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Munchin' in the bleachers: New Bisons concessions

Professional baseball teams across the country unveiled new concessions items on Wednesday, and the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons reinforced their focus on local food and drink.

While many major league clubs debut creative or bizarre foods -- like the Mets' $154 38-ounce Tomahawk rib chop and peanut butter pretzel-coated thick-cut bacon on a stick -- the Bisons remained practical in their offerings, showcasing a chicken-and-waffles sandwich, barbecue chicken flatbread, jalapeno bottle caps, funnel fries and more.

Robert Free, Director of Food Service Operations, display the many new food offerings. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Robert Free, director of Food Service Operations, displays the many new food offerings. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

For fans, the Buffalocal Concession Stand by Section 100 of Coca-Cola Field's main concourse will be the biggest draw, as two local vendors, BW's Smokin' Barrels Barbecue (Blasdell) and Wardynski's (Buffalo), will boast a broader menu of eats in an easier-to-access spot. Products from other local businesses like La Nova, Original Pizza Logs and Charlap's will continue to be available at the ballpark.

Bisons Director of Food Service Operations Rob Free, who collaborates to present frequent local craft-beer events like The Brewer's Invitational on April 2, has equipped the new Buffalocal stand with beer from six local breweries: Flying Bison, Big Ditch, 12 Gates, Resurgence, 42 North and Pearl Street.

Here's a rundown on the other new menu items (prices and locations are to-be-determined):

*BBQ chicken flatbread:

BBQ chicken flatbread, one of the Bisons' new concession items. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

BBQ chicken flatbread, one of the Bisons' new concession items. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: Perhaps the best new item of the lot. It's hard not to like barbecue sauce, cheese and chicken together, and it's easy and clean to eat as far as ballpark foods go.

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*Chicken-and-waffles sandwich:

Chicken-and-waffles sandwich from the Buffalo Bisons concessions. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Chicken-and-waffles sandwich from the Buffalo Bisons concessions. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Quick take: We sampled this after it sat under a heat lamp for awhile, so it will likely taste much better when piping hot. It has potential, too, given the crunchy exterior and chewy interior of the waffle, although ballpark chicken can be a toss-up when it comes to quality.

A potential sticking point: Be careful with the maple syrup, and snag a few extra napkins.

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*Jalapeno bottle caps:

Jalapeno bottle caps, a new item at the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Jalapeno bottle caps, a new item at the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: More breading than jalapeno in the caps that I tried, but that may not be par for the course. Pros? Easy to eat with your fingers, will probably make you more thirsty.

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*Funnel fries:

Funnel fries, a new Bisons concessions item. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Funnel fries, a new Bisons concessions item. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Quick take: Nothing glamorous about these -- just deep-fried dough in stick form covered in powdered sugar. Are they a little greasy? Yeah, but your kids won't care. They'll probably actually be thrilled.

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*BW's BBQ pulled pork sandwich:

Pulled pork sandwich from BW's Smokin' Barrels Barbecue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Pulled pork sandwich from BW's Smokin' Barrels Barbecue. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Quick take: Will it be the best barbecue you've ever feasted upon? Probably not, but hey, I don't know what kind of barbecue you consume. It wasn't smoky or oozing with flavor, but I could still plow through several of these.

A new perk for 2016 is that the sandwich is available on a gluten-free roll, which will have celiac-suffering Bisons fans rejoicing.

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*Steak and cheese sub:

Steak and cheese sub from the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Steak and cheese sub from the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: It's nothing like you'd find in Philadelphia, but if you have a craving for cheese-steak, it is available.

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*Wardynski's bratwurst:

Bratwurst from Wardynski's, a Bisons concession. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Bratwurst from Wardynski's, a Bisons concession. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: No frills here, just a standard bratwurst from a local business. Not everyone loves sauerkraut, but it's really underrated for a fermented vegetable.

You're at a baseball game, so be wary of where you squirt the ketchup and mustard. (I'm not your parents or significant other, so I personally don't really care what you do.)

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*Wardynski's chicken sausage:

Chicken sausage, a healthy Bisons concession from Wardynski's. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Chicken sausage, a healthy Bisons concession from Wardynski's. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: Chicken sausage, almost always more healthy than beef sausage. But not as healthy as...

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*Roasted beet salad:

Roasted beet salad is a healthy item at the Bisons concessions. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Roasted beet salad is a healthy item at the Bisons concessions. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Quick take: If you're going to get a salad at a baseball game, it might as well be one with colorful foods like beets and mandarin oranges.

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*Barefoot Refresh:

Barefoot Refresh, a wine spritzer that's now available in cans. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Barefoot Refresh, a wine spritzer that's now available in cans. (Ben Tsujimoto/Buffalo News)

Quick take: 6.5 percent alcohol by volume! It went down smooth, even if I didn't feel particularly manly sipping a spritzer. I don't think anyone judged me, but I kept my eyes peeled for the lurking TV cameras.

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*Grilled chicken and fries:

Grilled chicken and fries from the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Grilled chicken and fries from the Bisons concessions. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Quick take: I'll be honest, I didn't try the chicken (I had one job!). Ballpark fries are always a pleasant surprise to me, though.

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*Buffalo Munch:

Buffalo Munch is a strong snacking option at the Buffalocal concession stand. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Buffalo Munch is a strong snacking option at the Buffalocal concession stand. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Quick take: There are mini whales inside! How cute. Not to be confused with the House of Munch food truck, this mix comes from WNY Fun Foods. A pleasant assortment of sweet, salty and spicy, it's worth a try, depending on the cost.

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Two ticket deals to take note of:

-- Ted's Lunch Pack: Individual special tickets available for each of the nine weekday afternoon games. Game ticket, hot dog, Coca-Cola soft drink and $5 in Ted's Bucks for $13.75. That's a lot of $1 hot dogs (well, five) at Ted's, if that day ever happens again.

-- Consumer's Craft Beer Club: A ticket to all 10 Tuesday Bisons games and a special Consumer's pint cup that can be filled once per Tuesday game. $99 for all 10 games.

Email Ben Tsujimoto, who remains leery about bacon on a stick, at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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