Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hot Dog Alert #23

Some people say hot dogs are not good for you. To them I say, if you really want to help Americans be healthy, concentrate your efforts on banning smoking. Leave hot dogs alone and let the people enjoy our national dish in peace. And if you are still concerned about their health, send them to Camden Yards in Baltimore on July 2 for an Orioles game.

On that day, the Orioles are partnering with the Peruvian avocados team to give each fan a free topping of avocado on any purchased Oriole Dog, they are calling it the Avodog. If you haven't tried avocado on a hot dog, you should. It adds some unique flavor that not only enhances the taste of the meat, but gives you body a nice dose of omega-3 fatty acids. They tell me those are good for you.

So if you are in the Baltimore area, get your keyster out to the ballpark on July 2 and eat a few Avodogs. You can always tell anyone that objects that you are doing it for medical reasons. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hot Dog Alert #22

My secret food passion (other than hot dogs) is Mexican food. I mean who doesn't love the greasy and salty goodness of tacos, tamales, enchiladas and the like? The only problem is that is just doesn't feel right eating it at a ball game. Nachos are a ballpark staple but I need a hot dog. Some teams like the Albuquerque Isotopes have had an enchilada dog and the Isotopes have the right idea; why not fuse the favorites of Mexican food AND a hot dog?

The Texas Rangers answered the call on this and did so in typical Texas fashion: in a BIG way. Ever heard of the Most Valuable Player (MVP)? The Rangers now have the Most Valuable Tamale (MVT). The MVT takes the Rangers famous 24 inch Boomstick Dog to another level by stuffing it inside of a tamale. Then covering it with chili, nacho cheese and sour cream. Cost: $27. It sounds like a lot, but take it from me, I have had the original Boomstick Dog and it can easily feed four people. That is less than 7 bucks per fan to tackle this monstrous, Mexican meat bomb.

A roll of Tums is not included but recommended.   

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Hot Dog Alert #21

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But hot dogs are obviously the most tasty meal of the day. And hot dogs at the ballpark are even tastier. If you are like me and occasionally get up a little to late for the breakfast menu at your local diner what can you do? If you live in Kansas City the answer is clear; head over to Kauffman Stadium, get a ticket for a Royals game and then head to the concession stand and grab a Sunrise Dog.

This new creation from Aramark allows you to enjoy breakfast on a bun anytime the Royals take the field. It is like pulling up a stool at a roadside diner for some biscuits and gravy, only you get to watch live hardball action while dining.

The Sunrise Dog is footlong breakfast beast that includes a griddle cooked frank, cheddar cheese, white gravy, bacon crumbles and a fried egg. It's everything you ever dreamed of; sleeping in late and then heading over to an afternoon Royals game for breakfast at the ballpark.

While I have not eaten it, it is certain to be a messy affair with the gravy and egg yolk and what not. My advice is to grab A LOT of napkins. I hear it is delicious and I highly recommend trying any hot dog so out of the ordinary. I would never steer you wrong. After all, I don't want to end up with egg on my face.  

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hot Dog Alert #20

The temperatures and blackjack tables are not the only things heating up in Reno, Nevada this summer. The Reno Aces are bringing the heat when it comes to hot dog offerings.

The Aces, gentlemen that they are, have designed the Versus Dog, a hot dog intended to honor the team they happen to be hosting. All of their opponents get toppings related to their home cities on HALF of a hot dog. The other half, owned by the Aces, remains consistent.

The Reno part of the dog has coleslaw and pulled pork. Here is the rundown of what the other fifty percent sports dependent upon opponent:

Nashville: Steak House Dog- tomato, caramelized onion, steak sauce

Memphis: Bacon BBQ Dog- chopped bacon, BBQ sauce, shredded cheddar

Salt Lake: Salty Dog- deep fried pickles, spicy mustard, chopped bacon

New Orleans: Cajun Dog- pepper jack cheese, w. Onion, tomato, creole aioli

Tacoma: Alpine Frank- sautéed onion/mushroom, Swiss

Sacramento: Mac Dog- 3 cheese mac, parsley and Just Plain Dog with Ketchup

Albuquerque: Baja Dog- fajita blend bell peppers, pico, cilantro lime crème

Fresno: Taco Dog- Ground beef, lettuce, Tomato and shredded cheese, hot sauce

Las Vegas: Street Dog- chopped bacon, onion, bell pepper, jalapeño

El Paso: Tex-Mex Dog- chili, chili con queso, onion, Texas bottle caps or fresh jalapeño

That's a lot of trips to the ballpark to check out each dog. But hey, it's summer, it Reno, and nothing beats a hot summer night than an outing at the ballpark. Try them all and then try your luck at the slots. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hot Dog Alert #19

You know how much I like unique hot dogs, and I think it borders on art when dog designers go way over the top to give fans a dish to talk about. The Arizona Diamondbacks are the masters of this. Remember they introduce the colossal corndog that was bigger than a chihuahua. Then they introduced baseball's first dessert dog with the Churro Dog. Well, they ain't done. And what better way to offer fans something fantastic and new than to improve upon an already popular product. Introducing the Churro Dog 2.0.

