Out of everything that Nashville has to offer—excellent food, great shopping, four seasons, friendly people, a Parthenon that rivals Greece’s, and of course endless sources of music—outstanding athletics are one department in which our city unfortunately falls short.
Listen, we don’t need to go naming names here; we all know who is bad and who is not quite as bad. Even new-to-towners know not to expect much when they buy their first Titans jersey and head down to—wait, what’s the stadium called this year??—to root on the navy and baby blue.
But if there’s one thing sports fans and sports fakes alike can agree upon, it’s the joy that comes from gorging oneself on stadium food. The Nashville Sounds proved this point with the grand opening of their plush new stadium filled with *cough* delicious hot dogs, fully-loaded nachos, Nashville hot chicken, and tiny spheres of ice cream served in a miniature baseball helmet. But have any of us actually watched a game or kept track of the Sounds’ record this season? We’ll let you do your own research on that topic…
The reality of the matter however, is that not all of us can afford to go to a Titan’s game. Not all of us want to deal with bringing the kids and then listening to them whine the entire time about having to pee or when can they get their Papa John’s personal pan pizza. So when you’re watching the game from home, does that mean you’re left with something as commonplace as a frozen Digiorno pie and a bowl of Chex Mix? Most certainly not.
We have compiled a list of our favorite stadium eats and given them a twist to make eating more fun and, most importantly, more delicious. Because sometimes you need something to settle (fill?) your stomach after swallowing a hard loss.
Our Favorite Football Stadium Fare, Reinvented
Peanuts reinvented: [PUPPY CHOW]
Peanuts are an old time classic when it comes to stadium fare. They’re salty, they’re savory, they’re nostalgic, and the best part about them? They’re fun. Oh, and did we say messy? Eating peanuts at a sporting event gives you the opportunity to blatantly disregard any social norms of cleanliness and instead sprinkle spit-soaked shells wherever your lips can propel them. But in the comfort of your own home? Oh, honey please. Ain’t nobody got time to clean up that mess. Puppy chow provides the same sensation of this-is-so-good-I-just-can’t-stop-eating, but eliminates any unnecessary calls to Stanley Steamer.
1 box Rice Chex cereal
½ cup butter, unsalted
1 cup Good Spread peanut butter
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 cups powdered sugar
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
- Add chocolate chips and, stirring consistently, mix into melted butter until melted and fully incorporate.
- Stir in peanut butter. Remove from heat.
- In an extra large bowl, mix cereal with chocolate-peanut butter mixture until cereal is fully coated.
- Using two paper grocery bags, “double bag” the bags, by putting one inside of the other; this helps prevent a huge mess. Pour 1/3 of the powdered sugar into the bottom of the bag. Add half of the chocolate-coated cereal. Pour another third powdered sugar on top of the cereal. Pour in the rest of the coated cereal, and then top it off with the remaining powdered sugar. Roll down the top of the bag to create a seal and then vigorously shake the bag to adhere sugar to the coated cereal. If the cereal isn’t dusted enough, add more sugar and shake again. Note: its best to shake the bag outside to avoid powdered sugar leaks dirtying up your kitchen!
- Carefully open the bag and check to see if cereal is fully coated. If not, add a little more sugar and shake again until desired look and texture is reached.
Cheese Nachos reinvented: [FRITO PIE]
Nachos are good. Or well, they can be. Nachos at a football stadium have the tendency to include: 1) stale, round, dyed-yellow tortilla chips, 2) limp, seedless, army-green jalapeños, and 3) the ever-frightening corner puddle of semi-hot plastic cheese whiz. And while nachos in restaurants (for example, Drifter’s, Tavern, and Broadway Brewhouse) can ignite cravings that last a lifetime, the mess that they incite is not a welcome one while employing your denim-clad thighs as your tabletop. Frito pies, on the other hand, are moveable and portable. They require a utensil. And they still require the salty, meaty, cheesy goodness that your cravings are calling for.
1 lb. chorizo
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (we like red or orange)
1 8oz. can tomatoes, crushed
6 “Fun Size” bags of Fritos
1 8oz. bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 bunch fresh cilantro
- Remove chorizo from casings. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spatula and stirring occasionally. Remove from pan, reserving 2 tablespoons of chorizo grease. Transfer browned meat onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
- Add onion to pan and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes, then add bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes and stir.
- Return chorizo to pan and mix with tomato mixture. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened and warmed through.
- Cut one of the sides off of the small bag (the non-perforated edge) of Fritos allowing for the widest opening, which will make “plating” and eating much easier. Top chips with a layer of chorizo mix, sprinkle with cheese, add a dollop of sour cream, and garnish with cilantro. And please, use a fork or spoon.
Soft Pretzels and Hot Dogs reinvented: [PRETZEL DOGS]
We like pretzels and all, but when it all boils down (pun intended) they’re bread with salt—and okay, if you have a brain on your shoulders, some mustard too. Sometimes its nice to have a little bit extra in there like, oh I don’t know, some protein to make things more filling and subsequently fulfilling? That’s why we thought we would just go ahead and make the ultimate, two-in-one, all-time-favorite football stadium food mega-eat: PRB hot dogs in a pretzel bun. Because you know what goes great with pretzels? Mustard. And you know what goes great with a hot dog? Mustard. And you know what the two most commonly sought-after foods are at a stadium? 1) Hot Dogs and 2) Pretzels. You’re welcome.
Porter Road Butcher Hot Dogs
- This recipe is so simple, we don’t even need to write directions. Pretzel bread can be a fun project, but it can also be a big hassle…so let’s just cut to the chase and buy some rolls, for goodness sake!
- Sister Schubert makes a good pretzel roll, available at Kroger, but we suggest looking through that freezer section and seeing if you can’t find something amazing. We dare you.