Toledo Walleye: Totchos, baconana, craft beer pub among new dining optionsWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A frozen banana dipped in chocolate and bacon bits, tater tots served like nachos, a cheddar IPA burger and a new craft beer station will be among the new dining options for Walleye fans this season.
Scott Fuernstein, general manager of food and beverage at Huntington Center, said his staff strives to create fun, new refreshment experiences for Toledo hockey fans each year.
“The planning process begins at the end of each season for the upcoming year,” Fuernstein said. “We try to pay attention to what’s popular, what does well and what our fans are looking for.”
Fuernstein expects the “baconana” to be popular.
“It’s served on a stick so it’s something you can walk around with and enjoy,” Fuernstein said. “It’s kind of fun and unique. Bacon goes with everything. We were just trying to do something fun and something a little bit different for the fans.”
Totchos are “tator tots dressed like nachos,” Fuernstein said.
They will be available topped with cheese, cheese and jalapeños or “loaded,” which includes cheese, jalapeños, sour cream and diced tomatoes.
“Again that’s just another fun twist on some of our more popular items,” he said.
Finz, a new concession venue, will feature a rotating selection of five craft beefs on draft as well as half a dozen bottled beers, Fuernstein said. The craft beers will include Maumee Bay Brewing Co., Goose Island Brewery, Frankenmuth Brewery, Yuengling and more, Fuernstein said.
“That’s a brand new location we’re pretty excited about,” Fuernstein said. “There will be stools there where you can hang out, have a seat, have a nice craft beer and there’s a TV if you want to continue to watch the game. We’re going to mix it up and do some new features throughout the season.”
Finz was installed toward the end of last season, but got a façade facelift during the offseason, adding a new “aesthetic appeal,” Fuernstein said.
A new cheddar IPA burger will be found at Frogtown Burger Co., a food station that serves specialty burgers, Fuernstein said. It will be served on a pretzel roll bun and feature horseradish, smoked cheddar cheese, mushrooms and onions sautéed in a pan deglazed with an India Pale Ale.
For more health-conscious fans, a new chicken salad wrap will offer chicken salad with sundried tomatoes, shredded cheese and fresh dill in a flour tortilla wrap.
“If you want to come to a game and get something healthier, there are definitely options for you,” Fuernstein said.
For dessert, there will be two new Toft’s ice cream sundaes: peanut butter banana crunch and caramel mocha. There will also be a new Cherry Pepsi float.
“The dessert piece is always big for us,” Fuernstein said.
In all, there are about a dozen new food items being debuted this season, Fuernstein said. Several of the new items will be available only in the luxury suites, including a Cajun eggroll (Cajun chicken and Napa cabbage on an andouille sausage rolled in an eggroll wrapper and served with a spicy remoulade sauce), artichoke crostini (a marinated artichoke topped with a mascarpone cheese spread and a balsamic glaze) and lake perch, which can be broiled or fried.
One new dish from last year — white cheddar macaroni and cheese, which can be served plain or topped with bacon, blue cheese, pulled pork and more — will return this year as a fan favorite, Fuernstein said.
“We thought it would do well, but we were just overwhelmed by the response on that,” Fuernstein said.