Showing posts with label Minute Made Park. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Minute Made Park. Show all posts

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Texas Dog #BallparkFood #Giveaway

A bacon-wrapped hot dog, tucked into a well-buttered, grilled slice of Texas toast, then heaped with jalapeño relish. Make your own or head on over to Minute Maid Park and enjoy a baseball game as well. 

One baseball season, 30 baseball parks to visit, with the sole goal of trying All The Food. Sounds like a dream job. The author of The Joy of Ballpark Food – From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine, Bennett Jacobstein took it upon himself, selfless person that he is, to research ballpark food and, along with his long suffering wife (and photographer) he did indeed visit all the major league parks in the 2014 season, eating his way through a substantial menu of offerings, in support of a bigger cause, the Second Harvest Food Bank. All royalties from his book will benefit SHFB.

Jacobstein shares his culinary discoveries, along with historical curiosities about the start of concession food from the beginning of hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks – and a thorough discussion of the song that made the last two famous - through new trendier dishes like carne asada waffle fries and crab-stuffed pretzels. (Unfortunately, no recipes are included, so you have to make the rounds yourself to taste the food!)

Maybe I’m a food nerd, but the history was my favorite part. Who knew that the man most responsible for popularizing hot dogs at baseball games was a Brit, born in Derbyshire, England? Or that nachos were first invented by a waiter named Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya who called them Nacho’s Especiale, since he had created them? I was also tantalized by the menus from each ballpark, starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks and their Venom Dog made with habanero sausage through the Washington Nationals speciality dog named the DVM in which a foot-long half smoke is smothered with Maryland crab dip, then topped with Virginia ham.

This book would be a great gift for a baseball fan, perhaps to accompany some tickets to a ball game or even, maybe, a series of tickets in different cities so the recipient can try foodie favorites in a few places, budget allowing. But I gotta warn you, if your friends and family are the type to quote historical dates and numbers, you may well be hearing more facts about popcorn and hot dogs, not to mention Cracker Jacks, than you ever wanted to know. Because they are all in there, and Jacobstein’s warm and engaging delivery and sense of humor are motivation to keep reading.

I call Houston my hometown on Facebook and here on my blog About Me page, but sadly, I have never been to a home game in The Juice Box, aka Minute Maid Park . Truth is, I haven’t lived in Houston for a good number of years and a trip to the ballpark when I am home just never came up. When I read the fabulous food on offer, I wonder why. It doesn’t have to be about the ball game apparently. There are folks who just go for the food. Jacobstein doesn’t mention it, but Minute Maid Park has an all you can eat option, which includes a game ticket on the mezzanine floor and all you can eat hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, peanuts and soda. Way to upsize it Texas-style, Minute Maid! First thing I’m going to try is the Texas Dog, because it’s wrapped with BACON and cooked, then it’s put in Texas toast, and finally, it’s covered in jalapeño relish. And since I can’t wait, let’s just try one now.

A Note on Texas Toast
Here’s the thing about Texas toast: Don’t be shy about either cutting it thick or spreading on the butter the same way. The butter’s where it’s at when it comes to toasting slices on a griddle. Also, garlic is not essential, never mind what Bobby Flay might have you believe. The original Texas toast, whether it started in Dallas or Beaumont, certainly didn’t have garlic. Okay, tiny rant over. Let’s bacon wrap a dog!

1 slice smoked bacon (not thick cut)
1 hot dog of your choice (These here are Oscar Mayer because that's what I can get in Dubai.)
1 double thick slice bread
Butter, softened
2 tablespoons spicy jalapeño relish

Wrap your bacon around the hot dog and secure it with toothpicks.

Fry the bacon-wrapped wiener until the bacon is crispy and the dog is hot through. Remove the toothpicks.

Apply softened butter liberally to both sides your thick cut bread.

Toast it on a griddle until golden and crunchy on both sides.

Place the hot dog in the bread and fold it up.

Cover it with the relish.


If you know someone who would enjoy receiving a copy of this book, please head over to the website to buy one. Remember that all royalties benefit Second Harvest Food Bank so you’ll be doing a good deed and making someone happy all at the same time!

And since this is a charity effort, I am going to send my copy to one reader (US shipping addresses only, please, and book will be mailed out at the end of May from Houston, Texas) and the promoter is also offering one Kindle version to anyone worldwide who can accept an ebook from

To enter the drawing, leave me a comment saying 1. real book or ebook and 2. who you are going to give it to and 3. why you think that person deserves it. It could be yourself and you are the biggest foodie baseball fan you know. Sell me! I’ll choose two winners from the comments on Wednesday, 13 May.

My decision is final and no discussions or objections will be entertained. Winners will be notified by email (The Disqus commenting system automatically saves them for me so make sure you use a valid email to comment.) and will have 48 hours to respond. If an original winner does not respond in that time frame, I will choose another winner. And so on, until we give both books away.

It’s a fun read! You all are going to love it!

Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of The Joy of Ballpark Food – From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine. No other remuneration was received. I am delighted to support this fundraising effort for Second Harvest Food Bank.

Update: I chickened out and couldn't chose between the comments for a winner so I let the random number generator at do the job. Our winner for the real book is Jan Elmore and she has been sent an email to confirm this.

Thanks for playing, everyone!