Lowcountry-based minor baseball league, Charleston RiverDogs, start their season on the road, but will return for the first home game of 2014 on Monday, April 7. The Opening Night celebration will feature $1 hot dogs and $1 beers presented by Coors, but there's plenty more food options for hungry sports fans this year. Food and beverage director at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park (The Joe), John Schumacher, keeps the offerings fun and has landed in Esquire magazine with his beer milkshake recipe. Keep an eye out for brand-new smoked brisket, a fresh herb garden for pillaging, and the out-of-left-field choice of frog legs on the ballpark menus this season.
All Star Menu Items at The Joe
The RiverDog: The RiverDogs' most popular meat in bun item is their signature, eponymous hot dog. It's an all-beef dog topped with cole slaw, mustard BBQ sauce, and pickled okra. This item is located at the Dog House and Dog World concession stands.
Pig-on-a-Stick: Hungry fans shouldn't have to think twice about this bacon-wrapped, foot long corn dog. Find your crispy pork fix at the Dog House concession stand.
Beer Shakes: Introduced in 2013, these boozy beverages quickly became one of The Joe's best-selling items. It's a milkshake minus the milk and with the addition of a specialty beer, flavored syrups and ice cream. Check the Pie House for flavors, like Guinness Caramel Shake.
Self-Serve Herb Gardens: Introduced last year, the stadium offered tubs of in-house grown herbs for fans to customize food purchases. The Joe will add two more locations throughout the concourse, this year. Look for cilantro, basil, and other green leafy plants.
Other Stadium Highlights
At The Joe, there is one general concourse area where all the food locations are open to the public. There are private picnic areas, with menus for large group outings, located on the third level. The fancy Suites (Sky Boxes) are located on the fourth level.
Smoking Joe's: What's a better combination than barbecue and baseball? Smoking Joe's is a revamped food outlet outfitted to include a brand new commercial smoker. The menu will include brisket, tri-tip sirloin, and frog legs. Local chefs are lined up to work the smoker on various dates during the year and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Also included in this area will be craft beer on draft and a specialty hot dog cart.
Sangria Wine Garden : Sometimes you don't feel like a beer and this year, Sangria Wine Garden can accommodate those looking for a rosé. Located across from Smoking Joe's, the outlet will feature four house-made sangrias and wine by the glass. For something stronger, the Firefly Tiki Hut will be located next door and offer signature Firefly Cocktails.
The Palmetto Beer Garden Located across from the Souvenir Shop, this beer garden offers eight drafts with four locally-made options from Palmetto Brewing, including a signature beer made for the RiverDogs that can only be found at The Joe—The Original RiverDog.
Scoops Concession Stand: The first concession stand on the right side of the concourse includes menu items for ball aficionados with a sweet tooth. At Scoops, patrons will find hand-dipped ice cream, milkshakes, locally-made Sweet Bottom Cookies, candy, and the stadium's kid's meal (peanut butter and jelly, applesauce and a Capri Sun).
Boiled Peanut Stand: Boiled peanuts and baseball are a Lowcountry tradition. Located to the left of the Scoops Concession Stand, this spot offers boiled and roasted peanuts.
Pie House Concession Stand: Get your slices of pizza at this location across from the Boiled Peanut Stand. Also, look here for the beer shakes and, a new item for 2014, spiked beer shakes (beer shakes with a shot of booze) . Flavors include a Guinness Kahlua Shake or the Southern Pecan Lazy Magnolia with Cathead Pecan Vodka Shake.
Sausage World: The finest tube meat around, this specialty portable stand offers alligator sausage, bratwurst, and a chicken and apple option. Located on the left side of the concourse, down from the Boiled Peanut Stand.
Wacko Taco Concession Stand: Just past Sausage World, patrons will find Wacko Taco. This stand offers tacos of every variety: brisket, barbecue, veggie, and chipotle chicken. Also look for stuffed avocados, kitchen sink nachos (everything but), and something called the Charlie (T)aco Dog.
Dog House Concession Stand: Find all the classic ballpark foods at this place located across from the Wacko Taco concession stand. They offer hot dogs, burgers, fries, fried chicken sandwiches, a Pig-on-a-Stick, the RiverDog, the Bull Dog (chili and cheese dog), peanuts, Cracker Jacks, and more.
Funnel Cake Portable Stand: Seek out this spot, located on the left side of the concourse, just beyond the Dog House Concession Stand if you're hankering for funnel cakes, deep fried Oreos or popcorn.
Dog World Concession Stand: At the end of the concourse, on the Marsh side of the stadium, is Dog World. The specialty hot dog stand and healthy menu item location includes all the stadium specific meat treats, like the RiverDog, the Yankee Dog, the Homewrecker, a pimento cheese option, the Pickle Dog and a 2014 release, the Sushi Dog (nori wrapped hot dog with seaweed, cabbage, cilantro, and a wasabi sweet and spicy mustard).
And if you insist on eating healthy, items include a Mediterranean herb-spiced turkey burger and a roasted carrot "hot dog" served with cabbage and cilantro slaw with Sriracha honey.