The Texas Rangers are putting more boom into their concessions for the 2013 season with a menu featuring new variations on the Boomstick, the popular 24-inch goliath of a hot dog with enough chili, cheese and other toppings to feed four or five people.
Beginning with the home opener Friday against the Los Angeles Angels, those popular mega dogs, which debuted last season, can also be topped with brisket, or polish sausage and sauerkraut.
For burger fans, the new Beltre Buster -- named after hard-hitting third baseman Adrian Beltre -- features a pound of beef and 8 ounces of bacon. There's also a 24-inch "Murph-a-Dilla" quesadilla named after outfielder David Murphy, and steak sandwiches featuring meat provided by team executive Nolan Ryan's company.
Club officials declined to provide nutritional information on the new offerings.
"We don't count calories," quipped Shawn Mattox, general manager of concessionaire Delaware North Companies Sportservice's Metroplex office. He added that the concept of such large dishes is not to create a dish so big that fans challenge each other to an eating contest. Rather, he said, the idea is for friends and family members to order one giant item and share it.
No one even ventured a guess at how many beers it would take to wash any of this down.
Although nutrition information wasn't provided by the team, one dietitian estimated that one Beltre Buster burger contained roughly 2,800 calories, 185 grams of fat and 6,000 milligrams of sodium. That's more calories than a healthy adult male should eat in an entire day, plus more than double the fat and nearly triple the recommended sodium intake.
"If you have season tickets to the ballpark, this is not what you should be eating," said Amy Goodson, a registered dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. "But if you go to a game every couple of months, and you're sharing with friends, it's OK to splurge a little."
Goodson, who has also worked as a team dietitian for the Rangers during the past five years, recommends that fans drink lots of water and eat a healthful snack such as trail mix before heading out to the ballpark, to avoid eating ravenously in the stands.
But most of all, she said, for those who order anything measuring 24 inches long, please don't attempt to eat it alone.
The temptation, however, may be too great for fans arriving at the remodeled lower concourse. Behind home plate, new concession stands include Texas Sized 24, featuring the 24-inch hot dogs and oversize burgers and quesadillas; Homeplate Alehouse, which serves craft beers; and Casa De Fuego, which features an En Fuego flauta plate.
There's also a concession stand down the first base line called The Chipper, which features potato chips made on site and available in exotic flavors.
Outside the ballpark, Delaware North Companies Sportservice is rolling out a food truck that will sell items normally available only inside the ballpark's walls. The food truck, known as Ballpark Express, will be in the parking areas Opening Day and is available for catering at private functions.