Seafood po’boys, barbecue sandwiches and various deep-fried and bacon-wrapped concoctions are among the new premium concession stand items that will be available for sale at McLane Stadium.
Baylor University has contracted with food vendor Savor to handle concessions at all of its athletics facilities, from McLane Stadium and the Ferrell Center to the ballpark and soccer fields in the Jim and Julie Turner Riverfront Complex.
Savor has been working on a custom concessions menu for the football stadium since January, creating five different types of food stations offering barbecue, Cajun and even Italian dishes to fulfill every fan’s food craving.
“We don’t have a set of menus and recipes that everywhere we go, this is what we serve — we’re not McDonald’s,” said Joe Pulido, director of food and beverage for Savor.
“(We’re focused on) what do folks in this area really like? What are the interests you have?” Pulido said. “While at the same time respecting the fan favorites — you’ve got to have that hot dog and the nachos with the
cheese sauce, those are just the things you expect at a stadium.”
At Char BQ, fans can purchase beef and pulled pork barbecue sandwiches, as well as loaded nachos topped with smoked meats. Savor has a smoker in its stadium kitchen and will cook all of the barbecue on site, Pulido said.
Shrimp and catfish po’boy sandwiches will be sold in the Cajun-themed Creoles stands, along with a blackened chicken wrap and fried pickles.
Bistro Texana will serve Italian-style sandwiches with Texas flair, like a Lone Star Meatball Sandwich with chipotle marinara sauce, plus traditional items like chicken parmigiano sandwiches and garlic fries topped with mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses.
Eat Street Grill, one of the primary concessions stations, will feature more traditional American fare like chicken tender baskets, hamburgers, along with more premium offerings like chicken fried steak sandwiches and buffalo chicken sandwiches. And FUEL stands will offer stadium favorites like sausage wraps with Texas-made links, hot dogs, nachos and salads.
Alcohol will not be sold at the Savor concessions stands during games, nor served in suites or the private Baylor Club on site, which are managed separately by Club Corp.
The stadium will have 248 checkout lines between all the fixed and mobile concession stands, compared just 54 that were at Floyd Casey Stadium. The concession stands will be spread across the two main concourses so fans can still keep an eye on the action on the field while buying food, whereas concessions were all located in the tunnel under Floyd Casey, with no view of the game.
“You want to have good opportunities for your fans, and I think when they go to other places they see things like this,” Baylor Executive Associate Athletics Director Nick Joos said. “They’ll have a wide-ranging menu and there should be something for everyone. I think that will be very well received.”
Savor also has created some fried treats sure to satisfy salty cravings. For example, the Smoked n’ Fried Bacon Rings feature thick-cut sweet onions dipped in sriracha and wrapped in bacon, then smoked for an hour and deep fried and served with a side of sriracha mayonnaise. That same treatment is given to the Texan Dog, a bacon-wrapped hot dog.
The company also created a special Honey Bear Tea for Baylor, a nod to the university’s mascot, made on-site with honey and agave nectar. Savor is planning to contract with local bakers to create Baylor-decorated cookies.
The menus may change as the weather cools to feature things like chili, soups served in a bread bowl and funnel cake during the winter, Pulido said.
The new concessions offerings will come at a higher price. Pulido said some of the more traditional items will remain the same as the cost at Floyd Casey — $4 for a regular hot dog or $5 for a hamburger.
Vendors like Papa John’s Pizza and La Fiesta, who will be in mobile stands on the concourse, will keep the same rates they offered at the old stadium.
But the premium items will cost $7 and up. Barbecue sandwiches may start at $7, while po’boys will be priced at $8, though Pulido notes that those items will include sides like chips, potato salad or french fries.
Final menu pricing for the concessions is still being finalized, he said.
“There’s a price point for everyone in there,” Pulido said. “There’s certainly some things that are premium — they’re a premium offering, premium products. They’re there if you want them, and if you want them you’re not going to walk away thinking anything but, ‘Wow, that was good.’ ”
Joos said Baylor previously handled all of the concessions in-house for the games. But Floyd Casey did not have a kitchen, so items were either cooked in fryers or limited prep equipment. Food for the private suites was prepared on campus and bused to Floyd Casey.
Savor will have its own kitchen for concessions, while Club Corp. has a separate kitchen for the suites and the Baylor Club.
“Floyd Casey was a 64-year-old venue and you’re trying to do the best you can with limited resources to make that (service) as good as possible,” Joos said. “In 1950, it probably serviced all the people well — and that goes for concessions, bathrooms. All the amenities that people expect today, they didn’t expect in 1950, so this is kind of a sign of the evolution of times.”