The Fresno Grizzlies have a new parent club, new players and a new lineup of food this season. Starting opening day, be ready to sink your teeth into some spicy hot wings, Chinese-style nachos and a gut-busting sandwich called the Schwab.
“We really wanted to feature something that was a little different and slightly outrageous,” says Ron Hassett, the suites and catering manager for Ovations Food Service, the Grizzlies food provider. “And the Scwhab is it.”
The sandwich is a hamburger gone wild. Stacked between two sturdy Kaiser rolls is 1/3 of a pound hamburger, garlic chile aoli, lettuce, tomato, jalapeño jack cheese, fried pickles, a grilled hot dog, bacon, nacho cheese sauce and onion straws. It is like no other sandwich offered at Chukchansi Park. Each bite is like tasting a different meal, plus appetizer.
Executive Chef Jason Westerfield says the Schwab came about after talking with an employee of Grizzlies sponsor, Les Schwab Tire Center. The employee told Westerfield he once made a hamburger topped with a hot dog during a company barbecue.
“We liked that idea and decided to kick it up a notch,” Westerfield says. “But we kicked it up a bunch of notches.”
Westerfield says he and his staff were focused this year on developing a more Fresno-centric menu for the Phoenix Club, formerly the Cru Club. What they came up with was an eclectic mix of foods, including the Chinatown nachos, Fresno chile hot wings and several types of street tacos.
The nachos combine crispy, fried wonton, pico de gallo, cucumber, and a sweet and spicy Sriracha-style sauce. The scouting report from taste testers show the nachos could become a favorite among the baseball crowd. Also, likely to be remembered are the hot wings. Westerfield uses the fiery Fresno chile as the basis for his smooth, smoky and spicy, wing sauce.
“The first few batches were too hot and we had to tone it down a little,” he says with a laugh. “And depending on how it goes, we still may do some tweaking of the recipe.”
Fans of hot food will find the wings sufficiently spicy, while others may want to have some ice cream on standby to cool their palette.
For those who can’t wait for the annual Taco Truck Throwdown, Ovations has created three street-style tacos: carne asada, grilled chicken and lightly breaded cod. There will also be a club sandwich loaded with freshly roasted turkey, a tri-tip sandwich, a tri-tip French dip, and tri-tip philly cheese steak.
On the concourse, you can also find some new eats.
Behind home plate will be a new nacho cart where you can order three different types of nachos: chicken, beef and pulled pork. There will also be a foot-long hand-dipped corn dog and three different salads: a southwest salad, Asian salad and the Homerun, a mix of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, chunks of blue cheese and Italian dressing.
Prices for the new menu items range between $6.50 for the salads to $16 for the Schwab.
Opening day is Thursday, April 9.