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A new baseball season brings new foods to Great American Ball Park

Goetta burgers sit under a heat lamp in the Handlebar at Great American Ball Park. The stadium is visible but out of focus in the background.
Bill Rinehart
Goetta burgers are served with cheese, egg and sauce on a pretzel bun.

The head chef at Great American Ball Park is proud of the new culinary offerings for the upcoming season. Gary Davis says there's Kool-Aid-flavored ice cream, veggie dogs and sushi, plus foods from local collaborators as well as dishes with a local flavor, like goetta.

Davis says the selection of new foods is one of the biggest in his six years at GABP.

"When you come to a ballpark, you gotta have local ballpark food," he says. "I would love to say that in our fine dining areas we'll be doing sushi, we'll be doing steak made to order, but I really want to make sure we touch base with our fans in the general audience."

Members of the media got a sneak peek at the new offerings Thursday afternoon in the Handlebar Room.

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There are collaborations with local businesses like Skyline, Montgomery Inn, Glier’s Goetta, 50 West and E&O Kitchen.

Davis says again this year, there are vegetarian options including a vegetarian burger, and two vegetarian hot dogs.

Two Cincinnati Reds mascots vamp over sample foods at the Handlebar in Great American Ballpark.
Bill Rinehart
Mr. Redlegs (left) and Rosie Red confer over samples of new food offerings at Great American Ball Park during a media preview Thursday, March 23, 2023.

New beverages include hard lemonade, hard cider and hard seltzer, new wines, whiskey and beers.

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While new foods were on display, Davis says traditional ballpark fare isn't going away. "You can't get rid of the normal items that you have here every day — the peanuts, the Cracker Jacks, the regular popcorn will all be served here. We'll also have kettlecorn," he says. "Those are all things you have to have when you come to a baseball game."

The Reds open their season March 30 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.