LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — The Gwinnett Stripers are taking their ballpark food to the next level.
The Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate rolled out a brand new menu featuring numerous exclusive, homemade items that Stripers fans will get to try during the 2023 season -- and they'll be sure to make you hungry.
The team hosted a VIP taste-testing event on Wednesday afternoon at Coolray Field, where they also showcased a few new concession locations around the ballpark fans can enjoy.
Stripers General Manager Erin McCormick said she, along with Executive Chef Jamerius Sims, collectively wanted foods that "screamed Georgia" and is now excited to welcome these new options.
Pontoon Brewing Boathouse
The Stripers have once again partnered with another Georgia-based brewery to bring refreshments to fans all season at Coolray Field. The Stripers will no longer serve Lawrenceville-based Slow Pour Brewing at home games but have now rebranded to welcome Pontoon Brewing from Sandy Springs to the ballpark.
The "Boathouse" is located right behind section 105 and will feature numerous craft beers along with a few of their enticing new food options, including:
- Pontoon Wings -- Fans can now indulge in chicken wings at the park, but with a unique spin. Their wing sauces are infused with Pontoon Brewing's own beer to create their signature flavor.
- Cuban Sandwich -- The sandwich is made in-house, marinated in their own sauce for 24 hours, and put together with ham, house-smoked pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard.
- Crab Cake Sandwich -- Dubbed as their own version of the "Krabby Patty" by Sims, the new deep-fried crab cake will feature onions and lettuce.
- Fish Tacos -- Lightly-battered catfish that is deep-fried and served with a corn tortilla along with shredded cabbage and cilantro lime sour cream.
- Beer Options -- Pontoon Brewing will feature four core beers (New Wave, One Ski, Crushing Waves, Aqua Tronic) along with a spring seasonal beer called Trail Maker.
All The Fixins
Described as the go-to place for "down-home Southern fare with a local flair," this concession area located just to the left after fans walk in the main gate is sure to be a popular destination.
- Bacon Onion Jam Footlong Hot Dog -- The foot-long dog is topped with their house-made bacon onion jam. Sims called the bacon onion jam a "southern item" that includes brown sugar and caramelized onions.
- BBQ Sundae -- With their barbeque sauce infused with Pontoon Brewing beer, the BBQ Sundae features pulled pork, mac and cheese, coleslaw, onion straws and sweet BBQ sauce.
- Catfish Basket -- The Stripers personal homage to their mascot, the new item will be their version of fish and chips.
- Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich -- Sims described this creation in response to the "tug-of-war" chicken sandwich battle between Chick-fil-A and Popeyes.
- Blooming Onion Petals -- Described as a "steakhouse blooming onion," the thin-cut yellow slices are coated and served with a tangy sauce.
- Strawberry Short Cake -- What's a meal without dessert.
Additional menu items
- Walking Taco (at Xolas Cantina) -- Served inside a bag of corn chips, this new item can be made with beef or chicken and includes salsa, onion, cilantro and sour cream.
- Buffalo Chicken Philly (at Steakadelphia)
- Rachetti's Pizza -- Flowery Branch's own Rachetti's Pizza will serve different styles of pizza, including deep dish and thin crust.
Take a look at some of these individual items featured below in the gallery:
PHOTOS | Gwinnett Stripers roll out brand new ballpark menu items
What's the chef's personal favorite?
"One item I'm particularly fond of that kind of plays into our logo, the Stripers, I love our catfish basket coming out of All The Fixins," Sims said. "Your typical down south catfish, fries, hushpuppies, a little tartar sauce on the side. That's one of the items I'm kind of thrilled about this year."
Sims said everything they are introducing this year came from an idea, whether it be a sponsorship idea or from his background in Tex Mex. He also said whatever the idea is, they aren't afraid to create it.
"We push the boundary here at Coolray Field," Sims said.
McCormick, the Stripers' GM, joined the organization in 2018 but spent her first season as general manager last year. She said having the connection to serve the fans what they want is vital.
"It's really important and baseball is such a sensory game. You walk in and you smell popcorn, you hear the crack of the bat, you see the bright green grass, all of that," McCormick said. "So when you're walking in and you smell barbeque smoking it brings a whole new level to the experience at the ballpark."
McCormick said that fan feedback and chef recommendations serve as avenues for improving concessions and ultimately bringing these new ideas to life.
With Opening Day approaching on March 31, the Stripers will hope their play on the field can match the level of promise the team is bringing to all fans at the concessions at Coolray Field.