As the Chicago White Sox prepare for this week’s Field of Dreams game — an event inspired by the Kevin Costner movie and played in an Iowa cornfield — Major League Baseball has called upon a local restaurant to get fans pumped for the game. Starting today and through Thursday, Antique Taco — which is about to celebrate five years in Bridgeport — is offering a special meal package complete with a commemorative metal lunchbox. The meals are only available in Bridgeport (sorry, Wicker Park).
MLB asked Antique Taco chef Rick Ortiz to come up with a meal inspired by the movie. One of the most memorable scenes shows the ghosts of the 1919 “Black Sox” emerging from tall cornstalks. Knowing that, Ortiz called upon his friends at Nichols Farm & Orchard. “I wanted to feature their corn,” he says.
The result is an on-the-cob elote that combines classic midwestern and Chicago flavors. Ortiz blanches the corn and then tosses it with ranch dressing — some would consider ranch a midwestern staple. He adds Parmesan, Tajin seasoning, and crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Ortiz says he’s “not the kind of chef that puts Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on food every day,” but says the snack adds a nice color and kick to the dish.
To go along with the elotes, Antique Taco will offer a special burrito — because burritos fit perfectly inside those lunchboxes. While the restaurant normally offers a fried chicken burrito, Ortiz was inspired by Iowa’s farm culture and wanted to feature smoked chicken instead. The burrito is also stuffed with lettuce, cheese, black beans, and crema.
“The idea was to have fun with [the special], to be excited, to represent Chicago,” Ortiz says.
The Field of Dreams game, original slated for last year, was rescheduled due to the pandemic. It will take place Thursday, August 12, in Dyersville, Iowa (population 4,100), pitting the first-place White Sox against the third-place New York Yankees. Both teams will be decked out in retro uniforms, and they’ll be playing in an 8,000-seat stadium, specially built for the game in the middle of a cornfield. This will be the first-ever regular season Major League game played in Iowa. The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be televised on Fox.
Before the pandemic, Rick and his wife Ashley Ortiz had two stalls inside Guaranteed Rate Park, the home of the Sox. Rick Ortiz is hopeful they can resume their partnership with the team.
New Yorkers will have their own version of the Field of Dreams package. At Crif Dogs, customers can order a bacon-wrapped Crif Dog topped with corn salsa, chili-lime mayo, cotija cheese, and cilantro. The special comes with an order of tots and a soft drink.
Ortiz says UPS dropped off 500 lunchboxes, so supply is limited. He hopes to outsell his New York counterpart. An MLB rep says their goal was to get both White Sox and Yankee fans pumped for the game. Even though they can’t be in Dyersville, they can still be part of the experience.
Field of Dreams was released in 1989 and included portrayals of greats including White Sox legend “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. The film coined the phrase “if you build it, they will come.” It starred Costner, Ray Liotta, James Earl Jones, and Amy Madigan.
The promotion between Antique Taco, MLB, and the Infatuation runs this Tuesday though Thursday. Online orders at the restaurant’s website.