“Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack, I don't care if I never get back”
Yes, fans still rise and sing that wonderful song during the seventh-inning stretch at ballparks throughout the Major Leagues, but it’s sounding a bit outdated now, isn’t it? Many of those fans are now downing tangy barbecued beef, spicy sausages, sushi and other exotic items during the game.
Peanuts and cracker jack are often an afterthought.
In fact, fans from 50 years ago or even 10 would hardly recognize the incredible array of food offered at ballparks these days. So, here’s the Wise Guides Top 10 best ballpark eats in the Majors. Feel free to tell us we’re crazy and suggest your own.
1. Italian sausage, Fenway Park, Boston
The Fenway Frank may get all the pub but the Italian with grilled peppers and onions is much tastier. In fact, it’s not even close. The smell of these being grilled up along Yawkey Way is enough to turn a vegetarian.
2. Bratwurst, Miller Park, Milwaukee
Beer may have made Milwaukee famous but the bratwurst is right there. You can find grilled brats at stands throughout the park, and they can be dressed with onions, relish, ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut and the famous ‘Secret Stadium Sauce.’ When in Milwaukee...
3. Boog’s Barbeque, Camden Yards, Baltimore
The smoke from this popular stand billows beyond right-center field and the sweet aroma from the barbequed pork and beef hangs heavy on a hot and humid summer night. It’s named for former Oriole great Boog Powell, and he’s likely to be on hand signing autographs. More importantly, the barbeque’s great.
4. The Schmitter, Citizen’s Bank Park, Philadelphia
This sandwich is an awesome combo of steak and cheese and fried salami, fried onions and a special sauce. No, it’s not good for you. Yes, it is good… very. Dig in.
5. Gilroy Garlic Fries, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Fans line up before opening pitch for these fries, named for Gilroy, California, the ‘Garlic Capital of the World.’ They are delicious and the garlic isn’t overpowering. Definitely worth the wait.
6. Gates Bar-B-Q, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
Kansas City is known for its barbeque, and Gates is one of the main purveyors. They have joints throughout the region and, fortunately, one at The K for baseball fans. Dig into a barbequed sandwich and you may never go back to hot dogs.
7. Dodger Dog, Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
We had to have a traditional dog on here somewhere, so we’re going with the Dodger Dog. The devotion Dodgers fans have to this delicacy says something. The Mike Piazza trade caused a ruckus, but it was nothing compared to the outcry in normally staid LA when the team switched from grilled Dodger Dogs to steamed in 2003.
You can now get it both ways, but ask for it grilled or risk looking like a rookie. Some visitors who try it for the first time are underwhelmed but, hey, millions of Dodgers fans can’t be wrong, can they?
8. Primanti Bros. sandwich, PNC Park, Pittsburgh
This is a local institution. You can order a variety of meats on Italian bread, and it’ll come smothered in slaw and fries...on the sandwich. That’s the key.
9. Sea Dog, Safeco Field, Seattle
An Emerald City icon, Ivar’s, serves up this unique take on the ballpark staple: a length of lightly battered cod that’s fried and served with coleslaw on a bun. Delicious.
10. Shake Shack Cheeseburger, Citi Field, New York
The new Citi Field has some good eats, much improved from Shea Stadium, and the best offering is the cheeseburger from Big Apple favorite Shake Shack. Have a milkshake on the side, but be ready to stand in line for it because this is a popular spot.
Also receiving votes: Cha Cha Bowl from Orlando’s Caribbean BBQ, AT&T Park; Bull’s BBQ, Citizen’s Bank Park; Leo’s Coney Island hot dogs, Comerica Park; El Tiante’s Cuban sandwich, Fenway Park; Dixie’s BBQ, Safeco Field; Big Red Smokey, Great American Ballpark; toasted ravioli, Busch Stadium; Hungry Hill Italian sausage, Chase Field; Dome Dog, Metrodome.