CHARLESTON, SC - The old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" just doesn't apply to the Charleston RiverDogs' food and beverage division.
After all, for years the fare at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park has been lauded nationally by the likes of Rachel Ray, Adam Richman, The Bob & Tom Show, Southern Living and a host of others who know a thing or two about enjoyable and tasty food, including our fans.
So why did the RiverDogs revamp their concessions for the 2016 campaign?
"Our goal every season is to develop fun and exciting menus for our fans to enjoy at the ballpark," said F&B Director Josh Shea. "This being the 20th season at The Joe, we felt it was the right time to have creative changes in our overall setup and food options this season and to stay current with food trends."
Shea, who worked with food guru John Schumacher for three years, is now the Top Dog in the RiverDogs' F&B division as Schumacher departed to chase his longtime dream of owning his own restaurant. ("Harold's Cabin" is located on the corner of Congress & President streets in downtown Charleston and is set to open soon.) Shea, along with Assistant F&B Director Jay Weekley, are carrying on Schumacher's legacy with their unique and creative food ideas at the park.
"We've got an entire list of new items at The Joe," said Shea. "I truly believe that there is something new for every fan as we celebrate the 20th year at The Joe while we retain some of our popular favorites. Overall, I'd say that the selections for this year will be exciting and will push our ballpark food to another level."
Here are the new food items for 2016 with several new concession stands:
Housing the famed "Home Wrecker," DogWorld has delighted fans with unique hot dog creations over the years and continues to push the boundaries on what you can put on your frankfurter. Along with the foot-long, half-pound, all-beef hot dog with another half-pound of toppings piled on, DogWorld's new offerings this season will give you a global spin on the American classic.
New offerings for this season include the Picnic Dog, an all-beef Hebrew National six-inch dog topped with slow-cooked baked beans and topped with Jalapeno bacon. For those looking for a tropical spin on a bite at The Joe this summer, look no further than the Hawaiian Dog that is piled high with pineapple relish and topped with lemon and herb aioli.
Also returning for a second season will be the Southern Kimchi Dog, a frankfurter that brings the best of the Lowcountry and Korean cuisine. Capped with the seemingly unorthodox combination of local kimchi and shredded collard slaw with toasted sesame and soy dressing adorned with sweet piquant peppers on top, you'll be wondering why no one has ever tried this before.
The stand known for its hot pizza and refreshing beershakes and now presenting an expanded menu of offerings, the Pie House returns to delight fans at The Joe in 2016. The Pie House will slide into the former Taco Stand spot as the revamped spot for Italian cuisine adds a pair of new food items and another addition to the storied history of beershakes.
The Palmetto Biscotti shake combines Biscotti cookie dough with vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup, and Palmetto espresso porter brew to create an amazing one-of-a-kind beershake experience. If you thought the regular, old Palmetto shake was delicious, well you're in for a treat.
New at the Pie House in 2016, the Drunkin' Brat is a bratwurst cooked to perfection and placed in an Italian pep roll and topped with beer cheese. Making a return to the Pie House, the 24-ounce Soft Pretzel is served in a pizza box set with sides of marinara, garlic butter sauce and beer cheese. It's enough to feed 2-3 adults, but we won't judge if you pick a spot in the ballpark and make this a takeout pretzel for one. For the first time in its history, the Pie House will also feature dessert pies in a variety of flavors for fans to enjoy!
Named for the RiverDogs' popular mascot, the all-new Chelsea's Cantina will offer fans a unique blend of Southwestern inspired dishes. Now operating out of the former Pie House location next to Scoops, the stand will once again offer the popular Kitchen Sink Nachos, which includes everything in the kitchen but the kitchen sink (sink sold separately, just ask), as well as a brand new offering of rice bowl combinations.
New offerings at Chelsea's this year include the Lowcountry Bowl, served with Spanish seasoned rice and topped with pulled pork, smoked collard greens (this is South Carolina, remember?), mac-n-cheese and drizzled with appetizing barbeque sauce. The Southwestern Chicken Bowl is served with Spanish rice and topped with Chipotle shredded chicken, roasted corn salsa, black beans, cilantro coleslaw and drizzled with lime-infused crema. Finally, the Spicy Chorizo Bowl includes Spanish rice topped with tasty Chorizo, roasted corn salsa, black beans, cilantro slaw and drizzled with lime-infused crema.
Built for kids and adults who want to be kids at heart, this customary stand will continue to serve the traditional ice cream waffle cones, milkshakes and snacks for ballpark goers of all ages with a few new curveballs thrown in the mix.
