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Published July 07, 2010, 12:00 AM

Restaurant review: Good game-time grub

RedHawks serve up low-priced Americana
There are certain constants that you have to accept about the food served at baseball stadiums. There will be peanuts and Cracker Jack. You can’t go wrong with these basic staples, but for some reason even counter clerks can’t explain, the RedHawks charge 50 cents to warm up your peanuts.

By: Eric Daeuber, special to The Forum, INFORUM

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Newman Outdoor Field

1515 15th Ave. N.,

Fargo

Cuisine: Very American

Ratings:

  • Food: one star
  • Service: one star
  • Ambiance: four stars

There are certain constants that you have to accept about the food served at baseball stadiums.

There will be peanuts and Cracker Jack. You can’t go wrong with these basic staples, but for some reason even counter clerks can’t explain, the RedHawks charge 50 cents to warm up your peanuts.

Regardless, at the RedHawks concession windows, a ballpark hot dog can be loaded up with enough sauerkraut and onions to make it worth more than its modest $1.50 price tag.

But, as I said, there are certain realities you have to accept when eating at a ballpark.

For instance, the bread that’s used for hot dog buns changes properties after being exposed to heat and moisture. When wrapped in foil around a steamed wiener, it compresses into a dense, soft cracker. When placed under a chili cheese dog ($3.50), the bread comes apart and takes its place as an ingredient in a kind of baseball-themed church-basement hotdish. This is not high cuisine, but these not-to-be-missed standards of old cat-barn ball are easily mitigated by a line drive up the middle.

Though they may or may not offer the same cache as the hot dogs and pickled eggs of the RedHawks concessions, there are other vendors selling food along the stadium concourse, many of which you will recognize.

The Hub offers a nice peppery, made-to-order ribbon-fried onion for $4. You can match it with a fresh-made lemon shakeup for $3.50 and add a hand-dipped ice cream cone from the Ye Olde Ice Cream Stand for another $4.

The Hi-Ho sells its famous burgers for $4 – they’re close, but not quite the same, as what you’d get at the restaurant in Dilworth. Another $4 or $5 gets you a cold beer and a picnic table on the third baseline.

None of these ballpark options rise to anywhere near major league culinary status; but it’s not supposed to, either. True, you can buy wine coolers made from Barefoot wines, but that’s not going to lift the level of dining elegance half an inch.

What you get is Americana at its best, and there are very few places where you can get a ticket to the bleachers, a hot dog, a shot at a foul ball for a hopeful kid and a few hours of nostalgia for less than $10.

Dining details

  • Hours: Check the RedHawks schedule.
  • Phone: (701) 235-6161
  • Reservations accepted: No
  • Alcohol: Some wine and lots and lots of beer
  • Dress: As you like
  • Credit cards accepted: No


Eric Daeuber is an instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. Readers can reach him at food@daeuber.com.

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