National League West
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Meat Lover’s Hot Dog—Continuing with the hot dog theme, Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park features a Meat Lover’s Hot Dog, which is a deep-fried dog topped with chili, pepper jack cheese, and fried salami. Nothing like taking a hot dog and deep-frying it, mmmmm. Another meaty item is the pulled smoke pork sandwich that can be accompanied by coleslaw or mac & cheese. You can also get a giant turkey leg.
· Bowl: chili in a bowl
· Two-way: chili and spaghetti
· Three-way: chili, spaghetti, and cheese
· Four-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, and onions
· Five-way: chili, spaghetti, cheese, onions, and beans
Usually, oyster crackers are served with Cincinnati Chili, and a some people like a mild hot sauce on occasion.
Pulled Pork Parfait—The Pulled Pork Parfait sounds like the quintessential Midwest/Milwaukee food. You can even picture a husky, unkempt Brewers fan shot-gunning beers in the parking lot eating a Pulled Pork Parfait . . . and her husband might even scarf down two or three of them. The thing is, the Pulled Pork Parfait is NOT a classic Midwestern food, it’s actually a Canadian import, according to the Toronto Star, which traces a porky parfait to Hank Daddy’s BBQ in Maple, Ontario. The Miller Park version has layers of pulled pork and mashed potatoes and gravy served in a parfait-style cup. I can’t imagine anything more disappointing than being handed a parfait cup thinking it’s going to be ice cream, caramel, and hot fudge, and taking a bite of pulled pork and mashed potatoes.
Primanti Brothers Sandwich—According to Primanti Brothers legend, the original Primanti Brothers diner was opened by Joe Primanti during the Great Depression in 1933 in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, which is a busy area along the Allegheny river that has numerous warehouses and produce markets. Many of these workers would come into the deli late at night looking for a meal they could eat on the go, so Joe Primanti created the deli’s signature sandwich: grilled meat, coleslaw, tomato slices, and french fries between two pieces of Italian bread. Who needs your sides on the side when you can put everything in between the bread and eat it all together? Pittsburgh is famous for Primanti Brothers, as the sandwich has been featured on Man versus Food, as well as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and earned a “5+++” (out of 5) rating from ESPN.com. It’s one of the things you simply must do if you visit Pittsburgh, along with riding one of the Inclines (Monongahela or Duquesne), spend some time at Point State Park at the confluence of the three rivers, and watch a ballgame at PNC Park.
Bratzel—The Cardinals added some interesting food selections at Busch Stadium a couple years ago, including the Bratzel. The Bratzel is a brat wrapped in a soft pretzel. Once you have the brat safely ensconced in its soft pretzel shell, you can dress it up with mustard or sauerkraut or whatever you desire, but probably not ketchup. People feel very strongly about ketchup and it seems many don’t believe ketchup should be anywhere near a meat-shaped tube, such as a hot dog or a brat. Personally, I like to dip soft pretzels in melted cheese, so perhaps that would be a delicious option for the Bratzel. Another item at Busch Stadium that features the pretzel is the Bavarian-Stuffed Burger. This burger is well-done and stuffed with either smoked cheddar or mac and cheese and is served on a pretzel bun. You can add pecan-smoked bacon to make it even better because everything’s better with bacon.