Sports Illustrated, May 16, 1983

You Gotta Have Heartburn

Here's the best and worst culinary fare found at big league concession
stands across the nation.

By Steve Kluger and Colleen Wilson


    THE WINNERS

    1. MILWAUKEE BREWERS—Bratwurst, knackwurst,
    Polish sausage and three different kinds of hot dogs,
    smothered in barbecue sauce or sauerkraut. If you're
    slumming, try the broiled steak sandwiches and roast
    beef, stuffed into freshly baked French rolls.

    2. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS—The chili dogs are a
    religious experience, with pizza that's positively
    Papal. Enjoy how the Frozen Spoon Malts turn into
    pure cream on the way down and then ask yourself
    why the Cardinals don't cater.

    3. TEXAS RANGERS—The charbroiled sausages are
    in first place, and the ribs belong in the Hall of Fame.
    Everything except the soft drinks is basted in
    barbecue sauce, most notably the beef-and-cheese
    patties that have long since made Texans forget the
    Alamo.

4. ATLANTA BRAVES—Frankly, my dear, these are the only edible nachos in the
major leagues, served with the smokiest franks in the South. If the homegrown chili
isn't enough to make you whistle Dixie, the barbecued pork will.

5. NEW YORK METS—The magic is back, and it's all in the hot dogs. They aren't two
feet long, they aren't doused with spices and they bear no cute names. They're just
terrific. And save room for the crispy fries that have the fine color of a new glove.

    THE LOSERS

1. KANSAS CITY ROYALS—The entire menu suffers
from acute anemia. The franks are small and flavorless,
the French fries taste like old horsehide and the potato
chips squish. Perhaps the waterfall in rightfield explains
why everything's soggy.

2. CHICAGO CUBS—The main attraction is the red-hot,
which looks delicious and smells great. Now if only it
had a flavor. The French fries have the consistency of
loosely packed gravel. Most everything else is prewrapped,
prefrozen, preheated and preawful.

3. BOSTON RED SOX—You may climb the wall if you
bite into a dog here. Its not-quite-cooked quality will
give you the impression it's about to do something
unnerving—like sit up. As for the buns, if they contain any fiber, it's gotta be rayon.

4. DETROIT TIGERS—Tiger Stadium is one of the oldest ball parks in the major
leagues—and the food is obviously left over from that first Opening Day in 1912. The
franks are stale, the mustard is brown when it shouldn't be. Pack a lunch.

5. SAN DIEGO PADRES—Mealy, mushy hot dogs that disintegrate on sight,
congealed condiments and nacho chips that are covered with pasteurized rubber
cement. Altogether, about as appealing as a stomachache.