American League East
Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
The Fenway Frank—If you’re going to spend an afternoon in the oldest ballpark in the Major Leagues, you have to get the traditional Fenway Frank. Then you have to add some toppings. Hot dog toppings are a hot-button topic among Americans. If you live in Chicago, ketchup is strictly forbidden if you’re over the age of 18. In fact, the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (it’s really a thing) says the rules of hot dog etiquette state ketchup should not be used as a topping for anyone over 18 years of age. Despite the proclamation of the NHDSC, according to a 2014 study, 52% of Americans like ketchup on their hot dog, second to mustard, which came in at 71% (Chili was third at 47%). It varies by region of the country, though. In the West, people like jalapenos. In the South, the preference is for chili, cheese, and coleslaw. The traditional Chicago dog is covered with mustard, relish, onions, tomato, peppers, and a dash of celery salt. In the Northeast, your Fenway Frank should, at the very least, be topped with sauerkraut.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs--According to their own website, Nathan’s Famous was founded by a Polish immigrant, Nathan Handwerker, who started his business in 1916 with a small hot dog stand in Coney Island, New York that sold hot dogs based on a recipe developed by his wife, Ida. Further research reveals that this isn’t necessarily the whole story. According to the Coney Island History Project website, Nathan Handwerker was an employee of Charles Feltman, a German immigrant who is generally credited with inventing the hot dog on a bun so he didn’t have to provide silverware and plates to customers. Nathan Handwerker left Feltman’s to start his own business and soon became much more famous for his hot dogs than Feltman. More recently, the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest has become an annual event with all the pomp and circumstance of a WWE Wrestlemania event. Joey Chestnut is the current champion after devouring 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes last 4th of July. Presumably, his parents were quite proud.
Cuban Sandwich—The Tampa Bay Rays don’t have the history of the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Frank or the New York Yankees’ Nathan’s Famous Dog, but they do have a local favorite: the Cuban Sandwich. The Cuban Sandwich is ham, sliced pork, and Genoa salami topped with Swiss cheese pickles, and mustard, all on a pressed roll.
BBQ Chicken Nachos—If you head north of the border to catch a Blue Jays game, be sure to try the BBQ Chicken Nachos—nachos topped with chicken and barbecue sauces, as well as cheese, salsa, and sour cream.
Bill Cosby Sandwich--On the other hand, the sandwich formerly known as the “Bill Cosby” has been renamed the “Home Run” by Shopsy’s Deli, for obvious reasons. It’s a $15 sandwich made of hot corned beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese, and rye bread. No word on whether it came with a bowl of Jell-O pudding.