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Spring training food: better than ever

Oakland Dog

It wasn’t too long ago that food at a spring-training game meant a steamed hot dog, a warm beer or soda, some stale popcorn and perhaps a hamburger — if you were lucky. Today, food is an integral part of the spring-training experience. With fresh-grilled items, plenty of locally brewed cold beer and specialty items galore, spring training food has never been better.

We began our spring-training travels yesterday at the revived Hohokam Stadium. Our official first dog of spring training (shown above): the Oakland Dog, an $8 all-beef dog topped with mac and cheese, chilies and bacon. Heart attack on a bun, but so good.

And the good food doesn’t end there. Take, for example, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the spring home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. Ranging from fresh-made guacamole at Southwestern Fare (located along the third-base-line main concourse) to select fresh Maine lobster dishes from Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, as seen on “Shark Tank,” the food has become an integral part of the ballpark experience. And, of course, you’ll find fresh beer from Four Peaks Brewing Company: Short Hop Session IPA, Kilt Lifter and 8th Street Pale Ale; Sunbru, Kilt Lifter and Peach Ale are available behind home plate near the entrance, with more offerings at the Banana Boat Lawn. Also new in 2015, fans will be able to purchase a 32 oz. souvenir beer mug at all beer portables throughout the stadium in which fans will be able to bring back the mug for discounted refills through the duration of Spring Training.

The food offerings at Champion Stadium, spring home of the Atlanta Braves, have also been upgraded for 2015. New this year, per the Disney Blog: the Fiesta Dog (a foot-long, all-beef hot dog smothered in nacho cheese, chili, shredded cheddar, lettuce, tomato and garnished with nacho chips), the Double Header (featuring two items: a mini-bratwurst and a mini-smoked sausage — sauerkraut on one, peppers and onions on the other, house-made kettle chips on the side), and the Triple Play (a two-pound items with shredded pork, ham and beef, topped with peppers and onions, shredded cheddar cheese and potato strings). As a bonus, these offerings are on the Disney Dining Plan for those combining a Disney vacation with spring training.

And, of course, there are plenty of returning delicacies. Speaking of Four Peaks: the Kilt Lifter Tap Room is a mainstay at Tempe Diablo Stadium for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fans, with several varieties on tap; the firm also has a tent at Peoria Stadium for Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres games. Hammond Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins, will offer those famous grilled hamburgers as well as the unique beer milkshakes. Strawberry shortcake is a must at a Detroit Tigers game at Joker Marchant Stadium. The Milwaukee Brewers are bringing a Miller Park favorite to Maryvale Baseball Park: Bratchos are kettle chips covered with bratwurst and nacho cheese. Philly cheesesteaks are still on sale at Bright House Field, spring home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Fenway Franks are on sale at JetBlue Park. The Skyline Chili dog returns to Goodyear Ballpark, spring home of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians. We’ll have a full report from Hohokam Stadium tomorrow, but for now you can note that Bay Area fave Ike’s Place will be selling sandwiches with an Oakland twist.

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