Concession Review No. 2: High Plains Bison Hot Dog

By Chris Rewers on Sunday, May 2, 2010

The High Plains Bison Hot Dog tasted like ... um ... a hot dog.

The new Wrigley Field concession is available from seat vendors and also at the Sheffield Grill in the right-field corner of the ballpark. It's billed as an all-natural alternative, lower in fat and cholesterol than the traditional ballpark beef frank. The High Plains brand, which is owned by the Ricketts family, is identified as "the official lean meat of the Chicago Cubs."

I decided to enjoy mine at the Sheffield Grill. All the years I've been coming to the Friendly Confines and this was my first visit to the quirky insulated space that is smashed into the boundaries of the ballpark.

There are several tables crammed into the area near the restaurant entrance, and I imagine that it has to be difficult to pass through to the concession counter when it is crowded. There is a row of windows offering a view of Sheffield Avenue along the east wall. It is dimly lit and tastefully decorated with historic pictures of Wrigley Field and plaques commemorating the accomplishments of former Cubs greats. I dined near plaques that celebrated Billy Herman (one of my grandfather's favorite players) and Grover Cleveland Alexander. There were several TVs spread throughout the space with the volume up, so I was able to enjoy David Kaplan's pre-game show on Comcast SportsNet while I ate my lunch.

A friendly cashier took my order, accepted my payment, and served me a beer. I was given a receipt with a number and told my food would be served when my number was called.

"Enjoy the game," she said with a smile - and I felt like she really meant it.

My wait was only a couple of minutes and I was pleased to learn that my sandwich order included potato chips, and a dill pickle slice.

There was a condiment station near the counter that included mustard, relish, diced raw onion, diced tomatoes, and sport peppers.

The High Plains bison hot dog, which set me back $5.25, did not rock my world. It wasn't any better than the standard Wrigley dog that's served on grill carts throughout the lower-deck concourse.

But it wasn't as awful as a disgusting generic dog either.

The casing was firm and the bun held up nicely, with just a hint of grease detectable.

My all-time favorite Wrigley hot dog was the Oscar Mayer smokie link, but I probably remember that smoked sausage more fondly for nostalgia than for how it tasted. It makes me think of going to games as a kid with my grandfather and dad. It was no longer available at the ballpark when Oscar Mayer lost their concession rights early in the Tribune Company regime.

It is one of a plethora of reasons I dislike the Trib.


See also:
* Concession Review No. 1: The High Plains Bison Cheeseburger

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