ARLINGTON -- Opening Day might not be until Thursday, but for Rangers executive chef Cris Vazquez, Monday was his big 2018 season debut.That's because Monday was the official unveiling of all the new concession and suite food items that will be available to the public starting Thursday, when the Rangers
ARLINGTON -- Opening Day might not be until Thursday, but for Rangers executive chef Cris Vazquez, Monday was his big 2018 season debut.
That's because Monday was the official unveiling of all the new concession and suite food items that will be available to the public starting Thursday, when the Rangers host the Houston Astros.
And just like Opening Day, Vazquez was anxious to see what the reaction was going to be to a menu that now includes everything from a $10 dill pickle that's stuffed with a hot dog and deep fried to a chicken sandwich that's as big as your face and comes with a $27.50 price tag.
But for the originator of the $26 Boomstick two-foot hot dog that debuted when Nelson Cruz was starring with the Rangers, there was really no reason to worry.
"Today's the day," Vazquez said. "We've been thinking about this since the season was over. It gets harder and harder. The main thing is we try to beat everyone else. You see what they're doing and try to come up with something that's crazier and it's more fun for your fans. It's hard, but it's fun."
So what's going to be the big concession hit at the ballpark this year? It depends on who you ask and what's your taste.
Vazquez is partial to The Triple B -- a bacon, brisket and bologna sandwich that's covered in barbecue sauce and served on a roll. For Casey Rapp, the general manager of Delaware North, it's The Dilly Dog.
It's certainly the most interesting item and it has a local flair. The massive pickle that surrounds the hot dog is made by Best Maid, a company from Mansfield. The hot dog that's inside it is made by the Texas Chili Company, which is located in Fort Worth.
The combination makes for a food item that's as big as Texas.
"Most of our popular items go back to ballpark favorites," Rapp said. "It has a hot dog in it. It's also a corn dog. You also throw a pickle into it. I kind of liken it to a hot dog and put relish on it. We're kind of doing that for you. I don't want to claim that we started it, because I've seen some posts where smaller places have done something similar. I think what we've done is we've made it our own."
While those two items are favorites, there are plenty of others, from the 7th Inning Cinnamon Roll to a hot dog wrapped in bacon covered with Cheetos cheese sauce.
Globe Life Park also reigns as No. 1 on PETA's list of top vegan-friendly ballparks. And this year, there's even more vegan fare, with the introduction of Vegan Nachos Grande and the Vegan Top N Go Frito Pie.
Even though some of the items sound a little bit out there, Vazquez knows that the bottom line is the food has to taste good.
"You can have a wonderful dish, but if you can't execute it, it's going to be a bad idea," he said. "You have to be able to mass produce this. You have to be crazy and think outside the box, but can you do it? Can you do it in a concession stand? Can you do it for 40,000 fans? Every year, we've been able to do it. And that's the beauty of working at the ballpark."
Anthony Andro is a contributor for MLB.com based in Arlington.