Monday, June 15, 2015

Quad City River Bandits: Smokey Dog

My last stop in the Midwest League was notable. The Quad City River Bandits serve up several tasty specialty dogs, but first I want to rave about their ballpark. There is just something about a park that is special when a long homer over the right field wall lands in the Mississippi River. Modern Woodmen Park is located on the banks of the Big Muddy with the steel-arch Centennial Bridge in view on the right field side. The ballpark was originally constructed in 1931 and the bridge in 1940, they compliment each other nicely.

Then there is the ferris wheel on the left field berm. It’s a cool addition that makes Modern Woodmen standout from other parks. It is bejeweled with colorful lights and fans can ride the wheel while at the ballgame. This is a truly unique venue that is located in downtown Davenport. I couldn’t wait to see a game there. And apparently I will still be waiting. I got in, had a dog and watched the grounds crew in action as they rolled out the tarp as game time approached. The game was finally cancelled, but I was there long enough to complete my mission.

For a single A team, the River Bandits have a robust specialty dog menu:

Chicago Dog-by now you should know by heart what goes on a Chicago Dog. Every ballpark has one.

Bandit Dog-chili, nacho cheese sauce and bacon on a pretzel bun.

Cheesy Mac Dog-homemade mac & cheese and breadcrumbs on a pretzel bun.

I chose the Smokey Dog. Pulled pork, coleslaw and BBQ sauce all served on a pretzel bun. All of the dogs mentioned come with a 100% beef frank. The best part? I spoke with the concessions manager and they use Hebrew National brand franks. I applauded him on his good taste in meat.

Appeal-when you talk of meat and mention smokey, it gets meat lovers’ attention. 5

Ingredients-a nice play on all things southern. Both pulled pork and coleslaw. No southern boy can say no to that. 5

Uniqueness-numerous teams do the pulled pork over a frank dog. It goes by different names but taste about the same. 3.5

Monstrosity Factor-this is a loaded dog, but the size goes vertical from piling on the toppings. It’s a really loaded dog, but I could have downed two. 3.5

Value-considering what dogs cost in many parks, you get a lot of eats for the $6 you will plunk down to consume the Smokey. 5

Overall Taste-adding to the fact that it has a delicious Hebrew National frank, the pulled pork was tender and the BBQ sauce was both sweet and tangy. 5
My only regret about the visit was that I didn’t get to see any actual baseball. I did, however, get a bobblehead...and that makes any 300-mile drive worthwhile. I should mention that the River Bandits were honoring Chad Pregrake with their bobblehead. He is not a baseball player. He is an ordinary guy that has dedicated his life to cleaning up America’s waterways, primarily the Mississippi River. He has spearheaded an effort that has removed MILLIONS of pounds of trash from Ole Man River. That’s a dude I’d like to buy a dog

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