Great American Ball Park will debut a slate of new snacks for the 2022 season, with some elevated fare especially for vegetarians.
During an April 5 media preview event, Gary Davis, executive chef for Great American Ball Park's hospitality provider Delaware North, told CityBeat that though he’s been exploring new creations during his five years with the company, he wanted to make a point to include more items for plant-eaters during the Cincinnati Reds' 2022 season, including some that came from fan input.
"I had a lady stop me and told me that we need to have more vegetarian items here at the ballpark, so I really want to put an emphasis on it that she knows specifically that I made an attempt to try to fix that for this upcoming season," Davis said.
The new menu includes two veg-friendly hot dogs: the Lookout Dog and the Dragon Dog. The Lookout is a plant-based frank smothered in white bean buffalo dip, shredded cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños and hot sauce, while the Dragon Dog is topped with kimchi, garlic soy sauce and sesame aioli (this one is good for vegans, Davis said).
Vegetarians also can enjoy the cauliflower “wings,” which are hunks of fried, parmesan-encrusted cauliflower in a sweet hot sauce with celery and blue cheese dip on the side. There also are pretzel bites — toasty portions of dough accompanied by queso, pico de gallo and jalapeños.
A vegetarian CityBeat staffer tasted the new veg-friendly menu items. While all had merit, the spicy, saucy cauliflower “wings” were tops on her list.
Davis also is debuting a number of other items, including:
- Reds “Red Hot” Chicken Sandwich: Fried chicken breast topped with honey hot sauce, pickle chips and horseradish coleslaw on a brioche bun.
- Bar-B “Cone”: Montgomery Inn pulled pork, white cheddar mac & cheese, coleslaw and Montgomery Inn Barbecue sauce, served in a waffle cone.
- Frisch’s Big Boy Sliders: Available for a limited time only, April 22-24.
- Hand-Crafted 1869 Burger: All-beef burger topped with American cheese, barbecue sauce, crispy onions and pickles on a brioche bun.
- Scouts Burrito Bowl: Cilantro-lime rice topped with grilled chicken, queso, lettuce, sour cream and pico de gallo.
And Davis said even more unusual items are in the works for the future.
"I always go through the season (and) try to come up with things, like I've got ballpark Brussels sprouts that I really love whether we're frying them, putting queso on them, Grippo's seasoning with pico de gallo," Davis said. "I'm (also) really trying to work on getting red ice cream here at this ballpark. So I'm not done yet. I always tell people that I always have a trick up my sleeve, always trying to work on something behind the scenes."
In addition to Davis's items, Covington-based Frosthaus will open its Great American Ball Park location and will serve frozen boozy slush drinks such as the Redlegs Rum Runner, flavored with strawberry, banana, passion fruit and lime and doused with Bacardi Rum
Some items are available only at specific locations within the ballpark. Consult reds.com for more information.
The 2022 MLB season begins on April 7 (later than planned, thanks to the 99-day lockout between MLB and players) and will see the Cincinnati Reds visit the Atlanta Braves. The Reds' home opener takes place at 4:10 p.m. April 12, as Cincinnati takes on the intrastate rival Cleveland Guardians at Great American Ball Park. The game will be preceded by Cincinnati's iconic Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, for which Reds lifer Barry Larkin will serve as grand marshal. A number of bars, restaurants and communities are hosting additional pre-game activities.