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The Suburbanite
  • Akron Aeros treat fans to unique eats

  • The Akron Aeros have built a reputation for bringing unique food items to Canal Park, building a menu of calorie-stuffed items that, as Aeros Director of Food and Beverage Tyree Kim says, “are unique to us.”

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  • Call it the dichotomy of delicious cuisine.
    The Akron Aeros have built a reputation for bringing unique food items to Canal Park, building a menu of calorie-stuffed items that, as Aeros Director of Food and Beverage Tyree Kim says, “are unique to us.”
    The thought of the Nice 2 Meat U, 3 Dog Night and Screamer are enough to send Jillian Michaels into a cold sweat and make the tastebuds of fans water. However, a forecast of healthier food is on the horizon and a Vegan Iron Chef night on April 22 gave fans a chance to sample the forthcoming healthier fare.
    Chefs were on hand in the concourse to make fresh vegan items and serve up a tasty slant on the sort of good-for-you eats that are rarely found inside any sports venue. Kim says the Aeros are debating which vegan items to add to the ballpark menu, but haven’t settled on their final choices yet.
    “The vegan stuff is something different, you don’t normally see healthy options at parks,” Kim said. “We’re trying to create gluten-free, healthy items.”
    For now, the menu will continue to be dominated by a trio of diet-wrecking dishes.
    All three of these unusual items are typically too much food for one person to handle alone, but perhaps none more so than the Screamer, an ice cream treat that definitely isn’t on the menu at any local ice cream shop.
    The Screamer starts with a full-size, adult batting helmet. The helmet is lined with a base of brownies and from there, 20 scoops of ice cream are added. Vanilla is the most popular choice, according to Kim, but there are eight different flavors to choose from. The ice cream is then topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and a choice of other ice cream toppings, with a cherry on top.
    By the time all of the ingredients are added, the Screamer weighs in at a whopping 5 pounds.
    In a feat that could have been fodder for Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food,” one fan actually ate an entire Screamer on his own during the team’s opening homestand this season.
    “Our owner, Ken Babby, decided to comp it to him for eating the whole thing,” Kim said.
    On opening night April 4, 25 Screamers were sold. The helmet full of ice cream tends to be a popular choice for families and especially children, Kim added.
    The Screamer is the sweet side of the story, while the Nice 2 Meat U and 3 Dog Night are the meatier element.
    MEAT AND POTATOES
    The Nice 2 Meat U is available at a concession stand located in the left-field area of the stands and is a sort of hamburger on steroids. Consisting of two half-pound patties stuffed with two hot dogs and topped with two slices of cheese and bacon, the burger is served on a normal hamburger bun.
    Page 2 of 2 - With the bun and toppings, it weighs it at well over one pound.
    For those whom beef and hot dogs aren’t enough meat on a sandwich, there is also the 3 Dog Night, an amped-up take on a Thanksgiving dinner oddity that former NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden made famous while broadcasting Thanksgiving Day games: The turducken.
    “The idea was to model it after a turducken,” Kim said. “That was what we tried to create.”
    A turducken, as the name suggests, is a hybrid of a turkey, duck and chicken, resulting in what looks like a large turkey with far too many legs. The 3 Dog Night doesn’t have legs, but it does have three different types of meat stuffed inside on another like a Russian nesting doll. On the outside is a half-pound kielbasa, stuffed with a quarter-pound bratwurst. Inside the bratwurst are two normal-sized hot dogs, completing the meat trifecta.
    The sandwich is placed on an oversized bun and topped with sauerkraut and a collection of other normal hot dog toppings such as relish, mustard and ketchup.
    “It’s something we created for the fans to enjoy at the same time, to recognize that’s only available here,” Kim said. “It’s a fun part of the fan experience.”
    The prices for all three offerings are under $20. The Screamer is the most expensive at $20, with the Nice 2 Meat U at $10 and the 3 Dog Night at $8.50.
    There will soon be another odd entry on the menu to join the trio: the Twister. A spiral-cut potato on a stick, the Twister will be available at the Taters concession stand behind home plate.
    Eating a Screamer or 3 Dog Night is a memorable experience for a fan, but it also puts a smile on the faces of the Aeros food service staff to serve up such a treat.
    “It’s created for a family or group to enjoy,” Kim said of the Screamer. “You see people walking out with a giant Screamer helmet full of ice cream and it’s great.”
    Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or Andy.Harris@TheSuburbanite.com.
    On Twitter: @aharrisBURB