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Local Ingredients, Foodservice Concepts Expand in Baseball Stadiums

Better Off Burger

The trend toward incorporating more local food and beverage purveyors in Major League Baseball stadiums continues this season, which kicked off Thursday for most teams.

From Irish Nachos at Fenway Park in Boston to Cove Crab Noodles at Oracle Park in San Francisco, the latest stadium foodservice concessions feature an abundance of local flavors and ingredients, along with new outlets of local restaurants, many of which offer Asian or Latin-American menus.

The new concessionaire for Oracle Park, Aramark Sports + Entertainment, which has rebranded as Diamond 58 at the location to recognize the year (1958) that the Giants moved to San Francisco from New York, agreed to take over the venue just weeks before the season started. In addition to the Cove Crab Noodles (the stadium is famous for its location adjacent to McCovey Cove), Aramark has also promised to introduce special cultural food offerings on cultural event days, along with a handful of other new items.

The stadium is also debuting Fuku, the David Chang restaurant known for its fried chicken sandwiches.

At other Aramark baseball venues, new items include: 

• The Back to Blue Burger at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, which features blue cheese crumbles, bacon, lettuce, and buffalo aioli on a blue bun;

• The Dino Rib PCA at Coors Field in Denver, a 20-ounce beef rib with paratha bread and herb salad;

• The Loaded Funnel Cake Fry Sundae at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, featuring funnel cake fries topped with a strawberry compote, vanilla soft serve, and whipped cream;

• The Renegade Hot Dog at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, which features a foot-long hot dog topped with pot roast, mini pierogis, caramelized onions, and pickle slices, served on a hot dog bun; and 

• The Fowl Pole Jerk Chicken Sandwich at Minute Maid Park in Houston, which features shredded smoked jerked chicken, roasted pineapple, scotch bonnet pepper slaw, green onions, and cilantro jerk aioli on homemade coco bread.

Aramark also unveiled several new local restaurant partnerships, including Manco & Manco Pizza at Citizens Bank Park; Better-Off Burgers, a plant-based concept, at Coors Field; Anna’s Taqueria at Fenway Park; Buffalo State Pizza Company and Italian Sausage Company at Kauffman Stadium; and DAT Creole from chef Danny Trace at Minute Maid Park. At Citi Field in New York, Aramark is introducing Anne Burrell’s Italian Eats, Seoul Bird from Judy Joo, and Adam Richman’s Burger Hall of Fame. In the Taste of Queens section, Citi Field will showcase new Queens, New York-based small businesses Poprice (Asian fare and boba tea), RyRy’s Kitchen (Caribbean food), and Benny’s Cuban Café on a rotating basis.

“At Aramark, experience is everything, and the start of the MLB season is one of the most highly anticipated experiences we have the privilege to be a part of each year,” said Alison Birdwell, president and CEO of Aramark Sports + Entertainment, in a statement.

T-Mobile Park in Seattle, where concessions are handled by Sodexho Live!, has rolled out a host of new items featuring local ingredients and taste preferences, including two exclusive flavors from Portland, Oregon-based ice cream scoop shop Salt & Straw: Wild-Foraged Berry Slab Pie ice cream and vegan Strawberry Coconut Water Sherbet. Other new items with local flair include Crab Pizza, featuring Dungeness crab, butter, dill, thyme, parmesan and lemon from MOTO Pizza and a Birria Torta and a Shrimp Quesadilla from Edgar’s Cantina. A new locally based Japanese restaurant, Tamari Bar, is offering items such as Katsu Curry Rice, made with a fried pork cutlet, vegetable katsu sauce, and sesame seeds; and Curry Donuts Dip, made with curry sauce, house-made Ra-Yu chili oil, fried donut sticks, and dried seaweed.

At Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, the stadium’s food concessions team, Brick & Whistle Food Co., has unveiled several new partnerships with local restaurants this year, including:

• Deddle’s Mini Donuts, a local food truck and donut shop, which specializes in made-to-order mini donuts;

• Vida Nacho, an extension of the fan-favorite Vida Taco;

• Squire’s Pizza, founded in Baltimore in 1920, will offer 9 inch personal pepperoni and cheese pizzas;

• Maria’s Pupuseria Factory, offering Salvadorean pupusas, quesadillas, and chorizo dogs;

• Pat & Stugg’s, a collaboration between Baltimore-based hot dog shop Stuggy’s and Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, will offer shaved ribeye cheesesteaks, cheeseburgers, double bacon cheeseburgers, and shaved ribeye dogs; and

• Fuzzies Burgers, which uses meat and other produce from local farms, will serve four types of burgers, along with classic fries and a variety of dipping sauces.