There's some fancy food being served in the stadium during this year's College World Series.
Think things like compound butters, sweet potato waffles, local sausages and meats and hand-crafted macaroni and cheese.
On Tuesday morning, Dayanny De La Cruz, Levy Restaurant Group's executive chef at TD Ameritrade Stadium, led us through a tasting of some of the menu items she's created for all levels at the stadium -- some served on the main concourse and others only on the club level. She said she wants game-goers to have the chance this year to try something unusual.
"I want people to have an experience like being at a restaurant," she said.
From what I sampled on the club level, those with the premium tickets are eating well. De La Cruz's take on chicken and waffles might have been my favorite. For $12, diners get the choice of either a cornbread waffle with buttermilk fried chicken or a sweet potato waffle with herb-roasted chicken. And there's not just syrup to top the dish, there's old fashioned bourbon maple syrup or barbecue syrup along with flavored butters -- bacon, cumin and rosemary herb -- and candied jalapenos. Talk about over-the-top. The flavors of both dishes were nuanced and layered. I'd choose either in a heartbeat.
Some of the items we tried debuted when the series moved to the new ballpark and have been so popular that they're now staples, including the Reuben hot dog and a pizza-sized cheese bread big enough to feed a crowd. Both are available on the concourse level, as is the "Midwestern monster," a giant burger that De La Cruz said is proving to be this year's most popular series food item.
It's a double cheeseburger stuffed with pulled pork, ancho boursin cheese spread, sriracha mayo and onions and served on a pretzel bun. Each burger is topped with a pickle, a red pepper and a tiny skewer topped with a baseball.
Presentation, De La Cruz said, is part of what makes these dishes special.
The chicken and waffles is served at stations on the club level alongside stations for macaroni and cheese, healthy salads and sandwiches. The stations will rotate during the series, and De La Cruz said later this week there will be some new stations. She said when people come to the series every day, it's important to make sure they can eat different things.
She also came up with a few drinks served only at a bar on the club level. The offerings include the Electric Shandy, which is tangy house-made ginger simple syrup topped with a pint of Summer Shandy beer and finished with a splash of lemon lime soda and a lemon wedge. There's also a tomato juice cocktail and both red and white sangria.
"We want it to be creative and refreshing," she said. "If people want to be adventurous or go more high end, we want them to be able to do it."