A new Kids Meal highlights some of the new menu offerings at Scoops that includes a basic grilled cheese sandwich on Texas toast served with fresh seasonal fruit. The Uptown Grilled Cheese features smoked Gouda cheese with a crispy slab of peppered bacon and sliced fresh tomatoes and is grilled to golden perfection. The All-American Grilled Cheese features a hefty five slices of American cheese grilled until its golden brown and gooey. The Brie & Blueberry Grilled Cheese features a savory and creamy brie topped with fresh blueberries to offer the perfect combination of sweet and flavorful.
Named after former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley and our ballpark's namesake, "Smokin' Joe's" offers in-house smoked meats while providing a heavenly aroma perfect for enjoying a game. Located next to the Palmetto Beer Garden, the stand features smoked brisket sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, and the brisket ramen bowl. Smokin' Joe's is also back in 2016 with a pair of new menu items.
The Sweet-N-Sour Duck Wing Bowl gives you a hearty portion of duck wings brined in down-home sweet tea and smoked to perfection. This latest edition to Smokin' Joe's is tossed in sweet-and-sour sauce, placed on top of our tasty ramen bowl and served with fresh veggies. The Burnt End Sandwich is a slow-cooked beef brisket chopped and cooked once more in a Memphis-style barbeque sauce that is placed on an Italian pep roll and topped with pickles.
In a unique partnership with Spinx, this stand will be strategically located right when one walks up the stairs through the Riley Park main gate. It will serve as a quick stop for those fans looking to grab an ice-cold Pepsi, water, beer or snack without having to wait in long lines. Grab-N-Go will be stocked with fresh fruit, gluten-free bars, popcorn, peanuts and a variety of new ballpark snacks.
A haven for lovers of all things fried at The Joe this year, State Fair is a new stand that will be located right beside the Spinx Grab-N-Go stand, and will make push off that new diet you meant to start to another day.
Nothing maybe embodies the in-your-face deliciousness of the State Fair better than the Chicken-N-Double Waffle Burger, a cooked-to-perfection chicken burger dipped in waffle batter and deep fried, and then placed between two waffles and drizzled with Siracha honey sauce.
The Rolled-Up RiverDog is a new take on the classic RiverDog combination (hotdog with slaw, pickled okra, barbeque sauce) that is rolled up in an egg roll and deep fried to perfection.
Ever wondered what a classic Southern pecan pie smashed into a cheesecake wedge and then deep fried and put on a stick would taste like? The State Fair will also feature the Deep Fried Pecan Pie Cheesecake on a Stick, because all of the best things in life come deep fried and skewered.
Dave's Country Kitchen
Offering unique twists on several classic Charleston-style foods, this concourse stand named in honor of RiverDogs President and General Manager Dave Echols will offer fans a wealth of Lowcountry inspired options near the front gate.
The Shrimp-N-Grit Corn Dog offers savory shrimp and familiar Lowcountry grits formed and placed on a stick which is coated in hushpuppy batter and fried to a deep golden brown and served with tomato gravy.
The Chuck Town Hot Brown is the RiverDogs' spin on the classic Kentucky hot brown. We use Texas toast and top it with a fresh, grilled shrimp cake, pablano queso, sliced pickled green tomato and topped with crispy Jalapeno bacon.
The Country Kitchen also offers plenty of Dave's favorites including pickled shrimp, alligator sausage and pickled okra fries.
This new concession portable located adjacent to Dave's Country Kitchen features new French fry options along with an assortment of craft beer. Along with its abundance of craft brews, Spuds-N-Suds offers the Charleston Poutine, a pure Carolina gumbo poured over the top of a double beer-battered curly fry and finished with fresh herbs grown on-site.
The RiverDogs, the Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, begin their season - the 20th in their history at Joseph P. Riley Park - on April 6 with an exhibition game against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at 7:05 pm and then follow that with Opening Night, also at 7:05 pm, that begins a seven-game homestand that features in-state rival Columbia Fireflies (April 7-10) and the Asheville Tourists (April 11-13). Ticket information may be secured by contact the box office at 843/577-DOGS (3647) or online at www.riverdogs.com.
New Food Items Featured in 2016
Southern Kimchi Dog (Returns from 2015)
Palmetto Biscotti Shake
24-ounce Soft Pretzel
Various Dessert Pies
Southwestern Chicken Bowl
Spicy Chorizo Bowl
Uptown Grilled Cheese
The All-American Grilled Cheese
Brie & Blueberry Grilled Cheese
Sweet-N-Sour Duck Wing Bowl
Burnt End Sandwich
Chicken-N-Double Waffle Burger
Deep Fried Pecan Pie Cheesecake on a Stick
Dave's Country Kitchen
Shrimp-N-Grit Corn Dog
Chuck Town Hot Brown
Pickled okra fries.