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New food offerings part of ballpark changes

Comiskey Burger, Walking Taco highlight menu; special seating areas revamped

CHICAGO -- The White Sox are trying to "Make an Impact" during the 2013 season.

Where the new food items being offered at U.S. Cellular Field are concerned, their campaign slogan has a little different feel.

"Every year we try to up our game when it comes to food and food offerings at the ballpark," White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez said. "We've tried to make the orthodox the unorthodox."

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Those food items were on display Thursday as part of a tour showing off what's new at the ballpark for the 2013 season. There's a Comiskey Burger, with the traditional Chicago Dog being incorporated into a cheeseburger sold as a double or a triple, topped with "Chitown Pico," which is a relish salsa made with all the Chicago Dog ingredients.

There also is a meatball sandwich, Bull's BBQ sweet pulled pork -- named and created by Greg Luzinski from the 1983 "Winning Ugly" White Sox -- and the Walking Taco, an offering comprised of a bag of Fritos served with stadium nacho cheese, chili and a fork.

"It's a portable hand warmer. You put your cheese and chili sauce in there and run with it," said Joey Nigro, Sportservice general manager, U.S. Cellular Field. "We come up with these things through the course of the year.

"I put a sheet of paper literally on my desk and tell my managers to come in and jot down ideas. We kind of just sort through them all, whether it's ease of operation, good value for the product. Then we just kind of make first cut, second cuts, third cuts until we hammer out the final products."

Other ballpark changes include the retired numbers being relocated from the outfield wall to the façade of the Stadium Club, and the Magellan Corporation partnering with the White Sox to become the official sponsor of the Scout Seat Section and the Scout Seat Lounge. Exhibits in the Scout Lounge area will showcase a number of the charitable organizations Magellan supports, as well as Chicago Bulls Charities and White Sox Charities. There's also a Miller Lite Party Porch for 20-56 people located in right field, with swivel chairs in the unobstructed view set up.

But let's return to the White Sox "upping their game" where the food is concerned.

One of the new entries on the Club Level is the Winning Ugly Grand Slam. In honor of the 1983 White Sox, Italian beef, an Italian sausage patty, a pork chop and bacon covered with giardiniera, sautéed onions and peppers will be slammed together on an eight-inch muffalatta bread.

"Just the different food offerings in general that we have at the ballpark is something that season over season we try doing our best and pleasing our fans," Hernandez said.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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