Red Wings shake up menu with additions of barbecue, jambalaya; hot dogs ‘safe!’

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Despite snow covering the stadium, the Rochester Red Wings were drumming up excitement for their 2024 season Wednesday morning.

With their first home game less than two weeks away, staff held a tasting to show off Innovative Field’s new foods.

“As soon as the seasons over we immediately start testing food this year our kitchen was under construction,” Executive Chef Keith Hillock said. “So I was doing a lot of tastings off site. We immediately start testing trying to expand our menu to find things that work in a ballpark, work in a stadium.”

Armed with a new-and-improved kitchen, Hillock and his team are swinging for the fences with this season’s creations. One big change is that they’re getting rid of the mac and cheese stand. Now, it’s Spikes’ Barbecue. 

“Don’t worry, mac and cheese is still going to be there,” Jeff DeSantis, food and beverage general manager, said. “But we’re going to have barbecue sandwiches, pulled chicken sandwiches. You’ll be able to get pulled pork nachos there, pulled pork mac and cheese, so we’re creating a lot more entrée items in that space.”

Over at the Black Angus Grill, they’re keeping a heavy hitter.

“We have our Red Wings Roast Beef, which is a traditional beef on weck dipped in hot au jus served with horsey sauce or cheese sauce,” Hillock said.

They’ll also have a rotating sandwich special at the grill. For the month of April, it’s a hot honey fried chicken sandwich. And a few times this season, they’ll be serving something out of left field: jambalaya. It’s not your usual ballgame fare, but it is delicious, according to the folks who tried it at the tasting.

“Ballparks are changing,” Hillock said. “You go across the country, some ballparks are serving sushi. Some ballparks are doing ridiculously stacked burgers and hotdogs. I know that’s ballpark-ey, but you’ve got places that are serving filet mignon sandwiches, different stuff like that. So we’re trying to bring that kind of game at a family-friendly price.”

The Red Wings first home game is April 2 against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. The two teams will face off in a six-game set. To celebrate the upcoming eclipse, the Red Wings will be playing some of those games as the Rochester Moon Rocs.