The Dodgers unveiled new concession food options for the 2016 season at Tuesday's blogger's luncheon. Six new items were introduced by the Jason Tingley, executive chef for Dodger Stadium, and sampled for review by some of TBLA's intrepid writers. The price points for all the addtions are still to be determined.
The newest "Extreme Loaded Dog" to join the menu is a King's Hawaiian Dog. The bun is King's Hawaiian bread (naturally) in which a quarter-pound all-beef is topped with a pineapple salsa. In this setting, the bun doesn't seem as sweet as one might expect, and the salsa provides a cool complement, but the overall experience is on the mild side. This dog might not hold up to a flavorful craft beer.
I would have preferred to see last year's delicious Cuban Dog (ham, pork, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickle) added to the permanent menu, but Tingley stated that while it will return as a feature, it is too labor-intensive and requires too much preparation space to keep on the menu all the time.
The Think Blue BBQ will feature two new items, a Shock Top Bratwurst and a Smoked BBQ Wings Bundle. For the former the pork sausage is infused with Shock Top beer, grilled, topped with caramelized onions and brown mustard and served in a "grilled lobster roll". Overall a tasty flavor experience, even if the flavors are not as bold as the Louisiana Hot Link also served there. Because this sandwich is served only in the grill area, the freshness will protect the roll from becoming saturated or drying out.
The chicken wings are a package deal of 15 smoked (using hickory wood) wings with French fries, veggie sticks and two soft drinks. The wings were tender and topped with a tasty BBQ sauce of Chef Tingley's own recipe, not too sweet and with just a bit of kick.
A "Gouda Kobe Burger" will grace the menu at the Elysian Park Grill locations throughout the stadium. This one-third pound American wagyu beef burger features smoked gouda, caramelized onions, pickles and thousand island dressing on a potato bun. The mingling of the quality beef with the smoky cheese and tangy onions produced a taste sensation that may have been the highlight of the afternoon. If the potato bun can stand up to the pre-preparation and heat lamps that are logistically required, this sandwich could be a highlight at the grill.
The new "healthy choice" is a Chicken Verde Sandwich where a grilled chicken breast is served on telara bread with shredded lettuce, tomato slice, tomatillo verde sauce and jalapeño aioli, producing a fresh, clean-tasting sandwich, that satisfied without weighing the diner down.
The final addition is "Specialty Nachos Verde", where tortilla chips are topped with tomatillo verde sauce, pickled jalapeños and cotija cheese, providing a lighter alternative to the gooey, orange nacho cheese usually ladled over chips. Simple, but tasty, and would probably go well with a Dodger Blue margarita.