Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas Inspired By Stadium Foods
Thanksgiving is traditionally a day when people come together with the ones they love to share a unified sentiment….and also eat like pigs and watch sports. If the Pilgrims and Native Americans had RVs and Qwik-Cook Grills in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1620s, they’d have dined on turducken and watched a lacrosse rivalry game while unbuckling their Colonial belts.
Since Thanksgiving is so synonymous with sports and eating – both activities which guys love, we’ve decided to replace traditional Thanksgiving fare with the closest equivalents from stadiums and arenas around the country.
Enjoy, and happy Thanksgiving!
Traditional: Relish Tray of Carrots, Celery; Cheese and Crackers
Crunch Time Salad Bar — Toyota Center, Houston
No sense in dining on bland bagged carrots and limp celery stalks when you can snack on the whole garden at Crunch Time. Order any of the crisp vegetables and your choice of lettuce, and they’ll mix it while you wait, often in the span of a 20-second time out.
BBQ Nachos — AutoZone Park in Memphis
Memphis may be a minor league baseball city, but these nachos are big leagues. The dish – your choice of pork or chicken barbecued Memphis-style and layered on crisp tortilla chips, then covered with gooey cheese and sprinkled with dry rub sauce – outsells hot dogs, and every other concession, at the ballpark. Quite a bit better than Saltines and some Easy Cheese.
Smoked Turkey at Boog’s BBQ — Camden Yards in Baltimore
Former Orioles slugger Boog Powell’s stocky build and hearty appetite make him a veritable poster-child for Thanksgiving. While his pit beef and pulled pork have made his stand a destination in Baltimore, the tender smoked turkey that he serves would be a succulent substitution for a big ol’ Butterball.
Smoked Turkey Leg — Bull’s Barbecue at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
Former Phillies outfielder Greg Luzinski smokes up his barbecue goodness for sold-out crowds. The turkey legs sold here are perfect for anytime you’d like to feel Viking-like, but Thanksgiving is the best of all matches for these meaty, super-sized drumsticks.
Turkey BLT — Reliant Stadium in Houston
Pecan-rubbed smoked turkey, strips of candied bacon, a slice of Monterey Jack cheese and sliced tomatoes are served on a torta roll. You won’t miss the dry, sawdust-y bird that your mother in-law cooks up every. single. year.
Traditional: Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
BBQ Stuffed Baked Potato — Minute Maid Park in Houston
Ditch the masher or the electric mixer and dive into this nearly-football sized baked potato that is stuffed with cheese and Texas-style beef brisket and topped with onions and jalapeños.
Gilroy Garlic Fries — AT&T Park in San Francisco
These crisp fries are doused with a mixture of garlic, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper. The flavor profile would be right at home on any Thanksgiving table.
Jambalaya — Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans
It’s a spicy way to stuff your Thanksgiving, and you won’t get authentic Cajun cooking as good as this anywhere else in the NFL. Just add crackers to your thick mixture of sausage, shrimp, onion, celery, peppers and rice and you have stuffing that’s seriously more savory than Stove Top.
Traditional: Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Relish — Scotiabank Place in Ottawa
This tasty relish is only available on the Turkey Dinner Sandwich served at the Ottawa Senators home arena. The sandwich, consisting of roast turkey breast, mashed potatoes, dressing and cranberry relish on a Portuguese roll is all but a paean to Thanksgiving.
Portobello Fries — Busch Stadium in St. Louis
Slices of mushroom are deep fried and then coated in Italian breadcrumbs and Romano cheese for a side dish that makes mushy peas seem like a ghastly option.
Corn Off the Cob — U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago
Grilled corn is sliced off the cob and seasoned with lime, red pepper and sprinkled cheese. Sure beats the nearly-colorless canned corn dished up on Turkey Day.
The Victory Knot — Ford Field, Detroit
You tell us: do you want some frozen dinner rolls that are sure to get burned (again) or do you want to sop up your dinner with a two-pound pretzel served with spicy mustard, a beer cheese spread and sweet cream cheese. … Yeah.That’s what we thought.
Traditional: Pumpkin/Apple Pie
Peach Cobbler — Georgia Dome in Atlanta
The state known for its peaches packs what seems like a peck of them into each bite of this sweet Southern dish that is as good as any pie you may dive into on Thanksgiving.
Joe Student is a freelance writer and editor — that is if you consider interviewing Playboy models, athletes and celebs in your spare time ‘writing.’ And, yes, that is his real name. Stop asking. Follow him on Twitter.