Worth Repeating: Forget Peanuts and Crackerjacks

April 10, 2011 | 10:00 AM | Eat & Drink | By Staff

Just a quick reminder, today’s opening day at Chase Field, which means we can finally stop dreaming about these new gourmet hot dogs (pictured above) and finally wrap out mitts around one, or five.

Over the years, we’ve had plenty of fun at the expense of over-priced corporate eateries. (See Airport, Sky Harbor) So it’s only fair that when a massive conglomerate steps up its culinary chops, we should give it a little love. Yes, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants has been the nation’s leader in dreary sports stadium food for decades, overseeing the mustard-smeared menus everywhere from Lambeau Field in Green Bay to the Valley’s own Chase Field.

And now it seems that Levy’s finally got the message that if fans are going to be forced to overpay for ballpark grub, at least they could make it gourmet quality. Yes, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ home opener this Friday, April 8, seam-heads will be able to savor all-new items such as all-natural Niman Ranch sausages, including apple gouda, chipotle cheddar and spicy Italian. Then there’s the line-up of ‘Extreme Loaded Dogs’ (pictured), such as the Tailgate on a Plate, piled high with baked beans, potato salad, BBQ sauce and shredded cheddar.

Not to mention something called ‘healthy items,’ including a Fruta Cup, or a mix of seasonal fruits such as watermelon, mango, strawberries and honeydew, served with a lime wedge and chili-lime salt. Plus, Chase Field now offers an expanded gluten-free menu for all you wheat-adverse eaters out there, including gluten-free hot dogs, nachos and beer. But back to the fun stuff, the D’Backs have even rolled out a special cocktail in honor of the upcoming All-Star Game coming to Phoenix this July, a blend of Mandarin vodka and various juices garnished with grilled mango, papaya and kiwi on a sugar cane skewer.

That said, you’ve gotta be pretty confident to walk around the ballpark carrying a fruit cup and a cocktail garnished with grilled mango.

Either way, here’s the full fancy new menu awaiting you at Chase Field this season:

Extreme Loaded Dogs
These new creations take the traditional ballpark hot dog to the next level. Each all-beef hot dog is topped with creative, flavorful toppings, sure to wow baseball fans. Extreme Loaded Dogs will be available on the Club Level and the new creations include:

* Tailgate on a Plate: The backyard BBQ comes to the ballpark on this dog topped with baked beans, potato salad, Levy BBQ sauce, shredded cheddar
* Big Kid Dog: Topped with homemade mac and cheese, Fritos
* The Heater: Topped with Buffalo hot wing sauce, blue cheese slaw, celery salt
* Nacho-Yo Dog: Topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, jalapeno
* Taco Dog: Seasoned ground beef, shaved lettuce, pico de gallo, shredded cheddar, sour cream, pickled jalapeno
* Homestand special: An additional creation will rotate each homestand including options like the Deli Dog topped with Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut; the Burger Dog, an Oscar Meyer ground beef and cheese dog, topped with a pickle spear, mustard, ketchup; the Kim Chi Dog topped with the traditional Korean condiment; and Frito Pie Dog topped with chili, shredded cheddar, Fritos

New Concession and In-Seat Offerings
* The Big Cheese Rip and Dip: A new item sure to turn heads this season is the Rip and Dip, a giant serving of garlic cheese bread meant to rip and dip in two specialty sauces. Served in an 18-inch pizza box, the Focaccia bread is crispy on the bottom and soft on top, layered with gooey, melted cheese and herbs. Available at the Big Dawgs stand in Section 130 and the Club Level Mini Restaurants Section 208, it’s served with marinara and ranch, and meant to share.
* Niman Ranch: Levy Restaurants is the exclusive purveyor of Niman Ranch in sports and entertainment venues, and their all natural sausages will now be served at the Red Hot stand in Section 126. The apple gouda, chipotle cheddar and spicy Italian sausages are available, served with gourmet toppings such as southwestern relish, onions, peppers and apple slaw.
* California Cheesesteak Dog: Half-pound, char-grilled hot dog topped with sautéed beef, mushrooms, peppers, onions and cheese sauce inspired by the D-Backs rivalry with the LA Dodgers, available at the Big Dawgs location on the main concourse.
* Spicy Chicken Tacos: Chile-braised chicken served on whole wheat tortillas with shredded lettuce, salsa cruda and cilantro yogurt, available in in-seat service.
* Turkey pastrami: Sliced, peppered turkey pastrami on rye bread with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Louie dressing, available in in-seat service.
* Buffalo Chicken Sandwich: A grilled breast of chicken smothered in Levy Restaurants’ signature wing sauce, topped with Jack cheese and blue cheese-apple slaw on a whole wheat bun, available in in-seat service.

Gluten-Free Menu
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 2 million people in the United States have Celiac Disease, or about 1 in 133 people. Last year, Levy Restaurants added gluten-free snacks and beer to accommodate guests that follow a wheat- and gluten-free diet. New this season, Levy Restaurants will now offer a portable cart in Section 107 dedicated to freshly prepared, gluten-free sports favorites. The fan favorites and expanded snack offerings include:
* Hot Dog: Certified gluten-free hot dog, Kinnikinnick bun, Heinz ketchup and French’s mustard
* Chili Cheese Dog: Certified gluten-free hot dog, Kinnikinnick bun, Ghel’s chili sauce, cheese
* Nachos: Mission tortilla chips, Ghel’s cheese, Embasa jalapeños
* Loaded Nachos: Mission tortilla chips, Ghel’s chili sauce and cheese, LaVictoria Alamo salsa, Embasa jalapeños
* Red Bridge Beer: Gluten-free beer made without wheat or barley
* Snacks and Sweets: Taste Good Tortilla Chips, Gluten-Free Carmel & Cheddar Popcorn Mix, Eden Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Eden Organic Berry Mix, Larabars, NuGO Free Dark Chocolate Bar, Skittles, gluten-free gummy bears

New Healthy Items
New in 2011, Levy Restaurants has added new healthy offerings at all ballparks to give fans looking for nutritious snacks more options. At Chase Field, the new healthy menu items will be offered at Red Hot locations and select Doubleheader stands on the main concourse. Options include:

* Chopped Veggie Salad: A mix of Romaine lettuce, spinach, broccoli florets, red onion, cucumber, asparagus, Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans and julienne carrots, served with a house-made red wine vinaigrette
* Grilled Chicken Sandwich: A grilled chicken breast on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato
* Veg Out Cup with Hummus: Fresh vegetables including carrots, celery, jicama, cucumber and radishes, served with house made hummus
* Fruta Cup: A mix of seasonal fruit, such as watermelon, mango, strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple, served with a lime wedge and chili lime salt
* Healthy Snack Basket: New in the suites only, the healthy snack basket features fresh fruit and packaged snacks such as dried cherries, nuts and low fat chips.

Absolut All-Star Cocktail
With the MLB All-Star Game headed to Chase Field this summer, Levy Restaurants will be celebrating all season long with the Absolut All-Star cocktail, a delicious blend of Absolut Mandarin, pomegranate, cranberry juice, pineapple juice and garnished with grilled mango, papaya and kiwi on a sugar cane skewer. The Absolut All Star Cocktail will be available at bar locations throughout the concourse.

    

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