Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trenton Thunder: Thunder Dog

As your pontificator of process meat it is my sworn duty to educate you. Lesson: pork roll. It’s a pork based processed meat that is extremely popular in a region that encompasses parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Think pork bologna...only tastier. How much do the denizens of New Jersey dig the pork roll? Trenton hosts an annual Pork Roll Festival. I am booking my next vacation now.

Two years ago, during the off-season concessions captain Chris Champion and his lieutenant Bryan Rock were retooling the menu and wanted to come up with a signature dog for the Trenton Thunder that would give fans something to rave about. After sleepless nights and hours of tapping into the NSA database, the Thunder Dog was born. Chris, who has over twenty years of ballpark concessions experience under his belt (he started selling popcorn in the very park where he co-invented the Thunder Dog) wanted to give the ballpark’s newest offering a local flavor. So the star of the Thunder Dog show is a Black Bear all-beef frank wrapped in….pork roll. And cheese of course.

Appeal-anything named Thunder conjures up images of greatness, and any double-meat dog is worth trying. 5

Ingredients-lots, including onions, pepper, cheese, meat, potatoes, meat and more meat. All this served on a soft and fresh hoagie roll. 5

Uniqueness-none other like it in baseball. I always dig adding a local flair to the dogs. 5

Monstrosity Factor-a huge dog, loaded with deliciousness. I got it down. But it was the only thing I ate that night. 4.5

Value-I paid $8 for a regular hot dog last year at Busch Stadium. The same amount of cash at Arm & Hammer Park gets you a meal in a bun. 5

Overall Taste-pretty damn good. I liked the Black Bear frank, it was the first time I had encountered it, but not as much as a few others. Toss in a Hebrew National frank for top score. 4.5
Bryan Rock & Chris Champion
An awesome score of 29. The irony? This AA team’s dog puts both the Mets and Phillies dogs to shame. Philadelphia and New York can take a lesson from their minor league neighbors and give the fans a slugger like the Thunder Dog instead of a pinch hitter. And given the current state of affairs, the Thunder could probably take the Phillies to task on the diamond as well. Speaking of dogs, the team doesn’t have a bat boy the first inning, it has a bat dog. A golden retriever that collects the bats. Really cool.

Arm & Hammer Park is a great baseball destination if in the area. It is situated in a park-like shore of the Delaware River. All seats are the same price and you won’t find a friendlier staff and front office in baseball. Just come hungry.

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