Appetizers
March 30, 2011
Preview of Raley Field's new food items

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Better get your guts in gear. The Sacramento River Cats baseball season starts April 7 and they're rolling out some food items that'll send your digestion into extra innings. How about a "Donut Bacon Cheeseburger" ($7.75, $9.75 w/ fries) while you root on the 'Cats? It's a 1/3 pound burger topped with cheddar cheese and bacon, and nestled between two glazed donuts - you know, just like grandma used to make when she said you weren't eating well enough. (That is, if your grandma is Paula Deen).

Or maybe the new "Baked Potato Dog" ($7) is more to your liking. It feels almost as heavy as a newborn, with a Raley Field jumbo dog plopped inside a butter and sour cream laden baked potato. This twist on the good old fashioned hot dog should be eaten with a knife and fork, unless you have some rubber gloves on hand. It's something like eating a hot dog and mashed up french fries all at once.

These were among the new food items previewed today at Raley Field, where more than 50,000 hot dogs and sausages are consumed over the course of a baseball season. Many fan favorites remain, including the "Sac Town Dog" ($7) with fried onion strings and bleu cheese crumbles. The "Pacific Wild Salmon Tacos" ($7.75), which proved to be a hit with fans looking for a somewhat healthier food option, will also return in their salsa fresca and lime-cilantro aioli goodness.

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Coming up to the plate for the 2011 season are a new "Walkin' Taco" ($7.75). Unlike the standard stationary taco that we're all used to, this taco stuffs either steak, chicken or chayote squash and a variety of veggies in a waffle cone.

The squash taco was among the better food items tasted today, with pleasantly spicy flavors and enough heft to make you feel satisfied but not enter the realm of food coma. The meat versions also seemed to be a hit around today's tasting, but the meat seemed to cool off fairly quick. This could be even more of an issue once it's game time and the evening Delta breeze starts to kick in.

But for something fresh on a warm Sacramento night we'll have to go with the "Mango on a Stick" ($5), which comes with a nice kick of chile powder and lime juice. Those looking for more meatless options will welcome the vegan "Chipotle Black Bean Burger" ($6.75) and "Veggie Italian Sausage" ($7). The soy-based sausage comes from Trader Joe's and proved to be filling enough while taking in a game of the Great American Pastime.

Overall, look for food prices to rise 2 percent at Raley Field compared to last season, which is due to rising costs in fuel and food items. Raley Field currently contracts with Ovations, a Florida-based food service company that has contracts with baseball parks and other arenas around the country.

So play ball ... and grab a bunch of napkins.

Note: Price information for "donut bacon burger" corrected

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