June 26, 2022

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10 new and noteworthy Minute Maid Park foods, ranked

5 min read

Baseball is back. The Houston Astros play their first home game on Monday, April 18, against the Los Angeles Angels.

“America’s pastime” is famously a sport many people watch just as much for the food and the vibes as the game itself. Luckily, Minute Maid Park in Houston has plenty of great dining options, including some new items for the season. Tex-Mex institution El Tiempo is also unveiling a location in the stadium.

This year marks chef Scott Strickland’s first as Minute Maid’s executive chef, replacing Jimmy Coatsworth, now a general manager for Aramark, which oversees the food at the stadium. Strickland describes himself as “a big home-cook guy” and says he wanted to offer food at Minute Maid that people could also recreate at home.

We ranked 10 foods at Minute Maid Park from least-favorite (10) to must-order (1).

The House-Smoked Turkey at Minute Maid Park

The House-Smoked Turkey at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

10. House-Smoked Turkey

This item consists of two thick slices of turkey drizzled with barbecue sauce. It was nicely smoked (after being brined for 48 hours) and tasted perfectly fine, but there wasn’t much to it other than just being meat. It personally didn’t excite me but I’m sure it will make plenty of turkey lovers happy.

Where to find it: Section 224

The Crawford Sausage at Minute Maid Park

The Crawford Sausage at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

9. Crawford Sausage

This hot dog is made with sausages from Slovacek’s, a Czech purveyor based in Snook, Texas. It’s topped with finely chopped onions that have been braised in Karbach’s Crawford Bock beer. The delightfully savory onions made the dish, the sausage was good but a little difficult to eat—I prefer a seamless bite into a soft dog and its bun. Overall solid, but it wasn’t memorable compared to some other dishes.

Where to find it: Sections 132 and 433

The Fried Bread Pudding at Minute Maid Park

The Fried Bread Pudding at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

8. Fried Bread Pudding

Easy to eat on a stick, this pudding ball had plenty of cinnamon flavor, warm raisins inside and a moist texture (I always mean this as a compliment, as a hater of dry food). Chef Strickland says they make the hot dog buns fresh daily, and in order not to waste any buns, use day-old ones to make the bread pudding. This dish gets extra points for its no-waste mission.

Where to find it: Battered Up, Section 116

The Crawford Dog at Minute Maid Park

The Crawford Dog at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

7. Crawford Dog

This hot dog contains two sausages, split then griddled, served on a hamburger potato roll as opposed to a hot dog bun. The sweet-and-savory condiment mix is what sold me here: Mustard blends with a bacon-onion jam that’s made with Crawford Bock beer. A nice twist on a classic.

Where to find it: Crawford Stand, Sections 109 and 418

The Tostitos Walking Nachos at Minute Maid Park

The Tostitos Walking Nachos at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

6. Tostitos Walking Nachos


A take on dorinachos, these walking nachos in a bag were promising in theory, but didn’t quite work in practice. First off, I’m confused why they’re called “tostitos” but are made with Doritos Dinamita chips, but no matter. These nachos are supposed to be a good walking food, but the Dinamita chips are too skinny to scoop up any of the meat properly. Eating them with a plastic fork also proved difficult, as the chips are too crunchy. I really wanted to like this, and it tasted good—save for the Dinamitas becoming a little mushy—but food infrastructure is important.

Where to find it: Section 225

The Pork Pastor Nachos at Minute Maid Park

The Pork Pastor Nachos at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

5. Pork Pastor Nachos

A more classic version of nachos, but sometimes the O.G. works just fine. The pork pastor was flavorful, the dish was overall well-executed, and had a good mix of everything, between the pickled jalapeños cutting through the richness of the queso blanco and the kind of tortilla chips that are appropriate for scooping.

Where to find it: Section 114

The House-Smoked Chicken on a Potato at Minute Maid Park

The House-Smoked Chicken on a Potato at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

4. House-Smoked Chicken on a Potato

I love a loaded baked potato, and this one hit the spot. The shredded chicken is deeply smoked and flavorful, the sour cream and grated cheddar add more oomph, and everything melds well with the flesh of the potato. No complaints.

Where to find it: Spud House, sections 117 and 154

The Pastrami Sandwich at Minute Maid Park

The Pastrami Sandwich at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

3. Pastrami Sandwich

Chef Strickland says making this pastrami sandwich is a two-week process, between the brining of the brisket that gives it a pickle-y tang, and the smoking. The meat in this sandwich is nice and moist with crumbly edges, avoiding the typical pastrami pitfall of being too dry. The three layers of rye bread provide good support for the filling, which marries well with the slaw and whole-grain mustard.

Where to find it: Homeplate Portable, Section 116

La Piña Dog at Minute Maid Park

La Piña Dog at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

2. La Piña Dog

This hot dog has everything: sweet, tangy, smoky and spicy. It’s an homage to Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel, whose nickname is “La Piña” for his gravity-defying spiky hair. Chef Strickland admits this item will be like pineapple pizza: You either hate it or you love it. I’m Team Pineapple and was delighted by this hot dog. The team tosses the piña in honey and Tajin, then smokes it. Chunks of pineapple are laid on a bun lined with a teriyaki-soy sauce glaze, alongside a long dog and candied jalapeños that bring the heat.

Where to find it: Home + Away Stand, Sections 113 and 129 & Fastball Stand, Section 416

The Asian Nachos at Minute Maid Park

The Asian Nachos at Minute Maid Park

Emma Balter

1. Asian Nachos

Drumroll… My absolute favorite item was the Asian nachos. Instead of tortilla chips, perfectly crispy and appropriately greasy fried wonton strips are used as the scooping aid. They are layered with pulled pork and pickled carrot strings, drizzled with teriyaki glaze and sweet chile aioli, then topped with black and white sesame seeds. Perfection.

Where to find it: La Michoacana Cart, section 115 & Food Portable, Section 206



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