The West Michigan Whitecaps have become somewhat infamous for their yearly spring contest where they allow their fans to vote for one food item from a list of deep-fried concoctions that will be made available for public consumption throughout the year.
As a part of our ongoing efforts to provide you, the fan, with relevant content, we decided to give the list of candidates a review. It was tough deciding who on staff would be best equipped to handle this important responsibility. Following much debate, I was selected for the honor. My experience with posting photos of my meals to Instagram, the fact that I’ve eaten at a variety of establishments that don’t have a drive-thru window, and my extensive Yelp reviews that use terms like “on point” and “artisanal” basically makes me a foodie, so I feel I have the qualifications required to handle this assignment. [Ed.: He misspelled “artisanal.”]
I live in Philadelphia, and despite my best efforts, I couldn’t convince the Whitecaps to send me samples, so I’m going to have to judge on photo and description. It’s a pretty infallible method. Let’s get to the review.
Deep Fried Beer
What I would call it: Unnecessary
Have you ever found yourself enjoying a cold one on a hot summer day and thought, “I wish there were a way to turn this into a hot, edible ball of dough devoid of any alcoholic content?” Me neither. The Whitecaps’ description for this treat ends with the statement, “Never let anyone tell you something can’t be deep fried,” which leads me to respond, “Just because you can deep fry something doesn’t mean you should.”
What I would call it: The “Guess what I just ate”
What we’re looking at here is an opportunity to try something most people probably haven’t, delivered via a very standard vehicle. Tater-tots, and what I think is barbecue sauce, are used as a filler for a dish that basically allows you to tell somebody that you just ate alligator meat. If you really want to eat alligator, there are better ways and better places to do so. But I’m the type of guy who would willingly eat street food from sources that would give Anthony Bourdain pause, so what do I know?
What I would call it: The Identity Crisis
This little gem of a snack is described as buffalo chicken and mac ‘n cheese stuffed into a waffle cone with maple syrup drizzled over the top. For starters, the name is bad. There is nothing about this that resembles a glove. Maybe they should call it “The Walk-Off” because I could see the purchase of this particular item resulting in some runs almost immediately.
Heater With Some Meater
What I would call it: Anything but Heater With Some Meater
I have this feeling that the moment this particular food item was created, Guy Fieri could sense it, like a Jedi feeling a disturbance in the force. What you’re looking at here is a Flaming Hot Cheeto encrusted corn-dog. I gotta admit, this one tempts me. I would probably try it. I would also regret it immediately, but the siren song of the Flaming Hot Cheeto would beckon to me from the moment I set foot in the ballpark.
Hey Pita, Pita, Pita!
What I would call it: A falafel sandwich
One of these things is not like the others. Imagine watching a home run derby with the likes of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and J.D. Martinez and mixed in there somewhere is Jose Iglesias. This sandwich is Jose Iglesias. It’s a fine sandwich, but not really what this lineup is all about.
What I would call it: The sandwich of diminishing returns
This bratwurst and sausage-gravy waffle-taco has bad decision written all over it. I don’t think I would eat more than one bite of this. Not that I couldn’t, but this strikes me as the sort of mistake where each successive bite takes you further down a road of regret that doesn’t have anything close to a happy ending.
What I would call it: A crime against humanity
I’ve read the description for these multiple times and still don’t quite understand how dill pickles soaked in fruit punch flavored Kool-Aid is an edible menu choice. It leaves me with a lot of questions, the main one being does it come with a collectible plastic bucket to vomit into?
Mochi Ice Cream
What I would call it: Mochi Ice Cream
Mochi is a traditional Japanese cake made out of sticky rice and ice cream. When I was a kid, any menu item introduced from a foreign culture would be inherently looked upon as exotic. Presently, this is vying for the most normal thing on the list.
What I would call it: F*** your Heart
This one has everything: onion rings, mac ‘n’ cheese, chicken, beer cheese, and a healthy disregard for you personal well-being. I imagine the summit of Mt. Wing-suvius offers stunning vistas of neighboring peaks like Mt. Diabetes and Mt. Myocardial Infarction.
The Fry Cobb
What I would call it: Problematic
If you’re the kind of person who eats corn on the cob and thinks, “You know what this needs? More carbs.” Then this is the one for you. Using the namesake of one of the more problematic players in the history of professional baseball aside, this is one way to take your vegetables and make sure they aren’t as good for you as they should be.
All joking aside, this is an impressive list of ballpark options. Our friends at West Michigan do a great job of offering up new culinary adventures for their fans every year. Going to a baseball game isn’t necessarily about eating in a healthy or intelligent manner, and fans would be hard pressed to make a bad decision here.
Unless they choose the pickles. Please, God, don’t let them choose the pickles.