Coney pasties, gyro nachos and more new food items at Comerica Park this season
Move over peanuts, Cracker Jack, pretzels and hot dogs. Comerica Park is rolling out new items to nosh on at Tigers baseball games and concerts this season at the downtown Detroit stadium.
In partnership with Delaware North Sportservice, the venue previewed new dishes for members of the media Friday at the Motor City Casino Tiger Club. Among the highlights: easy-to-eat, handheld pasties.
Not just one kind, either, but four. Executive chef Mark Szubeczak and his team are rolling out this regional favorite stuffed with your choice of brisket and macaroni and cheese or Polish sausage, sauerkraut and pierogi. There's also a sweet apple pasty and a coney pasty with slices of ballpark franks, coney-style chili, mustard and diced onion.
"We wanted to take a local favorite ... and we just started putting a spin on it and trying different recipes and we said, 'wow,' this is a no-brainer, the way the crust was and the different fillings we were able to put in there," said Szubeczak. "Then we started having fun putting the coney in there, and the apple pie, the mac and cheese and smoked meats. It's a winner."
Among the four pasty offerings, the brisket with chili-queso macaroni and cheese had the best flavor, but they all had a buttery, flaky crust.
New sausages were highlighted as well including a pork loin sausage wrapped in bacon with spicy maple syrup, a new Italian sausage with peppers, onions and marinara sauce and beer-braised brat on a pretzel bun.
Also served on a pretzel bun is the pulled pork sandwich, the "Notorious P.I.G." While the name is often used on menus for pork sandwiches — like, a lot — this version has some fresh takes like cavatappi mac and cheese and bright, pickled jalapeno slices along with crispy onion and barbecue sauce.
The best sandwich, though, was the flavorful, crunchy Fat Rooster fried chicken sandwich with pickles, slaw and honey mayo, all made in-house, on a Hawaiian roll.
"It's a special breading we do in-house and it has habanero powder in it," said chef Szubeczak
Rounding out the newer food items at the park were the plant-based Impossible burger, a big chocolate chip cookie served with Guernsey milk and gyro "nachos" made with pita chips, carved gyro meat, lettuce, tomato, raw onion and tzatziki sauce.
Other things for Tiger fans to look for this baseball season — which starts with the home opener on April 8 against the Chicago White Sox — are theme nights, new merchandise and fan giveaways. Here are some highlights:
► "Star Wars" night is May 14.
► On June 10 the first 10,000 fans at Comerica Park will get a Miguel Cabrera 500 Home Runs-themed figurine.
► The 20th annual Negro Leagues Weekend is June 17-19, and the first 10,000 fans will get a Negro Leagues replica jersey on June 18.
► The Tigers will retire the No. 1 jersey of Lou Whitaker, World Series Champion, five-time All-Star player, three-time Golden Glove Winner and the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year. His jersey will be retired on Aug. 6 during a pregame ceremony and the first 10,000 fans will get a Lou Whitaker replica jersey.
►The D Shop has expanded its line of "Detroit Roots" items and New Era 5950 caps, added new player jerseys and new styles of bracelets, purses and "ladies" merchandise.
► Every Sunday is Chevy Sunday Kids Day with an opportunity for kids ages 12 and younger to run the bases after the game, plus get a free carousel or Ferris Wheel ride. There's also a "Sunday Family Value" deal with four lower-level seats, four hot dogs and four soft drinks for $99.