COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps are ready for the fans to have their say! The ninth-annual fan voting contest to determine Fifth Third Ballpark's next culinary delight starts today - Wednesday, February 28.
The list has been narrowed down from several hundred ideas submitted by fans last month and the dozens of ideas coming out of the GFS Test Kitchen to just 10 choices.
Previous winners of the contest were the national-award-winning Beercheese Poutine, Declaration of Indigestion. Chicks with Sticks (celery, carrots and hummus), and the Baco.
Wendy Sullivan from Rockford submitted "The Fry Cobb." A simple yet delicious idea of deep frying corn on the cob. "I thought it looked absolutely delicious and what a great idea for your food contest. I mean who doesn't love corn on the cob?! Whitecaps baseball and delicious corn on the cob, what could be better!"
John King, from Lansing, is on fire with his "Mt. Wing-suvius, the Wing-Ring Volcano." His submission of onion rings, buffalo chicken, beer cheese and mac 'n cheese could hit the spot for Whitecaps fans. "When you can't decide what to eat, just wing it" he said. He just may be correct.
Voting will run through Friday, March 9 and the winner will be announced later in March.
Rebecca and Kevin Stevens of Grand Rapids think that their take on chicken and waffles will fit the fans like a glove. "The 'Grub Glove' is a perfect new take on a traditional classic combination that is tailored for the mobility and versatility needed while enjoying our West Michigan Whitecaps! It tastes amazing and gives you a free hand to enjoy your favorite beverage with it!" Take buffalo chicken, drizzle maple syrup over it then mix it in with mac 'n cheese and serve in waffle cone. This one is not for the birds.
Not to be outdone, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler and Christie Schichtel from Lansing heckle the other contenders with their submission: The Hey, Pita, Pita, Pita! "This is a healthy, delicious pitch that isn't too heavy and isn't too light - hot falafel, vegetables, and tahini sauce, gloved by fresh pita bread. One finger for fastballs, two fingers for curveballs, and an outstretched hand for falafel balls!"
Below is a complete list and description of the 10 finalists.
Johnny Brunch: Here is why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Take a grilled bratwurst, top it with a generous serving of sausage gravy, maple syrup and bacon and then fold it into a waffle like a taco. Talk about a five-tool prospect.
Deep Fried Beer: This time, we've brewed up a pocket of dough that's complemented by a round of beer - you can choose between Founder's Dirty Bastard or Perrin Black - and then, you guessed it, deep fried. Never let anyone tell you something can't be deep fried.
Grub Glove: This one is a real catch. The double-play combination of buffalo chicken and mac 'n cheese are stuffed into a waffle cone with maple syrup drizzled over the top. Diamond gems are rarely this tasty.
Mochi Ice Cream: Ready for a little culture? Mochi is a traditional Japanese cake made of pounded sticky rice that is then formed around an ice cream filling. The ice cream will provide flavor while the Mochi adds sweetness and texture. Konnichiwa!
Heater with Some Meater: Flaming Hot Cheetos have inspired memes, doughnuts and even a potential feature-length film (seriously!). We're taking a footlong corn dog and rolling it in this pop-culture phenomenon. Bring the heat!
Koolickles Pickles: Did you know that marathon runners drink pickle juice during races to help with cramps? Now, we're bringing it to the ballpark, this time soaked in Cherry flavored Kool-Aid. As the Kool-Aid Man would say, "Oh yeah!"
Hey Pita, Pita, Pita!: We want a freshly fried falafel ball topped with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and pepper on warm pita bread and covered with hummus, not a belly itcher! (This will be the new Sandlot taunt, right?)
Mt. Wing-suvius, the Wing-Ring Volcano: This is for volcanic appetites. Two gigantic onion rings will be layered first with mac 'n cheese, then boneless chicken and topped with bacon, green onions and beer cheese. You're going to lava it.
The Fry Cobb: Batter up! … down, around and all over a quarter ear of corn that will then be deep fried on a stick. Even the Georgia Peach would approve. Or so we assume.
Gator-Tators: Here's a snack you can really sink your teeth into. Take one of the greatest inventions ever, tater tots, and cover them in, wait for it - alligator meat. Don't let anyone tell you this is a bunch of croc.
The Whitecaps open their 25th season on Thursday, April 5 against the South Bend Cubs at 6:35 p.m. and tickets are now on sale. For complete 2018 schedule and ticket information, including season and group ticket prices and perks, visit www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.