By Barry Janoff
March 24, 2016: Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanut curry Flying Pig and Cracker Jack and Mac Dog, then I'll go for some baby-back ribs.
Aramark food and beverage facilities services company, which works with numerous MLB stadiums, has unveiled a roster of foods and goodies enabling baseball fans to sing about the game while they consume new menu offerings this season.
Visitors to PNC Park, home for the Pittsburgh Pirates, will be able to chow down on a baseball tradition given a new twist: Cracker Jack and Mac Dog, which is afoot-long, all beef hot dog with Cracker Jack, macaroni and cheese, salted caramel sauce and fried jalapeños, on naan bread with a bag of Cracker Jack.
And if they are not full, people there also can get a Cracker Jack Sundae: vanilla-fudge ice cream with crushed Cracker Jack, salted caramel sauce and cream cheese whipped topping.
As part of its offerings this season, Aramark has teamed with renowned chef and food explorer Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods) to develop exclusive items for Aramark's menus in Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies), Coors Field (Colorado Rockies), Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox), Kauffman Stadium (defending World Series champion Kansas City Royals), Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) and PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates).
In addition, Aramark and Zimmern are developing the dining program at U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, which is scheduled to open later this year.
Aramark also oversees food and beverage for, among others, the New York Mets (Citi Field) and Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre).
This July, Aramark will manage the MLB.com Shop at All-Star FanFest in Petco Park, home for the San Diego Padres.
Aramark is not the only company working with MLB teams and ball parks.
Delaware North foodservice and hospitality management firm, handles, among other MLB venues, Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers), Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals), Globe Life Park (Texas Rangers), Target Field (Minnesota Twins), Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers), Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians), Petco Park (San Diego Padres), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles), Great American Ball Park (Cincinnati Reds), Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox) and Turner Field (Atlanta Braves).
Delaware North also owns and operates TD Garden in Boston, home to the NHL’s Boston Bruins and NBA’s Boston Celtics.
Legends, operated by the New York Yankees and NFL's Dallas Cowboys, handles food for Yankee Stadium and Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels), as well as the Cowboys' AT&T Stadium.
Levy Restaurants works at such ball parks as Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs), Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers), Marlins Park (Miami Marlins), Chase Field (Arizona Diamondbacks) and Nationals Park (Washington Nationals).
Among the menu items being created by Aramark and Zimmern are AZ's Canteen Dog, AZ's Canteen Sausage, Lamb Koefte Burrito and Korean Fried Pork Belly Sandwich.
Among the other goodies under the auspices of Aramark will be:
• PNC Park: Our Chicken (fried chicken over Rivertowne Lager waffles, with vanilla-rosemary syrup).
• Rogers Centre: Chicken & Waffle On A Stick (with a maple Sriracha drizzle, broccoli and cabbage slaw), "Buffalo" Cauliflower Poutine.
• Citi Field: The 108 Burger (6 oz. LaFrieda burger with hand sliced hot pastrami, New York deli mustard and Havarti cheese, on a fresh baked pretzel roll, pictured above).
• Minute Maid Park: Chipotle Pescado (coffee-rubbed salmon on a tortilla, served with mango-jalapeño ranch and a chipotle aioli, pictured right), Sweet Potato Waffle Chicken Sandwich (homemade sweet potato waffle with grilled chicken breast, Greek yogurt, baby spinach and sliced tomatoes), The Flying Pig (deep-fried pork shank in peanut curry ranch with sweet chili apple slaw).
• Citizens Bank Park: Sonoran Dog (hickory bacon wrapped natural casing hot dog with smoked tomatillo salsa verde, Tabasco mayo, chopped tomato and onions), Duck Fat Fries.
• Kaufman Stadium: Champions Alley Dog (bacon wrapped, tempura battered, foot long hot dog with sweet slaw and chipotle ketchup on a local pretzel bun).
Aramark has created in Minute Maid Park (Mezzanine level) what is called Fastball Foods, a prototype that "explores bringing fans' favorite foods to them in a new way: better, faster, easier."
Aramark said that using "progressive guest experience research and the latest tools and technology, a concession stand was designed where the guest has the ultimate level of control through self-ordering kiosks and beverage stations, and color-coded pick-up areas." Fastball Foods will offer many of the top-selling items in MLB ball parks, such as hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts, soda and beer.
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