Back in the day when we were punks growing up in the late sixties times were simpler. Vietnam, race riots, hippies, assassinations. Gone is the color and festival like atmosphere of an innocent age.
We could count on only a few things. In the Spring and Summer a bunch of us could hop on the train downtown, sneak into Cleveland Stadium after a few innings, pick our own seats and enjoy a hot dog or two with a bag of peanuts and a couple of Cokes. We could do this all with a ten-dollar bill and come home with change in our pocket. And we could count on the Indians losing.
Times have changed since then. It’s April 1 now and the Tribe is undefeated and while the Cubbies dropped their opening game, I’m still not backing off from my yearly prediction of an Indians-Cubs World Series this fall. That’s why they call me the Swami.
But hot dogs sure have changed since then. A fat guy or an old-timer hauling around a stainless steamer full of hot dogs, a steamed bun, mustard and a napkin. All for a buck and a quarter.
Now a days go to the ballpark and don’t leave home without your American Express card. In fact, bring along the family and it will set you back two or three hundred bucks with no guarantee your team is going to win.
I’ve surveyed a few ballparks around the country as we settle in to opening week of the hot stove season, and the Swami has found a few hot dog creations that cost more than a porterhouse steak at the Sizzler. Check out the list for some examples and Go Tribe!
Atlanta Braves Dixie Dog
This baby is deep-fried. A half-pound all-beef dog measuring 18 inches topped with low-country BBQ sauce, pulled pork, slaw and pickles.
The Beast, Miller Field Milwaukee Brewers
Grilled brat stuffed with a grilled dog wrapped in bacon the grilled again. Topped with kraut, grilled onions on a pretzel roll. Kind of like the Turducken of hot dogs.
Stuggy’s Crab Mac & Cheese Dog at Camden Yards
All-beef, split down the middle and loaded with Mac & cheese, fresh lump crab and a dusting of Old Bay on a lobster roll. Like dining at a hot dog stand, a diner and a seaside crab shack all at the same time.
D Bat Dog Arizona Diamondbacks
It's an 18-inch corn dog stuffed with cheddar cheese, jalapenos and bacon, served with a side of fries. Cost? $25. This one is like going to the Monte Carlo county fair.
The Boomstick, Texas Rangers
The legendary Boomstick is a 2-foot all-beef hot dog, smothered in chili, nacho cheese, jalapenos and caramelized onions, all on top of a massive potato bun. The whole thing weighs in at 3 pounds. This one will set you back $26.