Lee MathisINSANELEE DECADENTGrand Junction Free Press Food Columnist

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April 26, 2012
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Batter up for some ballpark cuisine

One of the tell-tale signs that spring is upon us and that summer is not that far away... Baseball!Truly one of our own American games (and yes, lacrosse is another), pretty much each and everyone of us have played some level of this game - T-Ball, Little League, high school, college and for the very, very few.. pro.I still remember taking the train up to Philadelphia with my mom and dad from Atlantic City and going to see the Philadelphia Phillies, first at Connie Mack Stadium (yes, I was very young at that time) and then Veterans Stadium.While I did love my Phillies growing up (Jim Bunning, Johnny Callison, Ruben Amaro, Clay Dalrymple), I have to admit it, I also knew that my folks were easy marks for getting me my hot dogs (just ketchup first, eventually graduating to mustard and onions), my peanuts and, oh yeah, my Cracker Jacks. Not the kind now, where all you get is some kind of paper cut-out, but the kind where you could really play with the things that they put in the box!We have talked about it before, but ballpark food has changed. At Philly's Citizens Bank Park, Tony Luke's serves up some tasty cheesesteaks, of course, but also their unbelievable roast pork sub on a crusty Italian roll, with a garlicky broccoli rabe and sharp provoloneIn Pittsburgh at PNC Park, Primanti Brothers has their signature sliced steak, cole slaw, tomatoes and yes, French fries on thick-cut Italian bread. If you are at Oriole's Park at Camden Yard in Baltimore, fans feast on Maryland crab cakes while Boog's BBQ serves up some smoky pit-roasted beef. Two of my all-time favorites are at AT&T Park in San Francisco, garlic fries and the Dodger dogs at Dodger Stadium. But most stadiums have their own brew pubs/restaurants where you can sit down and get a great meal, watching the game on their flat screens.Yeah, I can see some people doing this, but why? You go to the game to sit in the stands, to hoot and howl with your kids, to spoil your kids, to get those silver-wrapped hot dogs, have the peanut vendor try and reach you on a throw, and to eat too much ballpark food.This season, we have our own local professional minor league team, the Grand Junction Rockies! Home opener is June 23 at Suplizio Field! Whether it is to see the Grand Junction Rockies, CMU, our high school teams, or your kids' Little League or T-Ball games: Get on out there!FYI: The first major event of the season at Mesa County Fairgrounds is this Saturday, April 28! Super Cross! Gates open at 4:30, show starts at 6 p.m.WEBSITE OF THE WEEKThis week's Website of the Week is from Yahoo.com and has the Top 5 Ballpark foods that you can make at home! And our Recipe of The Week from that same site is a make-at-home Primanti Brothers sandwich. Mangia!http://voices.yahoo.com/top-5-ballpark-foods-home-opening-day-11054366.html----------------------------Lee is the founder and owner of Decadence Gourmet Cheesecakes and Catering. Reach him at decadencecheesecakes@mindspring.com, via the website at www.decadencecheesecakes.com, or by calling 970-256-4688. Follow the adventures of Decadence on Facebook and on Twitter. We're close to 1,400 friends on Facebook and when we hit 1,500, we'll do another giveaway contest!

2 slices Italian bread, big!5-6 slices ham, thin 2 slices provolone cheese 1/4 cup coleslaw 2 slices tomatoes 1 cup French fries , still warm MayonnaiseSpread mayonnaise on bread. Layer the ham, then the provolone, add your tomatoes, then your French fries and top off with your coleslaw. Carefully slice in half! Serve on wax paper for authenticity.Probably not the best diet food, but oh-so-good!

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The Post Independent Updated Apr 26, 2012 08:24PM Published Apr 26, 2012 08:14PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.