COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Oink, oink! The winner of the fourth annual Whitecaps food contest is the Baco! This taco in a specially-made bacon shell was the top vote-getter in the annual contest to determine Fifth Third Ballpark's next culinary delight and will be on the menu for fans to purchase at Whitecaps games this season.
The Whitecaps narrowed a list of more than 150 fan-submitted menu ideas, plus the dozens of ideas that came out of the Gordon Food Service Test Kitchen, down to a bacon-laden top 10 list earlier this year and turned the contest over to the fans. With bacon as an ingredient in four of the top 10 choices, it wasn't a surprise that fans also turned out the vote for the trendy swine (or foul…as in duck) meat. The top three vote-getters included bacon in their ingredients list.
The Baco received a staggering 30% of the online votes, while second place with 27% of the vote went to The Bad Joke (a corn dog covered in cheese with two strips of duck bacon on a bun…it will quack you up!). Third place was, a virtual tie between Crash's favorite snack, Rascal Chow (popcorn, bacon and Reeses) and Teeny Weenies (little hot dogs in mini helmets), with 9% each.
The Baco will replace last year's winner, the Westside Po' Boy, on the ballpark menu, and will be served at the Sweet Meats Smokehouse, located at the end of the third base concourse. It will share the spotlight with the internationally famous Fifth Third Burger.
Previous winners of the food contest include Chicks with Sticks, the Cudighi Yooper Sandwich and the Declaration of Indigestion. All have been retired from the menu.
Another highlight on the new menu is the "Squeelin' Pig." Billed as the spiciest sandwich served at any ballpark, this is a pulled pork sandwich packed with a punch of Giardinara, a sprinkle of Ghost Pepper and flaming BBQ sauce. Anyone wishing to tempt their fate with this new sandwich will have to sign a waiver when they order this flame thrower.
The Fifth Third Ballpark menu will feature 17 new food items in 2013. Five are suite specialty items, and 12 of them are available to all fans on the concourse level.
Available on the concourse:
Baco (Sweet Meats Smokehouse on 3rd Base Concourse)
Squeelin' Pig Sandwich - (Sweet Meats Smokehouse on 3rd Base Concourse)
All Beef Jumbo Hot Dog - A 5-1 Kent Meats all beef hot dog. (Concession Stands
Fried Mac & Jack Cheese Bites - Macaroni and Jack cheese, battered and fried. (Main Concessions Stands)
Corn Dogs - Fried corn dogs on a stick. (Main Concessions Stand)
Iced Coffee - Swiss Mocha or French Vanilla creamy iced coffee topped with whipped cream. (Suites and Main Concessions Stands)
Mac & Cheese Cart - Traditional or White Mac & Cheese topped with your choice of bacon, lobster, buffalo chicken, hamburger, or chili (Home Plate Concourse Cart)
Otis Spunkmeyer Fresh Cookies - Freshly baked Otis Spunkmeyer brand chocolate chip cookies. (Home Plate Concourse Cart)
Build-Your-Own Subs - Ham, turkey, or roast beef sub topped with your favorite toppings (Home Plate Concourse Cart)
Smoked Sausage Kabobs - Seasoned and apple wood smoked sausage, potato, and green pepper kabobs (1st Base Concourse Smoker)
Moo-ville Ice Cream - Flavors such as Supercow and Cowtrails top the list of a variety of premium ice creams sold at the ballpark (3rd Base Concourse)
Red's Apple Ale, Perrin Golden Ale, and Shock Top Apple Crisp Beers- New unique profile beers to be served throughout the ballpark. (Beer Portables)
New in the Luxury Suites:
Bubba's Shrimp Po' Boy - Batter fried shrimp, fresh lettuce, and tartar sauce served on a fresh Bolilo bun.
Bavarian Pretzel Sticks - oven baked Bavarian style pretzel breadsticks served with spicy mustard.
Salted Caramel Parfait - Rich parfait of salted caramel crème brulée.
Tempura Shrimp - Lightly battered fried tempura shrimp served with Boom Boom sauce.
Marge's Donut Den Birthday Cakes - New provider of all birthday cakes to the ballpark. (Birthday parties and Suites.
A complete 2013 ballpark menu, including a Gluten-Free menu, is available on the website (select BALLPARK from the top menu bar).
The interest in ballpark food options spiked four years ago with the introduction of the four pound, 5,000-calorie Fifth Third Burger, now internationally famous and the subject of several episodes of popular reality TV shows such as Travel Channel's Man v. Food and Food Network's Unwrapped. The Fifth Third Burger will again be on the menu, along with the popular eating challenge (finish the whole burger by yourself before the end of the game and you win a t-shirt and your photo on the Fifth Third Burger Wall of Fame). It is served from the Sweet Meats Smokehouse stand at the end of the third base concourse.
The Whitecaps open the 2013 season at home on Thursday, April 4 against the Dayton Dragons at 6:35 p.m. Season, group and individual game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131, by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com, or in person at the Fifth Third Ballpark ticket office (open Monday-Friday from 10 to 5 p.m.; hours extend to 6 p.m. at the end of this month). For more information please visit our website at www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.