I’m a simple guy. I love baseball, especially minor league baseball. The small-town nostalgic feel of it; you just can’t beat it. I also love food. I’m a self-declared mediocre foodie, and it’s well known that Guy Fieri is my frosted tipped spirit animal.
That’s why each year MiLB’s “Food Fight” is an absolute dream come true for me. Baseball teams are well known for their interesting food dishes, and “Food Fight” pits the best of the best against each other in a winner take all the bragging rights tourney. While unfortunately I haven’t been able to tour the country and indulge in all of this (feel free to fund me), but I went and picked my top 5 game changers anyways, because I might as well be an expert.
1. I can’t have eaten something similar before. This eliminates any donut cheeseburgers.
2. Can’t be extremely messy. I’m sitting in a seat watching the game, not trying to drown my pants in food. Getting a table isn’t on my agenda.
3. Combining sweet & salty gets bonus points in my book, and at a baseball game I prefer pork to beef.
Honorable Mention: The Squealer – New Hampshire Fishercats
Ingredients: Pig roll, bacon, ham, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pulled pork, cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce.
This thing is god damn majestic. It just looks like I’d need an entire offensive line to eat it with me.
5. Jersey Delight – Lakewood Blueclaws
Ingredients: Pork roll, deep fried in funnel cake batter, topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream.
Going sweet and salty right off the bat. The Phillies Low-A makes a convenient and not too messy entry, with butter/chocolate dipping sauces for that extra side of fat-piece-of-shit we all need. I’d imagine that this would be rich but not entirely overwhelming. What a quality way to spend an inning chowing down.
4. Riders Mac & Cheese BBQ Sandwich – Frisco RoughRiders
Ingredients: Slow-smoked brisket, homemade coleslaw, Texas BBQ sauce and pickles between two mac & cheese ‘buns’.
You had me at Mac & Cheese buns. Not only is this the only entrée I’ll likely get my hands on this summer, but the simple but delicious flavors make my mouth water as I type. A quality baseball sandwich that’s unique but not too over the top to where my mouth can’t comprehend what I’m tasting.
3. Southern Hudson Comfort – Hudson Valley Renegades
Ingredients: Belgian waffle with scallions, bacon and cheddar baked in, topped with chicken tenders, crispy bacon, pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and honey bourbon BBQ sauce.
Honestly, I’m already worried I may have this one too low. I’ve bought in majorly on the savory waffle game, and the cheese/bacon/scallions combo makes the anchor to this waffle sandwich a big time play. The Rays affiliate also goes bold by adding more bacon & cheese in the sandwich, while also mixing in the lettuce/tomato combo to keep it from being an overwhelming richness.
2. French Quarter Fries – New Orleans Zephyrs
Ingredients: Loaded French fry boat with beef brisket, sour cream, nacho cheese, smoked BBQ sauce, bacon, topped with green onions.
Let’s settle this now: it’s perfectly acceptable to attack a boat of fries with a fork, and that’s exactly what I’d do with these. There’s too much delectable awesome laid out here to risk missing some with a fry pull. The real kicker here has to be the zing of the green onions, but combining America’s greatest side dish with brisket, bacon, and then nacho essentials makes this a perfect snack for a game.
1. The Sweenie – Wilmington Blue Rocks
Ingredients: Hot dog in a custom-glazed donut bun, topped with raspberry jelly and bacon.
This may be an unpopular pick, but see if I care. I prefaced that sweet & salty gets bonus points, and this is the ultimate. Hell, a bacon donut alone may have made the back half of this list by itself, but adding an All-American frank with some raspberry jelly makes me want to hop a flight to Delaware and head straight to a Blue Rocks game. There’s zero chance I wouldn’t be loosening my belt by the 7th inning stretch with this one.
Dishonorable Mention: Mater Sandwich – Kannapolis Intimidators
Ingredients: Grilled white bread, tomatoes and mayonnaise with salt and pepper.
Listen, Southerners- I get it. I was raised by a proud southern mom who fondly recalled eating mayo sandwiches as a child, so I know it’s a staple. But if I’m going to a baseball game, I want a smorgasbord of flavors thrown at my tongue; not a sandwich that makes me feel like I’m trying to survive the Great Depression. It’s a nice touch, but if this thing costs more than $1 you should boycott their games..
If you want to check out the rest of the list and cast your votes, check out the entire “2016 Food Fight” menu at here.
Image via MiLB Food Fight