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Joe Boozell and Austin Vaughn | | June 25, 2016

6 of the best concessions at TD Ameritrade Park

One of the best parts about attending a baseball game is the smell of the grill that hits your senses right as you walk through the turnstile. Simply put, it’s glorious.

Hot dogs and crackerjacks have long been staples of any ballpark menu, but what makes these stadiums unique is their willingness to offer new things. TD Ameritrade Park falls in that bucket. The home of the College World Series serves all of the necessities, but dabbles in some unconventional items, too.

On Saturday, staffers took it upon themselves to try a variety of TD Ameritrade’s offerings. Here are their thoughts:

Food item: Footlong Italian sausage

Taste tester: Joe Boozell

JB’s comments:

TD Ameritrade’s footlong Italian sausage was the first thing I ate on Saturday. In the midst of doing so, I realized that this footlong beast probably wasn’t intended to be a breakfast item, but I trucked on anyway.

And boy, was I glad I did. Overall, I thought it was really good. I was told that the sausage would be best with red peppers and onions on it, and suffice it to say, I got good advice. I’ve had several Italian sausages in my day that tasted incredible, but were as messy as they were delicious. Not the TD Ameritrade version. It was clean, it was tasty, and it was a great way to start the day.  

Food item: The Taquito

Taste tester: Austin Vaughn

AV's comments:

It was hard to walk around TD Ameritrade without noticing a particular food item. Not necessarily because it looked tasty, but because it was easily the largest piece of edible merchandise at the park.

I’m a fan of taquitos, sure, but the novelty of the size attracted me to it as much as the food itself.

The giant taquito is actually two taquitos -- something I wasn’t expecting, I was only able to consume one -- each over a foot long, laid over a bed of lettuce and topped with crisscrossing lines of chipotle sauce, sour cream and sprinkled pico de gallo.

Inside the crunchy outer shell was a creamy mixture of shredded chicken, buffalo sauce and sour cream. The taquito was delicious and perfect for a ballpark meal, and it will keep you full through a full day of games. But I would still recommend having a friend or three offer to help you before ordering.

Food item: Strawberry-banana smoothie

Taste tester: Joe Boozell

JB’s comments:

As I was pondering whether or not eating a footlong piece of meat for breakfast was a good idea, something caught my eye. It was about 1:00 CT, and the tarp was still on the infield after some moderate Omaha showers.

I noticed an Arizona player exit the dugout and run up the stairs to the concourse. When freshman pitcher Austin Rubick returned, he was carrying a strawberry banana smoothie. If Rubick was willing to go to such lengths to obtain a pregame smoothie, I knew I had to try one.

The verdict? It was fine. The smoothie was a bit light for my liking, but overall, I enjoyed it. It had a real summer flavor that certainly lends itself well to a hot afternoon of baseball, and the whipped cream on top was a nice touch. As was the stand in which they are served:

It was a nice, albeit peculiar complement to the Italian sausage.

Food item: The Danger Dog

Taste tester: Austin Vaughn

AV's Comments:

Danger is my middle name; so, I obviously had to go with the Danger Dog. This isn’t your daddy’s ballpark frank. It's topped with shredded buffalo chicken and “angry jalapeño slaw.” Before I stepped away from the counter, the concession employee told me I was “a brave man.”

However, I was slightly disappointed. The dog was delicious, but it wasn’t spicy. It had “spice,” but it wasn’t hot. The slaw was really great. It tasted fresh and handmade, and the jalapeños were fresh, not pickled. The buffalo chicken and the link mixed well together flavor-wise. Only downside? T’was a bit messy.

Food item: The Big Pig

Taste tester: Joe Boozell

JB's comments:

I approached the burger stand with two intriguing options at my disposal: the Home Run Burger, or the Big Pig.

Torn, I decided to ask the concession worker for advice. He was decisive in his answer.

“Definitely the Big Pig,” he said.

He knew exactly what he was talking about.

The Big Pig, for the inquisitive folks, is a burger that consists of coleslaw, pulled pork, American cheese, a regular hamburger patty and applewood smoked bacon. It was my favorite item of the day by a longshot, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. 10/10 from this aspiring food critic.

Food item: Dessert Nacho

Taste tester: Austin Vaughn

AV's comments:

Of all the options for those with an aching sweet tooth, the most appetizing was the Dessert Nacho.

This sweet dream started at the bottom with "cinnamon churro chips,” a kind of fried, sweet tortilla chip dusted with cinnamon sugar. The churro chips were then topped with a generous layer of vanilla soft-serve ice cream and chocolate syrup.

The Dessert Nacho was as delicious as it sounds, but this is another item you’ll want to share. It's the perfect thing to cool yourself down at a hot ballgame while at the same time getting your sweet fix.

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