The Hartford Yard Goats invited reporters for a sneak peek highlighting food that will be served at Dunkin Park this season.
By Ronni Newton
The Hartford Yard Goats baseball season begins Thursday, April 6, 2023, with the first pitch against the Bowie Baysox scheduled for 7:10 p.m., but all who partake in the experience at Dunkin’ Park – as the stadium has been recently renamed – know that watching the game is just one element of the overall experience.
For West Hartford residents and others from throughout the area who enjoy the Yard Goats, a night at the Dunk includes a chance to sample some unique and perhaps not-all-that-healthy food items. And while this year’s menu of offerings is a bit less “extreme” than it has been in other years, there are many delicious must-try items.
“It’s definitely one of the more exciting years for food here at Dunkin’ Park,” said Yard Goats President Tim Restall, who has a food and beverage background and looks forward to the annual reveal of the menu created by chef Joe Bartlett and his team.
“We’ve kind of drawn away from the crazy, crazy foods,” Bartlett said a sneak peek showcase event for reporters Monday. “We wanted to draw back to the ‘classic ballpark.'”
The popcorn – with its distinctive smell – is always alluring ballpark food, and that of course will remain a staple, Bartlett said. Pizza – also a staple – will be changed up this year, with the Grazin’ Goat offering personal-size pita crust pizzas in cheese and pepperoni.
“We have a spicy fried pickle because we are now known as the ‘Bouncing Pickles’ for a few games,” Bartlett said. The pickles – which appeared to be a hit with the reporters, are breaded and lightly fried with a little kick.
Both the pickle fries and chicken fries are (available with barbecue sauce and other condiments) can be found at the Dark Blues Diner and Huck’s Hot Corner concession areas.
The brand new “Philly egg roll” – a take on the Philly cheese steak – is served with melted cheddar.
The “Uncrust-able” is the Yard Goats’ version of a PB&J sandwich. It’s made with sunflower seed butter since the stadium is totally peanut-free, plus jelly and a dusting of powdered sugar.
There’s a foot-long hot dog wrapped in bacon, and a Mediterranean burger served between two pitas with hummus, feta cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Cones come filled with savory (don’t worry, there is plenty of ice cream available, too) mac and cheese topped with toasted breadcrumbs and buffalo chicken nuggets.
“We have our Munchkin wrapped in bacon which is a staple,” Bartlett said, as cheers rang out from the press corps.
Other handheld items range from the classic corn dog to a hot chicken sandwiched between two honey-glazed Dunkin’ Donuts.
In the suites and the club lounge there are big – really big – party sandwiches available. An excellent accompaniment is the onion ring tower. Another choice available in the suites is a sampler of grilled cheese that includes combos with pork, bacon, and portobello and tomato, as well as the “classic” sandwich.
Fried Oreos – with a choice of chocolate or caramel dipping sauce – will be offered in multiple concession areas, Bartlett said.
“Our featured ‘Goat-Ade’ is back,” Bartlett said. The lightly-hopped pale ale, a Shandy brewed locally by Thomas Hooker, is the “perfect beverage for game day,” according to the brewery. Other beers are offered throughout the stadium as well – including brew served in a 32-ounce “beer bat.”
The Daym Drops “Cheddar Hot Cheeto” dog returns, Bartlett said, and topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, jalapeños, and boom-boom sauce, and can be found throughout the stadium along with hot dogs from Mucke’s, which is a new vendor to the stadium this year.
To view the Yard Goats 2023 schedule and information about promotions and purchasing tickets, click here.
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