Food & Drink

Rangers, concessionaire preview new food items for 2016

By far the most outrageous new food item at Globe Life Park this year is the Wicked Pig: pulled pork, thick-cut Danish bacon, a split sausage, prosciutto, thick-sliced ham, all covered in barbecue sauce, topped with coleslaw, conducting a balancing act between two Hawaiian rolls that rest among a litter of pork rinds.

At a media preview Thursday morning presented by the Texas Rangers and concessionaire Delaware North Sportservice, samples of the Wicked Pig ran out before I could try one.

If the reaction to the Wicked Pig at the preview is any indication, this $27 ... um, sandwich seems to be too weak a word ... will be popular this season. To be clear, the samples were about the size of a slider (the burger, not the pitch), making them something like an eighth of the size of the real thing.

Like all the other items featured at the preview, the Wicked Pig will only be available in a specific part of the ballpark, in the Wicked Pig’s case, the 557 Smokehouse in section 49.

At the other end of the food spectrum, there was a display set up for the Ballpark Vegan, a meat/dairy/honey/etc.-free cart that included such items as a Southwest Black Bean Burger (the patty is not made in-house), vegan nachos, a vegan hot dog, vegan chili, and more.

Samples of the vegan food weren’t available, but a Delaware North representative did recommend the vegan chili. The Ballpark Vegan cart will be in section 16 of Globe Life; prices of the items vary.

In between those two extremes, here’s what we were able to sample. Sample is a key word here: It’s hard to judge, say, a four-patty cheeseburger when the sample is about a quarter of the size of the real thing and only has two patties.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Dog: “Flamin’ Hot” sounds a little intimidating, but most fire-eaters would hardly shrug at the heat from this all-beef hot dog topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-infused nacho cheese and sprinkled with more Flamin’ Hot Cheetos “for an atomic kick.” As a gussied-up hot dog, it was pretty good, but the plesant spice from it was more firecracker than atomic. ($10.50; at American Dog stands in sections 22 and 48)

Chicken & Donut Skewer: In this case, the sample —a boneless chicken wing drizzled with Buffalo honey sauce, adjacent to a fresh doughnut hole on a skewer — did provide a pretty good idea of the real thing: Chicken was nicely cooked, tender, a little spicy, bumping up against a crunchy-to-soft doughnut with powdered sugar you’ll be dusting off your clothes. The major difference: The real thing is 12 inches’ worth of this combo. ($12; at Flew the Coop in section 50)

Pudge’s Plate: This hot-pressed panini is around the size of one of Pudge Rodriguez’s fists, making it larger than most panini that we’ve encountered. The sample (closer to the size of a regular sandwich) was pretty good, a nice little combo of turkey patty, turkey breast, spinach and provolone cheese — although with those mostly subtle ingredients, it’s surprising that we didn’t notice the Sriracha aioli on the sandwich. ($16; in the Captain Morgan Club)

Homerun Cheeseburger: It’s a four-patty cheesburger on a brioche bun, but other than that it’s pretty standard: American cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, served with a pickle spear and waffle fries. The sample, as mentioned, was more of a two-patty slider, and once again reminded us that American cheese’s primary reason for existence is how good it tastes melted between and around all that beef. ($16.50; in the Captain Morgan Club)

The Big Texas Club: This monster, only available in suites and (we think) meant for sharing, included turkey breast, salami, bacon, pepperjack cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayonnaise between “Texas-size” buns. Even the sample size proved a little hard to eat, with the meat and condiments quickly sliding away from the bread. Forks advised.

The food display included what might be the most insane Bloody Mary we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen some pretty nutty ones: a 32-ounce Bloody Mary garnished with skewers of mini-quesadillas, brisket sliders (yes, a skewer of them), sausage and cheese, shrimp and tomatoes, chicken and donuts, a piece of bacon so thick-cut we mistook it for steak, and peppers for that vegetable touch. It’s $30 and only available on Sunday, but it might take care of your eating and drinking for a week.

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