Local flavors join ballpark favorites at Comerica Park this year

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

This season, Detroit Tigers fans can get a taste of authentic Detroit right inside Comerica Park.

New and longstanding restaurants from all over the Motor City will have their food available for sale at the park this year. Some, like Bert's Marketplace and Green Dot Stables, will have a consistent presence, while others will rotate in and out.

Some of the familiar restaurant names sports fans will see at Comerica this year include Taqueria El Rey, Detroit 75 Kitchen food truck, the Lobster Pit Stop, Breadless, Yum Village, Guernsey Farms Dairy, Rising Stars Academy and Atwater Brewery.

Lobster Food Truck's Kathryn Wilson and Julie Fields share a laugh while serving up food at the "What's new at Comerica Park's" media preview including new foods by local eateries at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan on March 31, 2023.

Comerica Park's executive chef Mark Szubeczak says their aim is to "bring the neighborhoods into the ballpark."

"We want to support the local and bring our partners in and have a good time," he told The Detroit News Friday during a media preview event at the MotorCity Casino Tiger Club. "We will have all the traditional favorites but we're just adding more layers. We have new market buildouts on the concourse, we have Green Dot Stables there with their sliders, Taqueria El Rey is going to be in section 149 ... Bert's Marketplace, Breadless, different food truck concepts popping up at different stands."

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"If you have visitors from out of town coming into Detroit, they'll get a taste of the city, and the locals are going to come here for their favorites," he said. "We're really excited and we hope the fans really enjoy it."

A Sonoran Hot Dog with a bacon-wrapped hot dog, beans, Pico de Gallo, cotija cheese and jalapeno salsa at the "What's new at Comerica Park's" media preview at Comerica Park in Detroit on March 31, 2023.

The chef also pointed out that in addition to all these familiar local brands, there will still be your classic ballpark munchies, and during select "313 Value Games" fans can get tickets for $19, plus $3 hot dogs and $1 bags of chips.

Taqueria El Rey, which suffered a fire in early 2022 at the original southwest Detroit location, is readying to open a food truck near Corktown and a new brick-and-mortar restaurant in Lincoln Park. In the meantime, they'll be at Comerica Park selling flavorful chorizo, steak and bean tacos.

Bert's BBQ from Bert's Marketplace in Eastern Market will serve barbecue nachos with a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce along with the melted cheese and sour cream, plus a grilled sausage dog and sauced-up ribs.

Comerica Park will also have tacos and nachos with Afro-Caribbean flavors this season.

"We've got jerk chicken nachos, jerk chicken tacos. The nachos are excellent because they're still kind of spicy," said Yum Village chef and owner Godwin Ihentuge, who has locations in New Center and West Village in Detroit, plus one in Cleveland and another inside of southwest Detroit music venue El Club. He said creating a ballpark-friendly menu helped him decide on which items to serve at El Club.

For the jerk chicken nachos, he's mixed pureed fruit like apricot and peaches along with jalapenos into the cheddar cheese sauce to top the chips, char-grilled and marinated jerk chicken, peppers and shredded cabbage.

Yum Village's Naan Jerk Chicken Tacos with lemon pepper jerk and peach honey mustard served with pickled cabbage and jerk chicken at the "What's new at Comerica Park's" media preview at Comerica Park in Detroit on March 31, 2023.

Stadium food doesn't have to mean blowing your calorie budget. Detroit fast-casual restaurant Breadless will be at Comerica Park this year with a new sandwich called Buckwild. It's warm, roasted chicken, bacon, white cheddar cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet pickles, arugula, house-made buttermilk ranch and buffalo hot sauce all wrapped in a sturdy Swiss chard leaf.

Co-founder and CEO Marc Howland said the gluten-free item is "our healthier take on the chicken-bacon-ranch sandwich" and they'll also serve their house favorite, the vegan Spicy Chick(Pea) turnip and collard greens wrap.

Breadless will be found in section 116 during some game days, rotating with other local restaurants.

"We're super excited to be back in the stadium," said Howland. "We love being here, we love the energy."


Twitter: @melodybaetens