The White Sox home opener is nine days away, and the city’s American League team has already revealed that it’ll serve the South Side Horseshoe, a playful take on the unofficial dish of the state’s capital. The team shared more details about the season’s new food offerings and other additions to Guaranteed Rate Field during a Tuesday morning stadium walkthrough for media. While scouting the main stadium store, the Chicago Sports Depot, fans of food and baseball will notice one new eye-catching item: A T-shirt that reiterates the team’s and city’s famous stance against ketchup on hot dogs.
The shirt, for now, is only available at the depot, the multi-level store with a separate entrance outside of the stadium. The black Under Armour shirt reads “No Ketchup in Chicago” with a drawing of a Chicago-style hot dog. The shirt is a pledge against the tomato condiment even though Heinz ads remain hung up on the park’s main concourse.
The shirt was the brainchild of a former employee who left in January, said Delaware North retail operations manager Barbara Bee. Bee credited the employee’s creativity as teams send several ideas for T-shirts to Major League Baseball for approval. The “no ketchup” T-shirt stuck and can be had for a stadium price of $39.99.
Hot dogs and baseball have obviously enjoyed a long relationship. Fans can of course still order a regular dog. However, the Sox trotted out a trio of new Johnsonville wieners on Tuesday. There’s “The Change Up” (chipotle Monterrey Jack chicken sausage with salsa fresca), “The Slurve” (cheddar beer brat with caramelized onions and spicy mustard), and “The Cutter” (southwest chorizo with guacamole and cotija cheese). There’s also a Cuban burger (beef patty with ham, pulled pork, pickles, Swiss cheese and mojo sauce). These items are available throughout the ballpark. There’s also a new area, the Craft Cafe Express near Section 547, a new beer-centric spin-off of the Craft Kave that debuted last season underneath right field.
Premium tickets holders will have a few new items thanks to a new chef. Lisle native Troy Tornabeni is Levy Restaurants’ new executive chef for the stadium club and other premium areas. He worked with Hilton Hotels at its President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree Hotel which is where he got the idea for the open-faced Horseshoe sandwich. Tornabeni experimented with the shape and tried using jus from Italian beef before settling on this current incarnation: a sausage patty, hand-cut fries, cheddar sauce, and giardiniera on Texas toast. Tornabeni had never heard of it until Springfield, but saw that sales were always high.
“This is how the South Side meets the capital,” he said.
A breaded steak sandwich was not on display for the media. It will be called the “Sox-o-bene” in honor of the popular and messy Ricobene’s sandwich served near the ballpark. In other news, the hyped Revolution Brewing-branded bar down the left field line was off limits because it’s under construction.
Stay tuned for more Sox Park coverage in the form of Eater Chicago’s updated ballpark guide for food and drink. That should drop later this week. The White Sox home opener is Thursday, April 5.