Looking for the best food at the CWS…

The College World Series has turned Omaha into the place to be and a place to eat for two weeks in June. With the second year in its new home at the TDAmeritrade Park, the city and visitors look to be loving it. And everywhere I looked people were eating.  I am a CWS newbie and have only heard stories of what the CWS was like around Rosenblatt so I can only imagine. But I can tell you what the CWS looks like now, in the north end of downtown. The tradition is very strong, the food booths are a plenty and I was excited to be there. 

I went with my husband and my father-in-law to eat and take in the scene. And we did eat. Parking is very expensive for Omaha considering that most of the time the big open spaces are free or street parking is most often available. Coming from life in Chicago, the accessibility in parking has always been an Omaha perk. But the CWS event is very un-like other Omaha events and the parking was brutal.  My tip is to go early or get out your $20’s for a spot. Okay, so once I got past the parking scenario, I was really ready to see what was happening and who was cooking what. 

So we started our quest to the ballpark to see what we could find. The smells were delicious. Goodnights Pizza was doing their best, keeping up while many fans were carrying out pizza boxes and eating ‘za on the crowded patio. As we turned the corner to the Slowdown Beer Garden which is directly behind the Slowdown in its parking lot, we found two food trucks that both hit it out of the ballpark, the Localmotive food truck and the Chicago Dawg House. 

I ordered the traditional fries and the cordon bleu rounders at Localmotive. After eating many fries throughout my CWS eating fest, I have to say that the traditional fries with sea salt from the Localmotive food truck are worth a trip. And they have a variety of dipping sauces. My hubby picked the chili ketchup on the advice of the guy across the way selling t-shirts who told us we had to try it. So we did and the chilies in the homemade ketchup were cool and a little spicy against the fires that I would describe as skinny, lightly fried with crispy outside and actually still tasted like a potato inside. Could eat them all day. The rounders that I ordered came 3 to an order for $6 bucks and were ideal street food. Deep fried sourdough bread stuffed with chicken, ham and Swiss cheese with honey mustard dipping sauce. I personally am a huge fan of dipping so this food truck had just what I was looking for in the variety of sauces. The rounders were very good; not heavy, not greasy and you were able to taste and see what was inside. I am sorry I didn’t order more but the CWS runs until June 25 so there is still time to go back…

Next, I have to say that the Chicago Dawg House is just plain fun and worth visiting for such an event.  I can see them being a main stay at the new CWS location and people will be eating with them for many years to come.  Why? Well, because they have a darn good hot dog.  And with a picture of two happy guys offering you a dog on the outside of their food truck, who could say no?  They offer food items other than hot dogs but this removed Chi-town city girl needed a fix.  And that Chicago “dawg" was delicious with sweet pickle relish, mustard, tomato, onion, a dill pickle spear, pepperoncinis, and celery salt on a poppy seed bun. Thankfully, the pickle relish wasn’t the neon green “stuff” they use in some hot dog stands in Chicago because who knows what that “stuff” really is in the first place. Otherwise, the Chicago style dog was money to me and the hot dog was gone in maybe three bits…

Sometime in between, we stopped at a huge colorful food truck call Bomb Digs and had lemonade and a Deep Fried Twinkie. For this I was very curious since I was under the assumption that the Twinkie was no longer in existence. The Bomb Digs guy and the CWS fan currently eating one assured me, that the deep fried Twinkie should not be missed. I am a sucker for such hype and I quickly order one and waited for my name to be called. A few minutes longer than I had wanted, my Twinkie was finally in my hands.  (I wonder if their turn over time is better during a rush?) In the end, I would say that the deep fried Twinkie should stay a regular Twinkie. It had an overly fried, greasy texture that many might like but I felt it was very unhealthy to eat. My hubby did remind me that I had ordered a fried Twinkie so what did I expect and I guess he was right…

As we continued our tour throughout the grounds of the CWS, we ate ice cream cones and malts from Zestos, chicken wings and sweet potato pie ice cream from Big Mama’s, a gator brat and grilled shrimp from Shucks. We happened upon Dante’s Pizzeria and Stokes, no to mention the new open-air restaurant the Blatt. There is a lot to eat at the CWS, so go forth and stuff yourself.

posted at 02:14 pm
on Monday, June 18th, 2012

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