
Calories: 902 | Price: $10.75
7. Pulled Pork Parfait (Milwaukee Brewers, Miller Park). Don’t let your eyes deceive you to think this is some yummy ice cream or delectable froyo. This is Milwaukee, yo! Beer, brats and bombastic sounds hailing from every orifice in your body. That’s whipped potatoes layered with barbecue pulled pork. And topped with chives, just in case the meal wasn’t “hometowney” enough. It is such a fan favorite, the parfait even has its own (unofficial) Twitter handle. Now why this pseudo-dairy treat doesn’t come with its own chaser of beer, I don’t know. Someone in marketing needs to look into that. Speaking of which, no cheese? Come on, now.
Calories: 807 | Price: $12.50
6. Yickety Yamwich (Atlanta Braves, Turner Field). This sandwich(?) made its debut during Chipper Jones’ farewell tour, and the crowd liked this ballpark food so much, it is making its own comeback. In case you miss the reference, Chipper’s home runs were known as “yicketties” because of an arguable drunk tweet, “Mike b and jhey go yicketty! The roadrunner went mammo! And the Bravos have a winning road trip.” It’s only fitting a tweet like that should inspire this: Brie, braised short ribs, cheddar, spinach and apple butter sauce. Yeah. Just like no one’s mama used to make.
Calories: 1,410 | Price: $15
5. The Walk Off (Baltimore Orioles, Oriole Park at Camden Yards). This delicacy is anything but delicate — an Old Bay Roma sausage wrapped completely in a pretzel roll, which is smothered in crab dip. What is either hilarious or insulting to the portly denizens of “Charm City” is this dish can be located on the appetizer menu at Dempsey’s Brew Pub and Restaurant in the Warehouse. Um, appetizer? What’s the friggin’ main course — that brontosaurus rib from the Flintstones’ Drive-in? The hell?
Calories: 1,096 | Price: $15
4. Meat Lover’s Hot Dog (Cincinnati Reds, Great American Ballpark). So, you take a dog, boil that joker, adorn a bun with a condiment of your choice and chow down. Not in Cincinnati. This Bull Mastiff of a hot dog comes with a skirt of fresh bacon and before being deep fried in fat. Then, your quarter-pound behemoth is liberally doused with chili and pepperjack cheese. Oh yeah, there is also a fresh slab of (fried) salami, just in case you thought the city of Jerry Springer was going to do anything normal.
Calories: 1,300 | Price: $6.50
3. The Texas Pretzel (Texas Rangers, Globe Life Park in Arlington). Other teams like the Dodgers and Cubs have two-pound sourdough pretzels. The aforementioned “Victory Knot” and “North Side Twist” are lovely pieces of indulgence, but this is Texas. And isn’t everything bigger? So, here comes the Texas Pretzel in its three-pound ballpark food greatness. Cute box, right? Yeah, that’s a large pizza box, and it contains three sauces — cinnamon icing, honey mustard and some cheese juice that is certainly designed to remove paint.
Calories: 3,700 | Price: $12.50
2. Fan vs. Food (Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field). It’s about time the mighty Rays get recognized for something more than their toilet bowl ballpark and crappy owner (I see a theme here). So, speaking of jaunts — or flat-out sprints — to a lavatory, here is a monster called the “Fan vs. Food” burger challenge. The name inspired by the Travel Channel’s great carnivorous anonymous show “Man vs. Food.” And, well, don’t take my word for it, the Rays even tweeted it. What a devilish idea (yeah, Rays. I said that).
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) March 28, 2014
1. The Strasburger (Washington Nationals, Nationals Park). If ever a ballpark food competition crowned the title of “Most Amazing Food Porn,” this would be a grand slam! If you are jonesin’ for a trip to the emergency room for that necessary colonic, imagine: eight pounds of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs on a bun with a “secret sauce,” cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and pickles. BTW, the “secret” is how to consume this beast and not shart when Bryce Harper hits a homer to deep left field. Bon appetit!
Measurements: 10,000 calories, 700 grams of fat, 300 grams of saturated fat, and 3,000 milligrams of sodium | Price: $59