Tagged: poutine

A Cross-Border Culinary Exchange: The Grizzly Details

Receiving email from readers is one of my favorite things about this job. These missives, sent from all over the globe (well, at least some parts of the globe) provide insight on what motivates the readership, help me determine what topics to focus on and, crucially, boost my fragile ego. 

But, best of all, the unsolicited messages that land in my inbox occasionally provide me with inadvertent guest blog posts. This, from Canadian reader Damian Ford, covers all the bases.

And, yes, tacos play a key role. From this point on, until the italicized text reappears, all words in this post are Damian’s. 


Hello Ben,

First off, great job on everything you do for Minor League Baseball. I greatly look forward to all your articles and appearances on the MiLB podcasts.  I work for an entertainment group in charge of three sports teams here in Canada, and your articles are a wealth of information as I look for ideas to bring to my organization to increase the entertainment value to our fans at our games. I’m a huge Minor League nerd and appreciate all the exposure you bring to each and every team.

Speaking of promo ideas and teams being awesome, the Fresno Grizzlies and I have a good story for you.

Back in August, as I’m sure you remember, the Grizzlies did their Taco Truck Throwdown night (in which they changed their name to the Fresno Tacos). I loved the idea!  (I neglected to mention that I am also a MiLB hat collector, but I think that’s pretty much a given since I said I was a MiLB nerd). I loved the hats and went online to try and buy one. However, I live in Canada.  Like many Minor League teams, the Grizzlies don’t sell/ship to Canada.  I thought to myself, “There has got to be another way to get a Taco hat!” So, I took to Twitter, basically harassing the Grizzlies with challenges that I could perform in exchange for a Tacos hat.

first tweet2nd tweetI finally got an answer to my tweet when I tweeted them “Okay…. @FresnoGrizzlies I’ll mail you a poutine and you mail me a #tacoshat.” They responded “Deal.”  It was on!

3rd tweetThe next day I went to the grocery store and picked up two potatoes, authentic St. Alberts Cheese Curds, and a packet of Swiss Chalet poutine gravy, put it in a box and sent it off to them. I then typed out very specific instruction on how to properly construct and prepare the poutine for consumption.


Poutine (as depicted on Wikipedia’s poutine page)

Some time passed and I did not receive my hat.  I tweeted at the Grizzlies and wrote a letter to general manager Mr. Derek Franks.  Finally, I received a direct message from the team apologizing for the oversight. They said that the poutine was delicious (I saw online what restaurants are trying to pass as poutine in California and it’s unrecognizable to me). They then asked me not only my hat size, but my jersey size! They ended up sending me a Tacos hat, Tacos jersey and a Grizzlies promotional item.


Damian, giving them something to Taco bout


Bonus promotional item. Fresknows what it is.

The Grizzlies more than held up their end of the deal, showing me why they are one of the top-run organizations in professional baseball. As a thank you, I tweeted out a photo of me in my Tacos gear eating a taco above Ottawa’s Rideau Canal.


And that’s all from Damian.

You’ve gotta love a story with a happy ending. Or, at least I think it’s a happy ending. Somebody should probably check in with the Grizzlies front office….

food safety

Nah, the Grizzlies are good. In fact, director of marketing Sam Hansen writes that Damian’s poutine package “inspired us to work on our own ‘Growlifornia Poutine Remix’ with queso Oaxaca and Fresno Chili-spiced gravy. Expect to see this make its debut at Chukchansi Park soon.”

Minor League Baseball: Bridging the cultural divide, one Tweetstorm at a time.





Choose Your Demise

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Whitecaps Primary.JPGThings have been slow on the news front this week, leading to irrational fears that I’ll never have anything interesting to write about ever again.  But, as usual, I have been amply provided for in my time of need.

The West Michigan Whitecaps have released their 10 finalists for 2010’s marquee new concession item, and it does not disappoint. As you may know, the team has a reputation to uphold in the category of “attention-getting concessions.” 2009’s big (and I mean that literally) addition was the Fifth Third Burger, a monstrous concoction that ended up becoming a multi-galaxial phenomenon.

Over the last three weeks, the Whitecaps have been soliciting concession suggestions from fans. The following list represents what they felt was the “best”, which in this case is even more subjective than usual. Behold:

1. Chicken and Waffles – Why did the chicken cross the road? To lie down on a bed of waffles, get smothered in gravy and get eaten by you, of course!

2. Chili Mac Tacos – Think comfort food that took a trip to
Mexico. Creamy mac and cheese is smothered in chili then loaded into a
hard taco shell to create a taste experience that won’t soon be

Thumbnail image for corndog.jpg

3. Chocolate Covered Bacon – This little piggy went to market,
this little piggy stayed home and this little piggy dunked itself in
chocolate to become a delicious treat for Whitecaps fans!

4. Corn Dog o’ Plenty – If the Idaho Christmas Tree isn’t enough
corndog for you then try the Corn Dog o’ Plenty. A full half-pound,
footlong frank that is battered and deep fried to make one gigantic
corn dog.

5. Cudighi Yooper Sandwich – If you don’t know what this one is
then you haven’t been to the Upper Peninsula. Cudighi is a spicy
sausage found throughout the U.P. and we might bring it down to West
Michigan. A sausage patty, smothered in cheese, pizza sauce, peppers
and onions could grace the concession stands of Fifth Third Ballpark.

6. Declaration of Indigestion – When in the course of human
events it becomes necessary for one people to disband from the tyranny
of healthy eating, they should consume the Declaration of Indigestion.
You see, all sandwiches are not created equal as this half-pound,
footlong hot dog is covered in a philly cheese steak (steak, cheese,
peppers and onions) and served on a gigantic sub roll. It is certainly
your unalienable right to consume one of these in the pursuit of

7. Idaho Christmas Tree – Why waste your time eating all of your
favorite items separately? This is a batter-dipped hot dog rolled in
french fries and deep fried to create the perfect limbed link on stick.


8. Poutin – A real treat from North of the border. The French
Canadians have done it again, and this time with gravy. Fries, fried
cheese curds and gravy make up this delectable side dish. Tres bien!

9. The Pink Panther – Not sure if this guy is named after the
famous detective or the insulation, but either way it’s delicious. Take
a hot dog bun, slather it in icing and fill it with pink cotton candy.
Maybe drizzle some root beer syrup over the top for good measure. It’s
the dessert dog you’ll have to try this summer!

10. Twinkie Cheese Dog – This dog can survive any disaster and
it might cause a few of its own. Simple – a hot dog laid in a Twinkie
covered in cheese. Yum.

Twinkie Cheese Dog? Now where have we seen that before? I wonder…

Voting runs through February 23, so be sure to make your voice heard. And while it’s still very

pink.jpg early in the process, I couldn’t help but find some solace in the fact that as of this writing the “Pink Panther” had not received a single vote. I mean, seriously, that thing is gross.

But a deep-fried combination of hot dogs and french fries? That’s pure brilliance, and if executed properly it will be an advancement in American society on par with the polio vaccine.