Greek Nachos, two burgers among new concessions optionsWritten by Paige Aten | | firstname.lastname@example.org
When most people think of baseball game concessions, hot dogs, peanuts and beer come to mind.
At Fifth Third Field, the options go far beyond the basics.
This season, the food and beverage department has added 10 new items to the concessions menu, including nachos, burgers, fries, sandwiches, ice cream and more.
Craig Nelson, assistant general manager of food and beverage, said the department does extensive research when deciding which items to add.
“We get a lot of feedback throughout the season, so we always revisit that. We also look at what other ballparks are doing, which helps us see what’s trending,” he said.
The department also considers what has been popular in the past.
Because of that, Greek Nachos were added to the menu at the portable cart located in Section 113. Nelson said that is always one of the most visited concessions spots in the ballpark. It is so popular, in fact, that Sports Illustrated included its hummus and pita sandwiches, gyro sandwiches and fried bologna sandwiches among its Top 10 Minor League Ballpark Foods last year.
The new Greek Nachos are made up of fried pita chips topped with gyro meat, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. Nelson said the fried pita chips can also be topped with hummus on request.
Another of the ballpark’s most popular stands, Gilhooley’s Grille, boasts two new menu items.
The Double Play Burger is one-third pound of Black Angus beef topped with Philly steak, green peppers, onions and provolone cheese on a Kaiser bun. The burger, which Concessions Manager Corey Pleasant called his favorite new menu item, can be ordered on its own or as a combo with fries and coleslaw.
The Bloomin’ Bacon Burger can also be found at Gilhooley’s Grille. It is also one-third pound of Black Angus beef on a Kaiser bun, but this one is topped with bacon, onion rings, American cheese and bistro sauce.
Nelson said the decision to add two burgers to the concessions menu is on point with what’s current in the world of ballpark food choices.
“Burgers are definitely trending right now,” he said, adding that the Bloomin’ Bacon Burger is one of his favorite new items.
The process of selecting these new items began last season, Pleasant said.
“We started going over new ideas last season and finalized them around January or February,” he said.
Another new menu item is the Bases Loaded Fries, which are available at the Triple Play Grille. These French fries are topped with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon pieces, scallions and sour cream.
For ballpark patrons with a sweet tooth, several new treats from Toft’s Dairy will join an already lengthy list of items. The Strawberry Slugger, with vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberries, hot fudge and Oreo cookie pieces layered twice and topped with whipped cream and a cherry will be served at the Toledo Treats stand.
The Brownie Slugger boasts a brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and chopped nuts and is now on the menu at Casey’s Creamery and Home Run Hot Dogs. Red Velvet Rush, a new flavor from Toft’s, is also available. A new drink offering will be a Lipton blend of half iced tea/half lemonade.
New items available only in party suites include Deep-Fried Pickle Spears, Boursin Cheese Potato Skins, a gourmet sandwich tray of 16 sandwiches and wraps, and The Texas Twist, a hand-twisted soft pretzel measuring a foot across.
Nelson said he’s happy with the new additions to the concessions menu at Fifth Third Field.
“These new items round out our menus,” he said.
For more photos, map and more information about new food items available at Fifth Third Field’s concession stands, visit www.mudhens.com and click on “Food & Beverage.”