Whether it’s been through establishing and retooling their craft beer selection, adding barbecue pulled pork and beef brisket sandwiches, deluxe pork burgers, “irish nachos” helmets, cevapcici, hot dogs with pastrami bacon, corned beef sandwiches and other selections, the White Sox have providing new and elaborate ways for their fans to seek impart delicious physical ruin upon themselves.
I do not mean to take this moment to wage some moral stand against the way ballpark menus are composed–let baseball games live on as a bastion for old-tymey indulgence if that’s the route it chooses–but a lot of these new items elicit the reaction of “goodness gracious.”
To run through the new food and spirit selections, I’ll be drawing from the fine work of CSN Chicago’s Lauren Cook, who wrapped up the new offerings.
The Comiskey Burger
“Let’s start with the Comiskey Burger–the perfect solution for those struggling with the ‘Chicago Dog or burger?’ dilemma during their dash to concessions.”
If national health statistics are any indication, the answer to this question is usually “both.” I’m curious to see if the White Sox found some more inventive solution.
“This fusion burger is described as ‘a double or triple cheeseburger topped with ‘Chitown Pico’, a relish salsa creation made with all the Chicago Dog ingredients (sport peppers, green relish, diced tomato and onions) topped with celery salt.’”
No, they did not.
The walls of traditional burger toppings have long since been torn down and thrown asunder, and this could easily work. But if there’s one thing their ballpark packaging has revealed, it’s that burgers and dogs’ popularity is owed somewhat to their convenience as portable, compact meals easily consumed during various activities and settings. They can’t fit the damn bun on top of this pile o’ foodstuffs in the sample photo. Good luck reacting quickly to an oncoming foul ball with this tower of grease-drenched moving parts the size of a small puppy sitting on your lap.
24 years of my life went by without encountering a “walking taco.” That era was ended abruptly when it was the preferred meal of half of those in attendance at the 2011 Class 4A Indiana Girls’ Basketball State Championship Game.
“I’m not sure about this walking requirement but–Ooh, tacos!” someone who has experienced one of the 10,000 million tacquerias in the city might exclaim. Well, this is cheese and chili mixed into a bag of fritos. You are given a fork.
At first glance, this recipe sounds like the most Midwestern suburbanite high schooler idea of all time. But it’s important not to jump to stereotype-driven conclusions, especially when Wikipedia can do it for you.
“This second method is sometimes called a Frito boat or a walking taco in the Midwestern United States, while in the Ohio Valley region, it is commonly called taco-in-a-bag. (“Walking taco,” however, is the favored term at least in southwest Ohio). Frito pies are popular at sports venues, fundraisers, bingos, open houses, state fairs and street vendors.“
However, once you get past imagining the creation process of this dish (“I’m looking to get more creative with dinner tonight. Step one, Fritos…” Or “OH NO SKYLINE’S CLOSED WHADDOWE DO NOW?!”), it’s a simple and solid taste combination. Also, there are people all around the place eating out of full-size batting helmets, a walking taco actually represents the reasonable portion size option here.
Hmm, that last sentence is the kind of sentence you write, then start thinking about how you’ve gotten to where you are.
The White Sox have offered barbecue and pulled pork in mass quantities previously, but now it will be branded! Greg Luzinski of 1983 fame has already opened a Bull’s BBQ station at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia (where he played for longer), now the White Sox will have one of their own–or two! I’m not sure if it counts as two separate locations if they are in the same building.
But is Luzinski’s recipe up to snuff? What could be more edifying on that topic than Philadelphia Yelp comments?
Pulled Pork (messy and underwhelming, choose something else unless you absolutely must try it)
The pulled pork sandwich is their best offering and a decent, albeit expensive, alternative to the other stadium fare.
You can pit Bull’s BBQ against any other food source there, but their swings miss(***) every time.
Oh, that’s right, Yelp comments are a mixed bag of would-be restaurant reviewers, wailing that other local places are being ignored in favor of the restaurant actually in question, attempts at pun-heavy humor, descents into madness and reviews that quickly divert into stories about a home run Greg Luzinski hit in 1980.
Other food additions include a meatball sub, apple juice and milk for the kids and a lot of additions at the club and diamond suite level. In which case, I’m sure there will be waiters to help you.
To a degree, the quality of the food entries above is dictated by the effects this section has on the tasted. There’s already plenty of options for high-quality at U.S. Cellular at the sometimes overcrowded Midwest Brews section, so the question is simply whether the White Sox added to it.
The most notable addition is Ebel’s Weiss from the highly esteemed Two Brothers Brewery. It’s a hefeweizen, which can be an acquired taste–and isn’t mine–but Beer Advocate gives it a solidly above-average 83 score, which is more than you could say about the rest of these entries.
Henry Weinhard’s, Blue Moon Agave Blonde Ale, Coors’ attempts at alt-brands like Third Shift and Batch 19, all rates in the 70′s, and serve to provide a variety of selections in the “better than Miller Lite” more than they are actually exceptional. (Batch 19 is fine, though).
Then there’s Redd’s Apple Ale. Is it apple-flavored beer? Is it hard cider? Reviewers can’t decide! And not in a “Is bebop still jazz?” kind of way, more in that it fails to qualify as either so maybe it has carved out its own bizarre genre of ‘Really Fizzy, Really Alcoholic Apple Juice.’ Beer Advocate gives it a 65, which is a lot nicer than Rate Beer, which gives it a 9.
In sum, they added a good Two Brothers hefeweizen and a lot of solid-average beers to cycle through and try to discern the differences between. All of these require that you get up from your seat, so what I guess I’m saying is enjoy your Miller Lite and triple hot dog toppings cheeseburger and GO WHITE SOX.