Each year baseball writers are sent a bunch of PR announcements about promotions and concessions at ballparks. Sometimes they’re interesting and we’ll write about them but I’d say we ignore most of them. Oh, you guys added a patch to the souvenir caps? How nice. Pass.
Sometimes, however, we have no choice but to pass along these messages. In some cases because they communicate something new and wonderful. In other cases because someone needs to warn an unsuspecting populace. This latter category is normally for new concession items. There has been a real escalation of the crazy with respect to ballpark food in recent years and, frankly, some of the items are frightening.
I’m not sure how these latest concession items — from the folks at Delaware North, who run the food operation at Turner Field and 10 other ballparks — cuts. They sound sort of amazing in some respects and horrifying in others. I think the sauces are trying to hard and/or suffer from the need for brand synergy, but I guess you gotta pay the rent somehow:
- Tater Tot Chop – On a comfort food ranking, this one is off the charts! The “Tator Tot Chop” starts with a layer of tator tots pressed in a waffle iron, loaded with bacon, melted cheese and jalapenos, topped with a second tator tot waffle and served with coca cola infused ketchup. Described by the unofficial taste-testers as “freaking awesome.”
- T.E.D. aka “The Everything Dog” – As indicated by its name, this monster dog includes nearly “everything” available at a ballpark concession stand. T.E.D. Is a foot long hotdog layered with fries, chili, nacho chips, beer cheese and jalapeños, topped with popcorn then drizzled with coca-cola infused bbq sauce.
- “Punisher” – This one is so good it hurts. Country-fried smoked rib meat slathered in a Monster energy drink infused BBQ sauce, topped a fresh cut beer-battered onion and “slawsa” tucked in between a toasted and buttered Hawaiian bun and pinned in place with two slices of bacon… punishingly delicious
After reading these I double checked the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April Fool’s Day. Then I checked again. Then I checked to make sure it was sent from a Recognized Public Relations Professional and, yep, it’s from a person who is both reputable and connected. These items, it appears, are real. All the way down to the Monster Energy Drink-infused barbecue sauce.
Which, um, OK, I’d probably try. If someone else was buying. I’d at least eat a couple of bites. We’re all gonna die one day anyhow, right? You wanna be on your death bed regretting not eating “The Punisher?” Not me, jack. I want to suck the marrow out of life. Assuming the stuff in that sandwich doesn’t dissolve the marrow in my bones first.