OGDEN — These days, going out to the ballgame is about a lot more than peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
At Ogden Raptors home games, there’s a ton of dining variety and fans are eating it up.
In addition to the usual concession stand fare — hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, soda and the like — Raptors game food features a number of full-meal options.
Once fans enter the stands, there are two grills set up along the stadium’s southern and western balconies. The Hardball Grill serves bratwurst, hamburgers and Raptor Burgers — which are topped with Polish sausage and cheese — as well as cold beer and soda. The grill to the south offers Mexican-style dishes like fajitas and quesadillas.
Private vendors also serve food at the games, including Lucky Slice Pizza and Rhyle’s Garlic Fries.
“We like to offer lots of options and make people happy,” said Stacy Oliver, concession manager.
All in all, Lindquist Field’s concessions operation employs about 30 people, Oliver said.
Two of those employees are Grace Layman and Kade Rahe, who are 14. The teens say that, predictably, hot dogs are by far the most popular food at the ballpark. But personally, they’re fans of the soft pretzels.
Though the food is great, Layman said one of the things she loves most about the job is meeting new people and serving her regulars. For example, there’s one man who’s always the first to games and always orders a hotdog as soon as her stand opens.
“We always know he will be there,” she said with a smile.
In addition to hotdogs, the garlic fries served up by private vendor Rhyle’s Garlic Fries have become something of a Raptors institution.
John Hanson started the business for his kids about 10 years ago so they could earn spending money, as well as funds for cars and college. At the moment, Jaimee Hanson — who just graduated from Ogden High School — runs it with her brother.
“(The business) bought my sister a car, me a car, helped pay for college, and this year is going toward my college and my brother Rhyle’s car,” Jaimee Hanson said.
She said the experience has been fantastic for her siblings and has taught all of them about hard work. There is one downside, though — the scent.
“Although we smell like garlic for three or four months straight, it has been a fun job and we meet lots of interesting people from all over,” she said.
Making the fries is a pretty simple process, Jaimee Hanson said. They deep-fry frozen, sliced potatoes, add garlic and parmesan, and sell them in $6 batches.
“They are my family’s favorite,” Stephanie Howerton, who lives in Ogden, said of the garlic fries.
Tom Francis, another Ogdenite, said he’s a fan of much of the food but is particularly fond of the grill’s topping and condiment setup.
“They do the grilling and then they have everything else set up for you to make it just how you like it,” he said. “I think that’s a great idea.”
Oliver said the food isn’t super expensive, but it is in the pricing arena of most baseball stadium fare.
“People know they will have to pay higher prices, and they come for the experience,” said McKayla Thomas, who has been working in concessions at Lindquist Field for three years. For example, the ever-popular Raptor Burger is $8 and other burgers are about $4.
“The food is popular, and it’s cheaper than the movies,” Oliver said.
However, those who want to save a buck or two on food can take advantage of weekly specials at the ballpark.
The Raptors started Taco Tuesday, featuring $1 tacos, and the special was so popular it was extended to Wednesdays as well. The popular Thirsty Thursdays special features $2 beer and half-price soda.
The Raptors are now on a road trip, but fans can sample Lindquist Field’s food as the team returns home for a seven-game homestand Aug. 12-18. Later in the month, Ogden plays at home Aug. 24-27.