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New concessions at Fifth Third Field sure to be a hit

04/03/2014, 12:00am EDT
By MARY BILYEU BLADE FOOD EDITOR

From Mac and Cheese Dog to salads, there’s plenty to try


Combine two favorite comfort food and it’s the Mac and Cheese Dog, now available at Fifth Third Field.

Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some ... pork and vegetable dumplings? ... chicken and waffles bites? ... campfire Smores ice cream?

The Mud Hens’ 2014 season is bringing some new players — and also new foods — to Fifth Third Field.

Whether you want the classic combination of baseball hot dogs and apple pie or whether you’re seeking to be trendy with a fusion food like the tortilla-wrapped cheese-and-chili El Burrito Dog, the concessions staff is ready to serve the ideal accompaniment to your game.

READ MORE: Mud Hens 2014 Season Preview

Chef Dusten Brown, in his second year with the Mud Hens, says, "I hardly ever cook for myself, but love to feed other people."

And he's excited about some of the new offerings he and his staff have created for fans.

Pretzel Super Twists come in three flavors: fiery pumpernickel, honey chipotle, and jalapeno ranch — something for every taste, far beyond the plain old-fashioned soft pretzel.

The Mac and Cheese Dog unites two favorites and, as though this wasn't already amazing, it's topped with crispy bits of bacon. But most decadent of all, perhaps, are the Chocolate Chip Funnel Cake and Chocolate Lover's Sundae, each of which features chocolate in three different ways: Base, chocolate chips, and hot fudge.

But what about those with dietary concerns, or those who are watching their weight? What if you're on a low-fat diet or are trying to maintain fitness and health?

A friend joked about this — given the indulgence of many food offerings at Fifth Third Field — and suggested that the healthiest item at the ballpark might just be beer. But if you go to watch a Mud Hens game this season, there are many dining options that won’t threaten your waistline or your well-being.

You can find hummus and pita at the Gyro Cart, or a hearty turkey wrap at Suds & Wieners to fill you up. If you're looking for a low-fat option, a Lemon Ice Cup or a FireCracker Popsicle at the Ice Cream Cart would be the perfect cold antidote to a hot summer day. In the Bird Cage Bar and Grill, you can order the Portabella Sandwich, featuring a grilled mushroom cap with lettuce, tomato, red onion, balsamic dressing, and garlic aioli.

A cool, crisp Antipasto Salad will be offered on the Concourse Level, with flavorful ham, pepperoni, Provolone, olives, and tomatoes atop a fresh bed of lettuce. And the Nutri-Cart is stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables, fruit snacks, granola bars, and trail mix. These are heart smart and good for you, and still make great crunchy treats instead of popcorn doused with lots of salt and butter.

Although it's not always a popular option, given our tendency to serve super-duper sizes of foods, you can also cut down on fat, salt, and sugar by sharing foods.

Order the Bird Cage Sliders, for example, and each of three people in your group gets a mini burger with cheese, crispy onion tangles, and the famous, fabulous We Be Ribs BBQ sauce — all the flavor to savor, but only one-third the calories. Or you could share a Triple Sweet sundae that features Toft's rich vanilla ice cream topped with luscious caramel sauce and crunchy cinnamon roasted almonds. What could be more romantic for baseball fans than a date at the ball park and a sweet treat for two?

With so much tradition, and with so many fabulous food choices, the Mud Hens are definitely pitching a perfect game at the concession stands.

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Tag(s): Mud Hens