When going to a live sporting event, it’s not just about the game, it’s about the experience.
Part of that experience is eating food you love to indulge in. Staples typically offered are hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream, nachos, pizza and beer. They are all good and keep you sated while you root, root, root for the home team.
But what about those of you who like something a little more refined, or something you could never dream up and produce yourself? The combinations are virtually limitless.
Take for instance, the toasted ravioli (which didn’t make this list) served during St. Louis Rams games at the Edward Jones Dome. The little bundles of Italian goodness get the gourmet treatment, being deep fried, sprinkled with parmesan, served with a side of marinara and put on a handy-dandy takeaway platter. Yum!
For the pretzel lover who craves just a little variety, there is the Victory Knot at Ford Field (also not on this list). It’s a monster 2 lb. offering, topped with sea salt and served with not one, not two, but three different dipping sauces. More diverse than the Detroit Lions offence!
If you crave the un-ordinary while crammed in with the masses at a stadium, here in no particular order are 15 foods that are bizarrely awesome.
15. S-Pacific Salmon BLT – QWest Field Seattle
Not only are Seattleites spoiled with a great football team in the Seahawks, but the gastronomic offerings at QWest also score a touchdown. Being in the Pacific Northwest, it stands to reason that seafood would be on the menu. Chefs at QWest take the ordinary BLT (though they use applewood smoked bacon), put it on a roll and then add a scrumptious filet of wild Alaska sockeye salmon. Even Skittles-eating Marshawn Lynch would be impressed.
14. Alligator Sausage – Mercedes Benz Superdome
Visitors to New Orleans get to lap up the best in Creole cuisine: po’boy sandwiches, crawfish etouffe, jambalaya and gumbo. Patrons at the Superdome are treated to something even more exotic — alligator sausage. The humble hot dog doesn’t have a chance when faced with this menu choice. And it is all about the sausage. It’s on a bun and you can top it any way you like. The Saints could march to this one, for sure.
13. Primanti Bros. Sandwich – Heinz Field
How in the world could anyone top a delicious smoked meat sandwich served on fresh sourdough bread. With french fries, coleslaw and tomatoes, of course. This staple of the Pittsburgh food scene has found its way to fans of the Steelers at Heinz Field. It takes all the guess work out of how to juggle your sandwich, your side (fries) and the garnish (coleslaw). Primanti Bros. in one hand, beer in the other, badda-boom, badda-bing.
12. Rocky Mountain Oysters – Coors Field
Colorado is known as a beef-producing state. Little wonder, then, that something strangely good — via a steer — is offered at Coors Field. Don’t worry, either, it’s not the oxygen-starved altitude making you giddy when you eat the Rocky Mountain Oysters. Literally, they are battered and deep-fried deep fried bulls balls, served on top of fries. We say, Ole!
11. Fifth-Third Burger – Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park, Michigan
The West Michigan Whitecaps are an A-class affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The food at Fifth Third Ballpark, however, is Major League. Whitecaps’ fans can absolutely stuff their gob with the monster Fifth-Third Burger, which as it says, has five 1/3 pound burgers, but that’s not all. It’s topped with salsa, chips, chili and cheese and comes in at a whopping 5,000 calories and costs $20. We wonder if it’s free if a fan can finish it in nine innings or less.
10. The Walk Off – Camden Yards
Hand it to the culinary minds in Baltimore, they sure know how to make the ordinary sausage into something out-of-this-world. Orioles fans can feast on the aptly named Walk Off, which is an Old Bay Sausage (because it’s spiced with ubiquitous Maryland Old Bay seasoning), wrapped inside a pretzel roll and topped with crab dip (hey, we are talking Chesapeake Bay, here). And, just in case there isn’t enough Old Bay seasoning in the sausage for you, there’s more sprinkled on top. Going, going, gone!
