COMSTOCK PARK, MI - Hungry? Read on and you will be. The fifth-annual fan voting contest to determine Fifth Third Ballpark's next culinary delight starts today - Tuesday, February 25. The contest has produced some popular menu items at Whitecaps games, and this year promises to continue the tradition.
The list has been narrowed down from more than 200 ideas submitted by fans and the dozens of ideas coming out of the Gordon Food Service Test Kitchen to just 10 choices. Many of the submissions (including one top 10 finalist), offered a tongue-in-cheek nod to the January fire at the ballpark, following a "charred" and "burning" theme. Starting today, fans are invited to go to www.whitecapsbaseball.com and vote for their favorite item. The winner will be put on the menu this season.
Previous winners of the contest were the Cudighi Yooper Sandwich and the Declaration of Indigestion, two huge sandwiches that battled to a tie in 2010. Chicks with Sticks (celery, carrots and hummus) was the overwhelming winner in 2011, and in 2012 another large sandwich, the Westside Po' Boy, won. Last year, the Baco (a taco in a bacon shell) was the top vote-getter, and a very popular choice all season long at the ballpark.
Matt Timon, Whitecaps Director of Food & Beverage, said the fans are getting more and more creative. "We really have a lot of fun reading through all the fan submissions," Timon said. "Unfortunately, some of the craziest items are impossible to offer at the ballpark. We think we've come up with a tasty top 10 list that is sure to produce another home run on this season's menu."
Below is a complete list of the 10 food contest finalists.
North of the Border Burger
What's better than a hamburger without gravy? A hamburger with gravy! Poutine is a Canadian delicacy, made of French Fries, gravy and cheese curds and can be found in pubs and bars across Canada. Hamburgers are an American delicacy made of grilled ground beef on a bun, invented by Uncle Sam himself and one of the top food items on the 4th of July. Together they combine to form a Poutine burger, a culinary handshake between nations. A Cattleman's burger, French fries, cheese curds, and gravy on a burger bun. (1440 calories)
Burnin' Bacon Dog
The bacon is what brings you in, but the sriracha and jalapenos make you think twice… before AND after. This is the hot dog that will put some hair on your chest. All Beef Hot Dog wrapped in a slice of thick bacon and topped with Sriracha sauce and jalapenos placed on a deli bun.
What happens when you don't have time for breakfast, too busy for lunch and brunch isn't even an option? Combine the best of all three and your mouth is going to thank you. Two brown sugar pop tarts, bacon, lettuce, tomato slice.
Take one of the most beloved Italian dishes of all time, dump it in a fryer, and we dare you not to say "Mamma mia!" after tasting this awesome creation. This one is sure to make Mario and Luigi proud. Lasagna noodles with ricotta cheese, battered in funnel cake batter, fried until brown, and served with marinara sauce.
Once you try this modern take on a traditional meal, you will feel like the wealthiest person in town, if not the heaviest. All beef hot dog topped with mashed potatoes and gravy. (940 calories)
For the person who loves an Italian pie for breakfast but doesn't have any of last night's pizza in the fridge. Pizza dough, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese mixed together and cooked into the shape of a waffle. Served with marinara sauce for dipping.
Straight from the top of Mount Olympus, the Greek god of the sun brought his favorite snack to a ballpark. 300 Spartan soldiers would gladly defend its title of the top tasting option on this list. Feisty Feta cheese spread stuffed into a full sized pita and deep fried (of course).
If you've ever want a hot dog on a stick but thought the corndog was a bit dainty. This is a Hot Dog that won't leave you spuddering. A hot dog on a stick encircled with crispy fried spiral potato chips.
The bacon sensation that swept the nation is back and better than ever! Combined with the only thing that might be better then bacon, chocolate! This food item makes two worlds collide! With a limited supply every game, these dessert Chaco Bacos won't last long. When they're gone, they're gone! Bacon taco shell coated in chocolate and filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with sprinkles. (1670 calories)
Sleeping Bear Dunes Sundae
One of the greatest landmarks in northern Michigan comes to the ballpark as a dessert. Massive drifting dunes of Sea Salt Carmel ice cream with sleepy Teddy Graham topping, it's a vacation served in a full sized batting helmet! (10,000 + calories)
Voting runs for two weeks and concludes Friday, March 7, and will take place on the Whitecaps website, www.whitecapsbaseball.com.The winner will be announced later in March.
The Whitecaps home opener is Tuesday, April 8 against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at 6:35 pm. Season, group and individual game tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com, calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131, by or in person at the temporary administrative offices located at 5716 West River Drive NE in Belmont, at the White Pine Trail overpass (open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.