Unlike the New Coke debacle, this upgrade is actually in improvement. It's like the Churro Dog 2.0 is the high end version of a car model. Instead of leather seats and moon roof, you get strawberry sauce and Oreo crumbs.

The Churro Dog. 2.0 starts the same as the original with a split long John donut as a bun. It lays in a churro instead of a meat frank, but this year the churro is rolled in Oreo crumbs. The churro is then topped with frozen yogurt, whipped cream, strawberry topping, chocolate sauce and another round of Oreo crumbs.

This dog is not for the light of heart. It is smallish, but I could not finish the original Churro Dog when I had it a few years ago. It is a ten megaton sugar bomb that is not for anyone that doesn't want to finish the game in tight pants. However, if you are willing to run a couple of marathons to work it off, then by all means wolf one down guilt free. One more slowly...brain freeze at the ballpark is not fun.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Santa Fe Fuego: Red Chili Cheese Dog

Sometimes you just have to catch a game; even if it is not associated with major league baseball. That's where the independent leagues come in. If you live in a town that is not large enough or clever enough to attract a minor league team, the independent leagues fill in the gap. Wichita, Kansas has the Wingnuts for example and Amarillo, Texas....well, Amarillo is working on getting a team.

I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A town that is a state capital that is so focused on its art scene that it forgot that you need an MLB affiliated baseball team to be considered a real place that most folks will want to call home. I still hold Albuquerque in higher regard, mainly for keeping it real and having an MiLB team. We have the Fuego, a team that is part of the independent Pecos League. The Pecos is expanding, and now has some interesting venues, but it will never compete with MiLB teams. Level of play is better than high school but less than single A level ball. It makes for some very interesting, and high scoring, games.

At least our team in Santa Fe offers a decent specialty dog. For eight bucks you can get a red chili, cheese dog. It also has beans in it. While unique (red and green chilis are a New Mexico thang), it is a so-so concessions choice. It is an absolute must eat it with a fork or most of it will end up on the stone bleachers at Fort Marcy park. I think the frank was a Ballpark brand, which isn't bad but it is no Nathan's or Hebrew National. And the price is about two bucks too expensive. Plus, it didn't fill me up. While I love hot dogs, at the Fuego game the Frito chili pie is a better choice and provides more bang for the buck.

I would never recommend a dedicated road trip to see the Santa Fe Fuego play. But since Santa Fe (for reasons unknown to me) seems to be a vacation destination for many, if you are in town you should catch a game. And after staring at pieces of art that you cannot understand or identify that costs thousands of dollars, a six dollar seat on hard stone will seem like a bargain. And it's baseball. Baseball trumps art any day.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Albuquerque Isotopes: Orbit Dog

After checking out dozens of other teams, I finally made it to my local MiLB ballpark: Isotopes Park, home of the Albuquerque Isotopes. I would have gone earlier, but warm weather comes late to the high desert. While I love baseball, I do not like watching it in football weather.

The Isotopes' mascot is orbit, you know, like proton and electrons orbit the nucleus of an atom? Yeah, science was not my strong suite in school either, but I could explain the infield fly rule like nobody's business. Anyway, the specialty dog at Isotopes' Park is called the Orbit Dog.

While it is a regular sized hot dog, it is piled high with awesome toppings. It starts with a regular hot dog, put on some mac 'n cheese, put some pulled pork on top of that and garnish with BBQ sauce and a strip of bacon. It is a delicious tasting treat that anyone will love. It is like having all of your comfort foods on a bun.

Guess who else loves this dog? Dogs, that's who. It was also the Isotopes' annual Bark in the Park event and I took my Blue Healer mix Fern. That's a picture of her checking out my colossal treat. I did buy her her own regular hot dog, which she downed in about twenty seconds. It didn't seem fair she got a mundane dog and I the Orbit Dog, so I shared the bacon strip with her. She seemed satisfied with that deal.

In case you haven't read about my previous trips to Isotopes' park, it is one of my favorite in all of minor league baseball. And, it is a true eater's park. In addition to having some stupendous hot dog choices, there are tons of other great food options. And probably the only condiments stand to have green chilies as a standard feature. It is New Mexico after all.