For many Americans, yesterday marked the unofficial start of spring. To celebrate Opening Day of the 2012 Major League Baseball season, we showcased some of the more unique food items in the Bigs, from the regionally beloved to the "just, plain weird." However, because not every team played yesterday, certain teams will be celebrating their Opening Days today instead. As a result, we will step up to the plate again, with more of the best concessions the MLB has to offer!
To read our first installment of unique ball park eats, click here.
Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, features a unique sandwich called the Schmitter. It is indeed a true Philly creation since it was invented by the McNally family, which has owned McNally's Quick Lunch, on Germantown Avenue, since 1921. Contrary to popular belief, this sandwich was not named for legendary third-baseman Mike Schmidt. The name was actually coined in the 1960's (well before Schmidt suited up for the Phils)--a frequent customer and family friend named Dennis routinely ordered this sandwich alongside his Schmidt beer; naturally, the McNallys started referring to Dennis' order as "a Schmitter and a Schmidt." The Schmitter features thinly-sliced ribeye steak, cooked salami, fried onions, tomatoes, white American cheese, and a special "Schmitter sauce," all served on a Kaiser roll.
The Atlanta Braves' Turner Field apparently sells a unique "soul food"-inspired sandwich named after legendary slugger Hank Aaron. "The Hammer" is a fried chicken patty, with onions, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and pecan-maple aioli, sandwiched between two waffles.
Do you like complete meals, yet loathe silverware and large plates? (Or, perhaps you simply love sandwiches?) If so, Pittsburgh's PNC Park is likely to be your concession heaven. Primanti Bros., an 80 year-old civic institution famous for inserting fries and coleslaw inside their sandwiches, has a booth at the Pirates' stadium. Other establishments have also adopted the Pittsburgh "all-in-one" sandwich mantra: Manny's BBQ (named after its founder, former Pirates great Manny Sanguillen) sells a pulled pork sandwich with caramelized onions and a pierogi "stacker" on a pretzel roll.
Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners' stadium, is also home to a peculiar sandwich known as the "Ivar Dog." Specifically created for Safeco Field by Ivar's Acres of Clams, is a "hot dog" in name and bread only. Inside the hot dog bun, the Ivar Dog holds two pieces of fried Alaskan cod, coleslaw, and tartar sauce.
PETCO Park is not only home to the San Diego Padres, but also to two notable Mexican-inspired food items: Rubio's fish tacos and a "Sonoran-style" hot dog--a jalapeno hot dog wrapped in bacon, served on a fresh potato roll, and topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes and jalapenos.
If you're a lover of all things pork, the "pulled pork parfait" sold at Brewers games at Milwaukee's Miller Park, is a dream come true. There is no yogurt or ice cream here: the cup alternates between layers of pulled pork in barbecue sauce and mashed potatoes, with chives on top.
When is a platter of fried oysters not a platter of fried oysters? When it's a platter of "Rocky Mountain oysters!" This regional novelty food item is sold at Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies, in Denver. Fans agree that these non-oysters are actually fairly tasty, if you can ignore the fact that Rocky Mountain oysters are actually fried bull testicles! This dish is definitely not for the faint of heart.
For more details on unique sports stories, check out Uni Watch here.
Photo: Wally Gobetz
For more unique food stories, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)