Many people describe Coca-Cola Field as the crown jewel of downtown Buffalo, but to me – it’s more accurate if you take that crown jewel, dip it in batter and deep-fry it to a crispy, golden brown.
That’s right mildly-enthusiastic minor league baseball fans – the boys are back in town (spread the word around). And as per usual, the Rich Products-owned Buffalo Bisons have debuted the latest additions to the regular ballpark food offerings we’ve come to know and love.
According to an official press release, this year’s additions include The Original Pizza Log (“Official Pizza Log of the Buffalo Bisons”), Buffalo Wing Popcorn, Oreo churros, pulled pork sandwiches, The MONSTER burger, turkey nachos, “Irish” nachos and local craft beer from Big Ditch Brewery.
I recently headed down to the ballpark and upon walking through the gates, I re-realized just how truly great the stadium is in its elegant simplicity. Bob Rich, Jimmy Griffin and others got it right when they built this old school, open air cathedral to America’s National Pastime. The park, named Pilot Field at the time, was so popular within professional baseball upon its completion – other “retro” major and minor league parks built in the 90s are said to have been influenced by it.
As anyone in Buffalo will tell you, appreciating classic architecture can really work up a thirst for something with alcohol in it, so I made a bee-line for the Craft Brew Corner and picked up a Big Ditch Hayburner IPA. Next, it was onto the salty, fatty, fried food.
Since it was a Sunday, all of the concessions stalls weren’t open. However, I did realize that many of the newest offerings are all concentrated in a single central stand on the first floor (please fix this Bisons!). All of the rookie items were there though. Oreo churros looked like what you might expect: a chocolate churro with white frosting sauce for dipping. The Original Pizza Log looked like, well, a pizza log.
The central stand also had a number of other big hitters that were introduced in previous years – poutine, mini tacos and firecrackers – which are greasy, Mexican-ish deep fried egg rolls with chicken, corn and black beans inside.
In addition to the Bisons’ concessions, local vendors are also quite well represented at the ball park, including stands for Charlie the Butcher, La Nova, Sahlens, Costanzos and ice cream from Upstate Farms.
Armed with a paper boat of firecrackers and my Hayburner, I set-up shop atop the Bully Hill Party Deck. On Sundays, the outfield deck should really be renamed to the Party-ed Deck, since I was among groups of twenty-somethings all wearing sunglasses and trading stories about what they did last night.
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My peaceful and sunny afternoon of deep-fried goodness and hoppy bliss was momentarily interrupted, however, by something a bit unexpected: baseball.
After hearing the crack of a bat in the top of the second, I looked up to see a small white orb – and that thing was headed right for this intrepid reporter! Thinking that I may be called into action here, I started to rise from my seat. Somewhere below me, I heard the hungover, mock-encouragement of “THAT’S YOU BUDDY!”
I started to take a few steps toward my projected flight path of the ball, arms outstretched like a 13-month-old trying to learn how to walk. It saddens me to tell you, dear reader, that I did not catch that ball. It was too high, and too far – or so I continue to tell myself.
Having worked up a thirst during that halfway-decent effort, I headed back to the concessions for a Buffalo Wing sausage patty sandwich and another craft brew. I couldn’t tell if it was the adrenaline coursing through my veins or my sodium-induced rising blood pressure, but it now felt like baseball was truly back in Buffalo.
See you at the ballpark!
Buffalo Bisons baseball
April 9 – September 7
$8 on Markdown Mondays
$10-13 (pre-sale, add $1 at the box office)
$11-13 FridayNightBash (pre-sale, add $1 at the box office)
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