Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hometown porkchops in Earlham

It was a beautiful night for a football game pork chop in Earlham on Friday. It was a great night for football, too, but something about the sunset brought the best out of those pork chops.

Friday, August 31, 2012, was the first game at Earlham’s brand new, 2.5 million dollar football field. They’ve installed a brand new track, field turf, and an upgraded scoreboard.

After sitting in the end zone bleachers for the first half, the band got their chance to get the crowd roaring.

Check out the video highlighting Earlham’s concession stand and the rest of Seth’s pictures:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A pork chop to rival the state fair

Last week’s writeup put us on the map, it seems. Russ was on 1460 KXNO’s Murph & Andy show in the afternoon (fast forward to 10:30 for Russ’s portion), and we met a cameraman from WHO-TV at the game to film a short video. Check those out if you have the time. Then Saturday morning, he was on 1700 The Champ’s Mouth of the Midwest.

Bondurant, Iowa:

Danny got to dig into a pork chop he called, “Better than the state fair.” Jake had mustard-covered hot dog, and Eric went after the walking taco.

We want to thank the volunteers who work the concession stand at Bondurant for letting us into the stand so we could get some shots of them doing their work. The line never slowed all night and these volunteers were working like crazy.

Get it: Grab the pork chop, unwrap the foil and enjoy. Plenty of cold beverage choices to finish that off. They had multiple flavors of sports drink along with tons of soda.

Skip it: The bag of popcorn we had was a bit dry and salty. When we find ourselves back in Bondurant, we’re skipping the popcorn and heading right for the pork chop and walking tacos

Enjoy the video:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

That’s not a hot dog. Those are polish. There’s some spiciness there.

Here’s the deal with the food at the concession stand at Grandview Park Baptist football field, hidden a few quiet blocks north of the Iowa State Fair: consider the $5 ticket a cover charge, the football game a nice backdrop, and the multiple playgrounds a place for the kids to go while you dig into some of the best food we’ve had a chance to eat since we started this adventure.

I cannot overstate how good this food was. It’s one thing to throw a pork shoulder in a crockpot all day. It’s one thing to nuke some hot dogs in the microwave for dinner. It’s a different story at Grandview Park Baptists’ concession-stand-on-wheels, though.

The pulled pork: “One of the guys cooks it all day long, then brings it here. It’s a lot of pulled pork. You don’t get a little. You get state fair quantities.”

The hot dogs: “We’ve got real hot dogs. I mean they stick out both ends of the bun.”

The way the run their stand: “We really try to do it well for the people.”

The future? “We’re going to start taking this to away games.”

Let’s hope so. Turn that operation into a food truck and you’d have at least one happy customer. This guy.

The food made up for a lackluster performance by the Defenders. Coon Rapids-Bayard comes into Grandview Park Baptist and leaves with a 47-17 victory. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

The hamburger that saved the night

I just don’t think any game is going to match the energy from the Adel @ Carlisle game. Two teams who couldn’t be more different: 5-wide, shotgun vs. 3 yards and a cloud of dust. The tension. The comeback.

Those were all absent from the game in Pleasant Hill.

I was told to check out the hamburger at the stadium.

This tender, juicy burger is worth a trip to the game alone. I’m starting to mentally compile a list (and compile a real list here on the blog) of where to go for the best _______. As of now, Southeast Polk has set the bar for hamburgers.

The popcorn was plentiful. Dollar bags rarely disappoint. It was freshly popped and it hit the spot. 

Marshalltown struggled to keep things close. Southeast Polk was ready for what Marshalltown was throwing at them and took advantage of all the opportunities they had to score.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Super nachos are where it’s at

Check out the highlights in this week’s video:

Popcorn Vitals:

  • Another 75 in a standard-size bag
  • Crispy kernels
  • Minimal unpopped kernels
  • Plenty of salt, if you’re into that


  • I would have appreciated having the salt on the condiment table

What they’re known for:

  • Super nachos
    • Crunchy chips with nacho cheese, beef, salsa, and (optional) jalapeños
    • Plenty for a few people

Game Vitals:

  • ADM started hot and kept the pressure on, winning 41-0
Saturday, October 15, 2011

A biting wind and saving bites of a hot dog

It was a homecoming of sorts for Danny. He played in the band at Madrid 10 or so seasons ago. Unfortunately, the band still keeps the tradition of not marching at half-time.

The game was a blowout and the popcorn was underwhelming. We needed something to save our night.

Popcorn Vitals:

  • $0.75/bag. When I saw the price, I said to Seth, “Uh oh.” Seventy-five cents always makes me nervous as a price for popcorn. I’ve had dollar-a-bag live up to its price. I’ve had fifty-cent that I would have paid two dollars for. I’ve never had a seventy-five that hit the spot. Tradition held in Madrid last night.
  • Standard bag size. If there is such a thing.


    The bag of popcorn is the lifeblood of a high school football concession stand. Pre-popping is more art than science. If you pre-pop too much, you end up giving people hour-old popcorn midway through the first quarter. If you wait too long to pre-pop, you end up running the risk of having to pop it while folks wait. It’s a delicate balance. Pop wisely.

    What they’re known for:

    My standard order on Friday night’s is: I’ll have a bag of popcorn and: what are you known for? The response from the young lady taking my order: “We have pretty good hot dogs.”

    If you look hard enough, you can see the surprise and excitement on my face when I took that first bite. It was that good. Danny went and picked himself up a dog about halfway through the second quarter.

    Madrid was two-for-two on dogs. 

    As I said in the video, the grill marks were a good sign. It’s impressive to see a concession still grilling their dogs through October. Along with that — as you can see in the pictures — the dog filled up the bun. At $2.50, it was worth every penny. Danny and I both commented after eating our respective dogs that they “weren’t normal hot dogs. There’s something in here like cheddar or something.” The more I’ve thought about it, though, I don’t think that’s the case. 

    Had to lend a hand after a touchdown.

    Game Vitals:

    The game broke open a few minutes into the first quarter. It was over by the end of the first quarter. We didn’t stay for the whole thing, but I assume Madrid put up something in the 60s. Martensdale fought hard all night and had 13 on the board when we left.

    The biting wind and chilly temperatures seemed to slow Martensdale’s air attack. They had a few dropped passes. I know the feeling of a football that hardens and heavies when the cold comes in. Problem is last night wasn’t really that cold. Not even close to what it’ll be like in a few weeks.

    Luckily, that’s what hot chocolate is for. 

    In the end, it was a great night in Madrid. We’ll be back, Tigers.

    Thanks to Seth Biesterfelt for the pictures and hot dog video.Thanks to Danny Fath for the touchdown video. 

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Fluffy popcorn. Furious comeback.

    The popcorn was delicious. It was light and fully. Not too buttery and not too salty. By the time Adel finished their comeback, I was stuffed and there weren’t a ton of unpopped seeds at the bottom of the bag.

    We had to wait when we got there for them to pop a new batch. When you have a matchup of top-ten teams, that kind of thing can happen.

    Popcorn Vitals:

    • $1/bag
    • It was a big bag. I’m going to have trouble not judging all other bags by the size of this bag. 


    • Top off the bag? I’m not really sure what to say. As I said, this may be the new buttered standard in prep popcorn. 

      Game Vitals:

      #2 ADM came back from a 17-point half-time deficit to score 20 unanswered points after the break. We stood on the top of the bleachers behind the ADM student section.


      • Louder! I loved when the student section led a cheer that got the parents involved. More of that, please.

      Look for food pictures next game.