Chef's Blog

September 27, 2017

Now These Concessions Have Game

from Chef Kevin Wassler

If you haven’t been to a major market professional sporting event in a couple years, you may be surprised by the level of quality and variety you’ll find in the concourse these days.

Options are no longer limited to just hot dogs, peanuts and fountain drinks at your hometown stadium. And premium items are not limited to loge and club sections. Food & beverage options at professional sports events— or even a local little league game—have undergone a huge makeover over the past few years.

That unrecognizable hot dog in a foil wrapper has grown into a premium quality sausage topped with fresh sautéed peppers & onions with a choice of signature sauces. Long gone are the days of the plastic container of tortilla chips and cheese sauce. Your nachos are now served with smoked meats, fresh tomato, chopped onions, and spicy cheese sauce. Bye-bye plastic container. Today’s nacho “snack” is served in an oversized helmet with your team’s logo. It’s now a meal and a souvenir.

Stadiums are following and adopting restaurant trends at a rapid pace—or bringing a handful of well-known local operators into the building. Grocery stores are in the game too, with freshly prepared take-out items and catering trays that are offered for the neighborhood little league games. Let’s not even get into tailgating. An art form of its own.

Here’s some regionally inspired dishes you may come across in your travels:
Atlanta
• Georgia Peach BBQ Chicken Wings
• Georgia Peach and Chipotle Salsa Quesadilla
• Georgia Peach and Goat Cheese Flatbread

Dallas
• Texas Brisket Tacos
• Texas Steak Sliders
• Smoked Brisket Tamales

Chicago
• Italian Beef Flatbread
• Mini Chicago Hot Dogs
• Mini Italian Beef Sandwiches

Minnesota
• Deep Fried Walleye Nuggets
• Tater Tot Hot Dish Bites
• Maple Pork Belly on a Stick

New England
• Clam Chowder Fondue with Bread
• Beer Steamed Seafood Pot
• New England Clam Dip

San Francisco
• Sour Dough Grilled Cheese Sticks
• San Fran Oyster Loaf
• Thai Noodle Bowl

New Orleans
• Mini Muffalettas
• Po Boy Sampler
• Crawfish Bucket

New York
• Jumbo Pretzels with dips/spreads
• Pastrami Sliders
• New York Reuben Balls

Stadium & Sports Bar offerings
• Asian Tacos
• Ethnic and game sausages, unique toppings
• House Cut FF’s; sauces, toppings and spicy/sweet/savory dry blends to top off
• Wings; ethnic sauces
• Flatbreads and Pizzas
• Meat on a stick; anything on a stick; fondues and sauces
• Food in a cone; food in a helmet; food in a bucket
• Tapas style; open to any ethnicity
• Comfort food layered in a cup
• Jumbo pretzels; cheese sauces and dips
• Waffle sandwiches
• Mac & Cheese – authentic ingredients per the city

Grocery Stores
• 7 layer dips
• Hot Dog Stands
• Sub sandwiches and roll up wraps
• Sliders
• Bacon wrapped tater tots, dips
• Chicken chile enchiladas
• BBQ brisket sandwiches
• Sausage and cheese dip, chips

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