Bacon. On a Stick. In an ice cold beer.
That's how the Orioles are ringing in the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards. Josh Distenfeld, now in his second year as executive chef of the ballpark, has rolled out some incredible eats for the year-long celebration. But the aforementioned bacon offering is his personal favorite.
"I can't stop eating that thing," Distenfeld confesses. "I've got to walk away. It's unbelievable. It's that addicting."
He starts by smoking slab bacon for 45 minutes, then finishes it off with Old Bay seasoning and maple syrup. Those over 21 can get it served atop Baltimore's native beer, National Bohemian. Although Natty Boh, as it's known, is now made elsewhere, it's been the city's official beer for almost 50 years.
The stadium sells more than 20 pounds of bacon on a stick every game and it's only growing in popularity.
But when it comes to fan favorites, crab is king. That's why Distenfeld helped create the Camden Giant. Found at Gino's, it's a burger topped with a crab cake. He and his team have also taken the traditional frank and created a surf and turf twist. Stuggy's has the Birdland Dog, which is topped with crab mac 'n' cheese.
"We'll go through 400 pounds of crab per game, roughly 30,000 pounds this season," Distenfeld says. "That's a lot of crab."
It's all part of keeping the 20th anniversary celebration Baltimore-centric. The main focus was on working with local vendors and restaurants like Gino's and Stuggy's. But Distenfeld isn't just classing up the usual ballpark fare this season. One of his innovations for the luxury boxes and suites is a Churrascaria plate.
"It's a trio of Chimichurri chicken, skirt steak and chorizo sausage," he says. "Not something you'd normally find in a ballpark."
Just like bacon on a stick in a beer, although it's a formula that every sports venue should replicate.
-- Adam Watson is the food czar at ThePostGame. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamKWatson.
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