When the Rainiers open their season Thursday at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, fans will get their first taste of new dogs, wings and nachos.
Returning this year will be Tacoma’s favorite haunt for brew and dogs, The Red Hot. Co-owner Stu Miller, who runs the tavern and gourmet hot dog restaurant on Sixth Avenue with his brother Chris, said they’ve made a few menu changes at their Cheney hot dog stand.
They’ve swapped the buns for a less bready version; they’ve also increased the size of their brat to a third-pounder, which they’ll call “The Wurst Sausage in Baseball.”
Added Miller, “Last year we had a special dog on Wednesdays. This year we will have homestead specials every Monday-Wednesday where we will have a special hot dog based on the opposition teams.”
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They’ve created a Western dog for when Reno arrives: a dog with the Red Hot’s house barbecue sauce, bacon, grilled onions and cheddar. A California dog will come with ranch dressing, guacamole, tomatoes and red onion, said Miller.
And they’ll still have a vegan dog for those who skip eating meat. Making a triumphant return will be the Cracker Jack, a dog topped with peanut butter, bacon and Cracker Jack.
Here’s what else is new, or improved, for the season at Cheney, from Michelle Morgan, the general manager of food and beverage at Ivar’s Sports and Entertainment at Cheney Stadium.
Boneless wings: “It’s hard to eat things on a bone at a stadium. You never know where to put the bones. So we’re trying the boneless wings. We’ll have three sauces and a rotating sauce,” said Morgan. Buffalo, barbecue, and sweet and spicy will be regular offerings with an additional sauce that will rotate among Caribbean, chili garlic, Szechuan, sweet chili and sweet bourbon. Blue cheese dressing will be available for dipping.
Dietary specialties: Gluten-free items will be available. So will vegetarian burgers and dogs.
Blazing Bagels: The Seattle bagel company will provide the base for the Cheney house burger, which will be built on a jalapeno-cheddar bagel.
Bigger pizza: The Invincible Pizza will be sold in giant slices.
Flying tacos: These are pork nachos covered in carnitas-style pork shoulder and all the usual nacho fixings.
Drink specials: Visit Thursdays for Thirsty Thursday specials and Wednesdays for rotating microbrew specials.