Hot dogs and peanuts are a perfectly acceptable baseball meal under normal circumstances. But with its parade of superstars and insanely overpriced souvenirs, there’s nothing normal about All-Star Weekend. So the food shouldn’t be either.
“This is the same stuff you’ll see in the suites and in the clubs,” Great American Ballpark executive chef James Major told me yesterday. His plan for the All-Star Game was to give the hoi polloi shuffling around the concourses a taste of the good life by allowing to buy the kind of high end ballpark grub typically reserved for corporate parasites. In order to get me to write about it, Delaware North, the food services company that operates the concessions here, let me try it all.
Shrimp Banh Mi
The banh mi has been on trend for about five years and now that YUM! Brands (the company behind Taco Bell and KFC) is experimenting with a store that sells the classic Vietnamese sandwich, it’s safe to say they’re mainstream. GABP has three for sale this weekend, topped with black curry chicken, lemongrass marinated beef and my favorite, a shrimp with spicy caramel sauce. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten seafood at a ballpark in the Midwest.
Bacon on a stick
Yes, Major knows the bacon trend is tired. Still, there’ “probably another six months on the shelf life of bacon coolness,” he says. But food doesn’t have to be cool to taste good and this slab of pork was divine. It was slow cooked in a smoker, then grilled and brushed with maple syrup and chili powder before getting stuffed into the drooling maw of your over-eager correspondent.
Looks like a boring old sausage, right? But it’s so much more. A mettwurst, to be precise. It’s a spicy German sausage wrapped in bacon and covered in honey sour cream and pickled red onions. They don’t call this place Porkopolis for nothing. They also don’t call it Porkopolis because people here have a ton of sex. They call it Porkopolis because there’s a lot of pork here. Just making that abundantly clear.
This ice cream bar covered in Oreos
Major set up an impressive customizable ice cream stand for the weekend. You start with a virgin ice cream bar on a stick, pick a sauce to have it dipped in and then a topping. I went with dark chocolate and Oreos because I’m a sadist. Then I took two bites and threw it away because I was attempting to not just eat, but also live like a rich person. And also because this was coming…
Pork, pork, pork. So much pork. Here’s a giant pig that was getting roasted near the right field foul pole. I didn’t eat this pig. The pig I ate was already in a warming dish, ready for some sauce and a side of macaroni. At this point, I was too delirious to take a picture of my plate, but trust me when I say I ate as much of it as my puny stomach could handle.
Photos by Adam Raymond