Here at the Alibi, we generally like to report on food that’s healthy for people and for the environment—that’s why the food stories in this issue are an interview with the operators of a new vegan food truck and a review of a responsibly-sourced seafood restaurant. Every once in a while, though, some of our more American instincts kick in, and we’ve gotta indulge in some greasy and mass-produced snacks. In this case, ballpark snacks, to be specific.
I happen to be a baseball fan, and I happen to think minor league baseball is one of the purest and most wholesome joys this country produces. Since the season started I’ve been going to some of the Isotopes games to sit on the grass and cheer at Raimel Tapia when he catches pop up balls in the outfield. In the process, I’ve also tried some of Isotopes Park’s cuisine—including some of the new menu items introduced this season. Here’s a bit of a guide for when you go out to root for the home team.
New Mexicago dog ($7)
One of the new menu items this year, the New Mexicago dog combines elements of the classic Chicago dog with some Land of Enchantment staples. On top of the typical dog there’s fried jalapeño caps, pico de gallo, green chile mustard and cumin seeds—and instead of the typical sweet pickle relish, there’s pickled nopales. As my friend Sara announced upon trying this cross-country invention: “It’s not just a gimmick. It’s actually pretty good.”
Green chile cheese fries (available at independent stands, $9, cash only)
Don’t you get tired of explaining to out-of-towners that “chile” here doesn’t mean the kind of “chili” they’re thinking of? Get ready to do it again when you come back to your seat with a big plate of fries smothered in green chile and nacho cheese, a calorie-dense mess of fair food that will not disappoint.
Nuclear nachos ($14)
Nuclear nachos are the large size of the nacho family served at Pecos River, the in-house restaurant at Isotopes Park. (Ordering the atomic nachos is more expensive but the same size—the nachos just come served in a novelty baseball helmet). You can get these with either beef, chicken or sans meat. The rest is fairly typical nacho toppings: refried beans, nacho cheese, sour cream, lettuce and pico de gallo, along with less-than-typical black olives, pickled jalapeños and hot sauce.
Veggie dog ($4.50)
It’s worth mentioning that Isotopes Park is, surprisingly, pretty vegetarian friendly. In addition to a lot of already veg standard baseball food (pretzels, funnel cake, fries, etc.) they also serve veggie dogs. Although they’re just those little Tofu Pup dogs (you’ll need to eat about 5 of them to be full), it’s a good option for that vegan friend you bring to games with you sometimes. Plus, you can load up with pickled nopales and jalapeños at the topping bar.
The Mason jar cocktail ($12)
Yes, it’s a lot to pay for a drink (your ticket probably cost less), but sometimes if it’s really hot out, you just need something cold and boozy to enjoy the game. Plus, you get to keep the Mason jar, which will come in handy for your trendy barn wedding in the fall.