What John and Cait Ate: New Food Network Favorites for 2012 & Rivalry Fare
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”
-John & Cait
We’re really excited to bring back the food review series that we started in 2011: What John and Cait Ate.
During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare.
Sportservice provides the food and drink concessions for 25 major league sports clients at 23 venues, including 10 Major League Baseball stadiums. As the exclusive food, beverage and retail provider for Miller Park, Sportservice offers so many concession stands and such a wide variety of food options that fans dashing out of their seats for a quick snack between innings may be missing out on some of the best ballpark bites.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help.
When most fans think of ballpark fare, the first things that come to mind are—thanks to the song—peanuts and Crackerjack, as well as hot dogs, brats, maybe popcorn, etc.
Well no offense to the classics, but while baseball is still America’s favorite pastime, America’s palette has evolved.
“Our taste buds have evolved,” Chef John told us “With Food Network and things like that, people see unique foods and want to try them. The ballpark is not just a hot dog place anymore.”
Indeed. What John and Cait Ate will continue to prove that, so read on and feel free to chime in with comments of your own or questions you may have!
New Food Network Favorites for 2012
This year, Food Network is introducing at least two new items into each of the DNC Sportservice stadiums-the Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese and the Bacon Sloppy Joes. Intrigued? Read on.
Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese- $7.50
A new twist on an old favorite, the Food Network’s buffalo chicken mac n’ cheese is a baked macaroni and cheese tossed with spicy buffalo chicken and topped with bleu cheese bread crumbs.
John: I felt very American when eating this. Baseball game. Mac n’ cheese. Buffalo chicken. It was great. I have been wanting to try this ever since I first saw it on Opening Day. I didn’t feel cheated on the amount of chicken mixed in, I thought it was the perfect amount. Very easy to eat and a portion that left me satisfied, but able to enjoy some other snacks throughout the game.
Cait: The is not the mac n’ cheese that your mom used to make. Even if hers was pretty good, this is better, guaranteed. The buffalo chicken has just the right amount of “kick” to it; that, combined with its texture, meshes very well with the cheese and the bleu cheese bread crumbs.
Rating (out of 5):
Bacon Sloppy Joes-$7.50
Starting with a Fritos base, lay down a potato roll, slather it with ground beef and bacon that has been slow-cooked with tomatoes. Top that with pepperjack cheese and jerky fried onions and you’ve got Food Network’s Bacon Sloppy Joe.
John: Again, another true American meal with a twist. Who doesn’t love bacon?! And bacon mixed with Sloppy Joe?! I’m in. The cheese and fried onions added to the taste while the chips completed the meal. The only problem I had with this is that it was, well, kind of sloppy. Make sure to grab a fork when enjoying this ballpark snack.
Cait: The Bacon Sloppy Joe was very good, but since we tasted it at the same time as the Buffalo Mac N’ Cheese, I’m afraid it didn’t get a fair shake. I’d say the Buffalo Mac just about blows a lot of food choices out of the water, hence the somewhat average rating here. However, the addition of the bacon, pepperjack cheese and fried onions definitely take this from a summer camp lunch to a gourmet sandwich–and a filling one at that!
Rating (out of 5):
Where To Satisfy Your Craving: You can find both of these items at the Food Network stand, located on the Loge Level, just down the third-base line.
When we met with Chef John, we learned that this season, DNC Sportservice is trying something new for each series by featuring a menu item inspired by the opposing team’s city available at the Chef’s Table stand. Chef John seemed pretty excited about this area and it was definitely intriguing to us as well. We didn’t get to try tonight’s L.A.-style sliders, inspired by the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, but they sure look great! Rumor has it that Bison Burger sliders would be on the menu for the weekend series against the Colorado Rockies.
We’re going to do our best to keep you posted about this new rivalry-inspired fare during each homestand at Miller Park, so make sure you check back here often.
Not Yet Rated
Where To Satisfy Your Craving: The Chef’s Table stand is located on the Loge Level, down the first-base line, at the top of the stairs next to the press box.
Well, that concludes our first food critique of 2012. We hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as we enjoyed tasting these new items. We also hope we’ve inspired you to step outside of your brat and beer routine (not that there’s anything wrong with that) next time you’re at Miller Park to check out the wide variety of concession offerings.
We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate in May, during the Reds-Cubs homestand, May 7-13.
In the meantime, whet your appetite by reading some of last year’s food reviews (please note, some menu items and prices may have changed for 2012):
What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!