When sportswriter Carlos Monarrez says "Comerica Park chef Mark Szubeczak and his staff . . . are pushing the envelope," the Detroit Free Press staffer means it as a compliment.
Fans soon can decide whether some new Detroit Tigers snacks push in a good way or too far. At Crain's Detroit Business, Annalise Frank refers to "zany food combinations." Bill Shea, a colleague of hers, observes in a tweet: "Some of these seem awkward to eat in a ballpark setting."
We haven't tasted any yet, and honestly don't want to try some envelope-pushing concoctions journalists previewed a few days ago at a promotion for the April 4 home opener. They include:
► Bánh mì: A thick bacon slab in a bun, topped with Asian slaw and sriracha aioli for those who want a Vietnamese sandwich resembling a hot dog. "Be warned: The bacon tastes a bit like fatty spare ribs," Monarrez advises frankly.
► Coney dog egg roll: Cultures combine . . . or collide?
► Al pastor hot dog: This mash-up "might be asking too much of ballpark fans," Monarrez suggests semi-tractfully. "There was just a bit too much going on with the natural-casing dog topped with smoked pulled pork, pineapple relish, sriracha aioli and cotija cheese."
► Salad in a jar: Greens, tomato, cheese, croutons and dressing in a glass jar with a metal twist-off lid, as though it's some kind of garden moonshine. Basic version for $8, or upgrade with grains and chicken for $9.
► Zeppole: A deep-fried Italian pastry doughnut with chocolate dipping sauce, because why shouldn't a ballpark be like a state fair midway?
Nothing at CoPa sounds as gross as what's coming to the Arizona Diamondbacks' stadium in Phoenix: three varieties of 18-inch hot dogs "expertly crafted to be as overstuffed as possible," as Deadspin writer Luis Paez-Pumar puts it. He savages them as "culinary atrocities . . . in violation of most if not all of the seven deadly sins." The $30 cost for each certainly qualifies as greed.
Deadspin's rip reaches beyond one team to barf on the full array of what it calls "stadium stunt food—viral-friendly food-based advertisements designed expressly to be good for nothing else other than to be purchased by bored stadium-goers, photographed, posted on social media, nibbled on out of dutiful curiosity and promptly thrown away."