9. Murph-a-dilla – Rangers Ballpark at Arlington
Former Rangers’ outfielder David Murphy might be long gone (he left Texas for Cleveland in 2013), but his supposedly beloved snack is still on the menu. And what a snack it is! Put simply, the Murph-a-dilla is Tex Mex comfort food. Otherwise, it is a massive 24-inch beef brisket Quesadilla, lovingly placed on a bed of Doritos. Things truly are bigger in Texas!
8. 3 lb. Banana Split – Comiskey Park
Chicago is practically the home of polish sausage, but sweet-toothed fans of the White Sox can indulge in something even more caloric. The food masterminds on the south side take 12 (count ’em, 12) scoops of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream, cover them with caramel and chocolate syrup as well as strawberry sauce along with bananas, whipped cream and sprinkles. And, just to give that gigantic sundae a ballpark feel, put it all in a regulation size batting helmet, all for the price of $17. Bombs away!
7. D-Bat Dog – Chase Field
Not to be outdone by the Rangers, the Arizona Diamondbacks have put their own spin on Tex-Mex — delivering a hot dog you could hit a ball with. An 18-inch hot dog is stuffed with cheese, jalapenos and bacon and placed on a stick. It’s then battered, deep fried and served with fries, just in case you might still be hungry. At $25 a pop, it’s hardly on the affordable side. Did we say it had bacon?!
6. Pulled Pork Parfait – Miller Park
Leave it to the kitchen wizards at Miller Park in Milwaukee to concoct something so whimsical, you can’t help but try it. At Comiskey, you can devour the aforementioned — and traditional — 3 lb. sundae if you have a hankering for layered treats. At Miller, you can feast your eyes, and then your palate, on a layered “pulled pork” sundae that is interspersed with creamy mash potatoes and gravy, then topped with chives. The running hot dogs got nothing on this one.
5. Pierogi Dog – Rogers Arena, Vancouver
When folks at Rogers Arena in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. got to revitalizing the in-house menu, they got super creative. They put fare like a West Coast Salmon roll, a Maui-inspired hot dog and even salted caramel meringue on the menu. But, they were also inspired by an eastern European delicacy made famous by a giant statue in Glendon, Alberta. Thus was born the Glendon Pierogi Dog. A hot dog bun is layered with sauerkraut, potato and cheese perogies, and topped with fried onions, sour cream and chives. Truly Canuck!
4. Dancing Kevin Sandwich – Nationwide Arena
Kevin Schroeder, aka ‘Dancing Kevin’, is a stocky, shirtless, dancing fool fixture at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Blue Jackets’ fans are treated to a number of Dancing Kevin moves when there are stoppages in play. So it’s fitting that the arena food guys would concoct a super sandwich in his honor. A pretzel bun is stuffed with ham, pulled pork, Slapshot mustard, bacon and fried mozzarella cheese sticks. Play that funky music!
3. Double Fried Twinkie – FedEx Forum
The home of the Memphis Grizzlies is also home to what we think is the most artery-hardening, but deeply transfixing, snack ever invented. Two of the oh-so-sweet-but-addictive Hostess cakes are dipped in funnel cake batter and deep fried, twice. As if the calorie count wasn’t already in the stratosphere, the good folks at FedEx will top this southern delicacy with a choice of caramel, strawberries, raspberries and chocolate. If Elvis is alive, he’s probably back-dooring these out of the stadium.
2. The Hammer – Turner Field
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron bopped a lot of homers in Atlanta in his day. Fitting that Turner Field now has a southern-inspired sandwich that could be a nod to the former major league home run leader. This belly buster is a fried chicken filet, topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, and pecan maple mayo. And it’s all sandwiched between two fresh waffles. You had us at bacon, Turner Field.
1. Beer Mac ‘n Cheese – Lambeau Field
The Cheeseheads at Lambeau must go absolutely wild with this take on the American noodle classic. This is not your Mama’s mac n’ cheese either. The chefs at the Frozen Tundra take macaroni noodles and bathe them in boiling beer. Then, they put the noodles in beer cheese sauce, naturally. It’s finished off with another Wisconsin staple, aged cheddar. Now that, is a championship meal if we ever saw one.