Baseball fans are familiar with standard ballpark snacks, but this year Minor League teams have added a twist to their menus.
BUSH'S Home Run Recipes contest aims to crown the best new dish in Minor League Baseball with 64 teams battling for bragging rights through next month. Items this season all feature a BUSH'S product, so for fans who love their baked beans, this is your year.
Savory nachos aside, fans who vote will also have a chance to win a trip for four to the winning ballpark to taste the top creation. The getaway includes airfare, two nights of hotel accommodations and $200 spending money for even more food and fun.
The contest runs from June 29-July 14.
"The Food Fight competition has been a long-standing tradition in Minor League Baseball, so it's fun for us to put a new spin on the contest this year by having teams incorporate BUSH'S Beans into their menu items," said Mike Morris, Senior Brand Manager at Bush Brothers & Company. "Minor League teams are known and celebrated for their creativity, and that extends beyond the field to their concession offerings as well. We're looking forward to seeing which new BUSH'S Home Run Recipes fans try, vote for and hopefully want to re-create at home."
Clubs went in a bunch of directions this year with the challenge of adding a BUSH'S product to their dish. Some took the traditional hot dog or chili route, while others, like the Sacramento River Cats, cooked up a Korean BBQ-inspired burger with BUSH'S Sriracha Beans for a truly unique stadium meal.
Vote now in BUSH'S Home Run Recipes contest >>
The Round Rock Express, who claimed victory in Food Fight last season with its Lava Rock Fire and Ice combo, is back this year with a Charred Romaine Salad that includes grilled, seasoned romaine, charred bell peppers, chicken, black beans and cheese. Will it be enough to stand atop the rest? Below is just a sampling of the contenders:
For traditional stadium hot dog and sausage lovers, notable contestants include:
- Fort Wayne's Loaded Chorizo Salchicha features a sausage on a bun with guacamole, chilies, beans and cheese.
- Buddy's Beanie Weenie Panini, a mouthful to say and eat, was nominated by Louisville. The sourdough roll somehow houses three hot dogs covered in baked beans, Swiss cheese and jalapenos.
- Erie's Mojo & AC Rocket Dog will definitely need extra napkins. It's a frank topped with mac & cheese, pulled pork, hickory bacon, BBQ sauce and a bowl of baked beans.
- Winston-Salem's Cheesy Pig Dog is as sloppy as it sounds -- a classic hot dog smothered with baked beans, mac & cheese, pulled pork and Texas Pete hot sauce.
Burger aficionados will want to support these dishes:
- Kane County's El Jefe, a jalapeno and monterey jack cheese-topped cheeseburger manages to include pork belly, chipotle mac and cheese, pork carnitas, jalapeno straws and a side of black beans.
- Pulaski's Southwest Burger, a dish overflowing with baked beans and cheese topped with jalapeno-battered avocado slices
- Hartford's BLTDD, a sandwich that takes the old bacon-lettuce-tomato favorite to a whole new level. This one features two glazed Dunkin' Donuts as the buns (yes, really) and comes with maple mayo and BUSH's Brown Sugar baked beans.
- Quad Cities' Mother of All Burgers barely fits on a plate. The towering creation comes with two prime rib patties, pulled pork, smoked gouda, brisket, citrus chipotle BBQ sauce, onion rings and baked beans.
- New Orleans' Baby Cakes Burger is bold -- it's covered with purple and green sugar and includes bacon onion jam and a side of BUSH'S Country Style baked beans.
Some of the more unique items this year include Lehigh Valley's Ballpark Parfait -- a tall glass of mashed potatoes, cheese, pulled pork, baked beans and bacon. New Hampshire counters with a Maple Bacon Cheddar Bomb, which features BUSH'S Maple Cured Bacon baked beans, bacon, cheddar, a side of maple syrup, chips and a slice of watermelon. Rancho Cucamonga's Big One is a full pound of tater tots topped with pulled pork, beans marinated in root beer, sour cream, nacho cheese and, of course, bacon. Birmingham went a totally different route with sausage southwestern egg rolls that are paired with hummus and baked beans
If you're overwhelmed by the greasy meat and gooey cheese, there's a few teams that tried to lower the calorie count. Tulsa keeps it simple and healthy -- the Dodgers affiliate offers up a bowl of baked bean hummus that comes with seasonal veggies and pita bread. Lynchburg counters with its Black Bean & Lean Beef Chili Pita, which has grass-fed lean beef, plenty of vegetables, edamame, red pepper hummus and BUSH's garbanzo beans.
Hillsboro goes vegan with a Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burger that comes with avocado, onions, bourbon BBQ ketchup and a side of corn on the cob.
Hungry yet? Delay your diet for another day and get ready to vote on MiLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.