Rumor has it that ballpark nachos were invented at Texas’ Arlington Stadium, former home of the Texas Rangers. And while that particular stadium is ancient history, its replacement continues on with the city’s tradition for offbeat bites.
Concoctions like the dilly dog, a fried dill pickle stuffed with a hotdog, Cheetos jalapeno bacon dog, or hotdogs wrapped in bacon, covered in Cheetos cheese sauce and topped with jalapenos, and, surprisingly, vegan grande nachos, the stadium snack that helped to give Globe Life Park the distinction of being the No. 1 vegan-friendly ballpark in the US, as rated by PETA, provide an authentic taste of Arlington while also upping the ante on the ballpark stadium food scene.
The new Globe Life Field stadium, scheduled to open in 2020 adjacent to the current field as the new stomping grounds of the Texas Rangers complete with a retractable roof, is sure to maintain and expound on these culinary trends and traditions. Connecting the new stadium and a revitalized Globe Life Park is Texas Live!, a $250 million entertainment district set to open this year with sports bars, restaurants, interactive games, memorabilia, the 300-room Live! by Loews-Arlington hotel (debuting next year with an infinity-edge pool and event lawn) and an outdoor beer garden.
Texas Live! restaurants will rub elbows with its stadium food scene and “boast Texas flare,” explains Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau’s VP of Sales, Jon Hixon, “including the world’s largest Professional Bull Riders Country Bar, Troy’s, a restaurant by former Dallas Cowboy Troy Aikman, and a concept from celebrity chef Guy Fieri.” Hixon adds that the district’s proximity to two iconic sports stadiums is “definitely attractive for groups who want to meet and then head to a game.” Ballpark tours, scoreboard messages, and a visit by the team’s mascot Rangers Captain can also be arranged.
Arlington is also primed for culinary team building, and the Texas Coffee School offers small batch tastings, or cuppings, and latte art classes for groups of up to 15, or roll up their sleeves for culinary givebacks to local food banks.