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I haven’t been to a baseball game since I was 10 years old, so I was filled with childhood nostalgia when I went to see the Toronto Blue Jays pulverize the New York Yankees on Sunday. The score was 14-8 for the Jays and I’d like to put myself in the win column too for properly managing my food expectations. Word-of-mouth and interweb research all indicated that the concession stands at the Rogers Centre (formerly the Skydome) are dismal. The classic hot dog (shown above) is only slightly better than the 50-cent Ikea dog, but this one clocks in at the jacked-up price of $5.

One delicious discovery was the BBQ Chicken Nachos ($7.75) featuring tri-colour nachos loaded with cheese sauce, smoked BBQ chicken, jalapenos, onions, salsa and sour cream. The sweet chicken is an odd mix with the other flavours, but it’s a leisurely treat and the crunch from the nachos blends well with the sound of heckling fans.

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Occupying seats in the 500 level has its benefits ($12 price point, lots of room to stretch out since there’s few people around you), but the food up there should be avoided. A quick scan of the upper stalls, and it’s obvious this is peasant food.

The secret is to always head down to the 100 level for your grub. Check out the new Muddy York Market in Section 109. There’s Mediterranean and American fare such as a Pasta Box ($10.25), Traditional Caesar Salad ($7.50), Gyro ($8.25), Souvlaki on a Pita ($9.25) and a Pork Sandwich ($9.75) that’s smoked on-site and accompanied by potato salad and sweet-and-sour ‘slaw (shown below, left). Nearby is an Asian Bowl station where $11 will get you sauteed vegetables with Miso Sweet Chili sauce with noodles or rice and a beef, chicken or shrimp skewer on the side.

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If this sounds way too shmancy for a ball game, the Hogtown Grill stands have more traditional sports snacks. Three mini Prime Rib Sliders are topped with sauteed peppers and onions, and come with Miss Vickies Chips ($13) or there’s the Foot-Long Hot Dog for $7.75.

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While the quality and innovation do not match those of BMO Field and Toronto FC eats, I have to hand it to the Rogers Centre for having a whole lot of variety. The 100 level has an overwhelming selection of meats, treats and sweets. I also commend the venue for allowing you to bring in your own snacks and water/juice (in a plastic bottle less than 600 ml). But if you are planning to eat at the game, just remember to manage your expectations. Brace yourself for $7 beers ($9.50 for a tall boy), don’t expect fine dining, but be sure to enjoy the many options beyond peanuts and Cracker Jack.

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