With a lot of hoopla, TV cameras, food stations, and hungry guests, the Orioles staff and new food vendor Delaware North Companies Sportservice introduced its new menu items at Camden Yards today.
But don’t worry. Boog’s BBQ will still be fielding hits with its sandwiches on Eutaw Street with two new additions—a Big Boog sandwich with twice the meat and potato chips seasoned with Boog’s special seasoning blend.
Pollock Johnny’s sausage is also represented at various kiosks, where you can also indulge in a recently created Birdland Dog with an Esskay hotdog topped with smoked pit beef, pepperoni hash, stewed tomato jam, and fried onions.
I had a chance to sample many of the offerings this morning and was impressed that Sportservice and its Camden Yards chefs—executive chef Josh Distenfeld, pictured, and sous chef David Friendlich, a Randallstown native—are focusing on local, seasonal ingredients with a nod to Baltimore tastes.
Here’s what I ate (good thing I didn’t have breakfast):
Two kinds of crab cakes—Both were made with jumbo lump crab and were developed by chef Friendlich. One is a fat, pure patty with no enhancement but is delicious in its own right; the other got a boost from a mild undercurrent of Tabasco and Old Bay. The crowd favorite, including mine, seemed to be the Tabasco cake. There were even miniature Tabasco bottles if you wanted more heat.
Tex-Mex crab rolls—The chef called them crab enchiladas. The official description was “Rolling Crab.” No matter the name. They were really good.
Beer-Battered Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich—I loved this sandwich. It features a Natty Boh-and-Old-Bay-battered, fried soft shell topped with a jalapeño pepper slice and slaw on a soft roll.
Chop House Steak & Egg Sandwich—Sorry, I have to use a Rachel Ray demonstrative, “Yum-O.” Picture it: Slices of marinated Angus steak with balsamic onions, horseradish cream, and Gouda cheese with a fried egg on top.
Baltimore wedge salad—Yes, there are fresh greens at the ballpark. This welcome salad has soft butter lettuce tossed with grape tomatoes, bacon, green onions, garbanzo beans, peas, and blue cheese with a red-wine vinaigrette.
O’s pretzel, pictured—I have a fondness for pretzels and probably eat too many. But I know the pretenders and wannabes. These fresh-made, hand-rolled ropes of dough, shaped like a capital “O” to show team spirit, with a sprinkle of kosher salt make my cut any day.
Other offerings you’ll find at the ballpark:
A Little Italy meatball sub, Old Bay wings, Berger cookies, and that Food Network sandwich I mentioned in an earlier post, which will be introduced in May along with another steak sandwich called the Red, White, and Blue, lathered with Peppadew mayo.
The Sportservice folks are also in touch with a company called Organics to Go to bring organic and some gluten-free fare to the ballpark.
And while Sportservice hopes the fans will enjoy the new food items, its president, Rick Abramson, will be paying attention to what sells or doesn’t. “We’ll continue to enhance this menu,” he said. “On an ongoing basis, we will look at other foods we can bring to the ballpark.”
Here’s to the Orioles having a winning season. But, whatever happens, we won’t have to worry about striking out with the food.
Photo by me