Last Triple A baseball season, the 700,000 hungry fans who flocked to Raley Field to watch the Sacramento River Cats were abuzz over a novelty item that wouldn't be out of place at the state fair. It was a bacon cheeseburger wedged between two glazed doughnuts (pictured; photograph by Andy Alfaro). Yikes!
That item is back this year, along with other returning favorites and a few new dishes, said executive chef Ryan Curry of Ovations Food Services, the concessions vendor.
Returning will be the chicken strip basket with fries, Ceasar salad, tostadas salad, tri-tip sandwich, pork ribs, garlic fries and the iconic Dinger Dog, to name a few.
Ovations switched from Alpine-brand dogs and sausages (bratwurst, hot link, Polish) to the Wienerschnitzel brand. Gone is Straw Hat pizza, replaced by Round Table.
Kinder's Meats will offer a new Grand Slamwich, piled high with smoked and sliced ball tip (tri-tip's leaner cousin).
"We're going away from frozen burger patties, to using locally raised ground beef for our hamburgrs," chef Curry said.
New, too, will be a cart selling sliders - barbecued pork, spicy chicken and beef.
As for gluten-free offerings: pulled pork-stuffed baked potato, cookies, brownies and burger buns (at three concessions stands).
A new beer garden will offer 16 drafts, mostly craft brews from Northern California breweries.
Food prices have risen by "only two percent over last year," said Ovations general manager Mark Stone. Items will range from $3.75 to $9, he said.
"Our motto here is, 'Everything is fresh' and we're proud of that," added chef Curry. "Caesar salad is tossed to order, for instance, and we don't cook and wrap hot dogs and put them in a warmer; each one comes off the roller to order."
The River Cats' home opener will be at 7:05 p.m. April 13, versus the Reno Aces.
More information: www.rivercats.com.