With the Kane County Cougars no longer a part of minor league baseball, the next closest MiLB team is the Beloit Snappers. At about an hour and a half drive, it's a little bit longer than going to Wrigley (no city traffic though). This past weekend, I picked up a game with my wife at the soon to be replaced Pohlman Field between the Beloit Snappers and South Bend Cubs.
It was a cold misty night, and we made it through 5 innings and 3 hours before calling it quits. We had fun and made the best of it, but there are brighter days ahead for the Snappers.
Pohlman Field was built in 1982. It's located in north Beloit, in a residential neighborhood. Parking was a breeze. You just park in the street and it's a 5 minute walk in. The stadium is a bit dated, and will soon be replaced by Riverfront Stadium. The change is slated to happen over the summer. Given the impending new stadium, that's likely how the Snappers survived contraction.
The fun part was the food! At first, I was unimpressed with the offerings of the concessions behind home plate. Being in Wisconsin, I was expecting bratwurst, cheese curds, and all sorts of tasty dairy products. The stand behind home was a bit lacking. I then read the program and learned that there's a second stand out in right field, that had a larger assortment of stuff. It's typical ballpark prices.
My wife got the deluxe cheeseburger and margarita and enjoyed it. I saw this odd entry in the program for something called "brat-chos" so of course I had to get that. the BratChos are nachos, but with a Wisconsin twist. You get chips, a sliced up brat, bier cheese, pickled red onions, and some kind of white sauce. It gets served to you in a baseball bowl. They also had Spotted Cow on tap (the finest WI beer).
Caleb and I have a lifelong dream of hosting our own TV show of going around to baseball stadiums and trying all of the unique items that each location has to offer. The working title is "Ballpark Food, with Caleb and Pronk." Those of you TV executives should totally take us up on that offer. Also, if you are into composing music, we need a hit theme song.
With this in mind, I of course had to try the BratChos.
So the red stuff on top is NOT beets. It's pickled onions, which are a little sweet. The brat was reasonable, but I hoped for better. I make brats all the time, so I'm a bit of a brat brat (pronounced braht brat). The bier cheese was fantastic, really making the dish. I never figured out what the white sauce was. Even the person handing it to me from the stand wasn't sure. But it tasted good.
Overall, I give the BratChos a 7/10. It's a nice twist on nachos. Great idea, although the execution could have been a little better. I'm going to remake it at home, likely using cheese curds and some kind of jalapeño/cheddar brat to give it a little more oomph.
Overall, it was a good night in Beloit. I will return for the new stadium, and probably get a second round of BratChos.