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Grand-slam grub



Upstairs, in the suites, the 1 percent will be dining on refined eats, away from the rabble. Delicacies, like the El Jimador Shrimp Shooters (think spicy individual shrimp cocktails), will be lowered into their mouths, as if they were emperors. Maybe some of them are: Emperors like baseball, too.

Entrées are ordered for a crowd, there in the moneyed heights. Trays of loaded baked potato salad and a southwest fajita bar are best shared with friends. I was less taken with the barbecue offerings.

For instance, the RedHawks do a much better job with a seemingly simple dish — grilled chicken breast sandwiches — than some local restaurants. These were plump, juicy and tasted like chicken. A rare feat, frankly.

There’s also a bar, the Diamond Lounge, if you’re feeling convivial and too sober. Popcorn, peanuts and nachos can all be had, as well as a comfy seat and a televised view of the game.

Normal nosh

But we cannot all ascend that stairway to baseball heaven. The rest of us — a group I affectionately think of as Occupy Baseball — will likely be down in the stands, trying to avoid a sunburn and (in my case, at least) itching our bellies — the only surefire way to avoid pitching.

And on the concourse there are plenty of new treats to fill that itchy belly. The RedHawks have spent big bucks to redo its concessions and brought in Pro Sports Catering, a group that only does food service for minor league baseball.

Savory sandwiches

So, you’ll have your regular old hot dogs and your soft pretzels and large plastic cups filled with large amounts of light beer. But if you want something different, you’re covered. There’s Steakadelphia, which serves up Philly cheese steaks ($7). Of the two I sampled, I preferred the “with Whiz” sandwich over the Swiss cheese, but both were tasty. The key is the roll, which deftly holds all your chopped beef, sautéed onions and peppers and cheese, rather than the usual concession-style roll, which lets all that stuff drip onto your legs.

Fancy franks

Franx is a hot-dog joint with a few more options. The Firecracker ($5.75), a cheddar-jalapeño dog, topped with more cheese and jalapeños, has plenty of heat to spare. If you’ve got room, you could cool down with the Memphis ($5.75) — a grilled dog covered in pulled pork and cole slaw. That doesn’t just hit the spot; it carpetbombs the whole area in case there are other spots around.

The Sausage Shack will serve up Polish sausages ($5.75), foot-long brats ($6.50) and more, all put together when you order, which is a nice change.

If that all sounds pretty standard, here’s something new for you: Salsa is a Chipotle-like burrito place. It’ll take a little longer to prepare than some of the other foods, said J.P. Shadrick, RedHawks director of media relations and broadcasting, but it’s about giving fans new choices. Burritos will run $6.50 and nachos are $7.

Diamond desserts

And there’s more. Sweet is a dessert vendor that, in addition to the usual soft-serve, will create banana split sundaes ($6) and root beer floats ($4.75) to tame that rabid sweet tooth. Plus, Hideaway Pizza returns for another season for those desperate for a slice.

No longer is it just a choice between a hot dog or some nachos. There are options. Although, if you’re anything like me, there really never was a choice. Now it’s a cheese steak and a foot-long hot dog and a chicken burrito and a root beer float and a pulled-pork sandwich and popcorn.

Eh, I guess I can still choose which hospital the ambulance will take me to.

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