Connie Mack WS daily food specials are home runs
FARMINGTON – The Connie Mack World Series continues to provide baseball fans with some of the best high school prospects to view through the entire tournament. But anyone dedicated to watching three or four baseball games in a single day knows the importance of fueling up for a day like that.
That's where the daily specials at Ricketts Park come in. Eva Armenta, the head chef for the Connie Mack World Series, continues her streak of delicious options that aren't the typical baseball park staples.
Pork Loin Tacos
Monday's dinner was Pork Loin Tacos with beans and rice served with housemade chips and fresh salsa.
"We cook the pork overnight," Armenta said. "We add some spices and stuff. (The salsa) is not too hot and not too mild. It's just right."
Armenta added that she was going for flavor, not heat from the spices so those unaccustomed to spicy foods won't be turned off by it.
The pork was tender and well marinated. The onions and tomatoes added the right balance of crunch and fresh flavors to mix with pork. The Spanish rice was properly seasoned and the beans were cooked right, not too mushy nor too hard.
Tuesday's special was a traditional Philly Cheesesteak. Usually made with ribeye steak for its good fat-to-meat ratio, the cheesesteak is topped with onions, bell peppers, spicy peppers (Armenta said jalapeños pair better with the cheesesteak than green chile does) and either provolone cheese or melted cheese like Velveeta.
"We sauté the onions, we sauté the bell peppers for quite a while and add seasoning," Armenta said. "We've been cooking our roast all day so it's really tender."
The cheesesteak was delicious. Everything was tender and seasoned correctly. Armenta's one change to the typical recipe was to offer a side of au jus for dipping because she feels the messier the sandwich is, the better it tastes.
She's completely correct.
The only downside to this sandwich was the amount of napkins required to make sure you aren't completely covered in juices and cheese sauce by the time your finish eating it.
The cheesesteaks sold out during Tuesday's games so expect them to be featured at next year's Connie Mack World Series.
Wednesday's special was a northern New Mexico staple: Navajo tacos. With Indian fry bread serving as the taco shell it only makes sense that the fry bread was made on site to ensure everything would be as warm as possible upon ordering.
Navajo tacos are traditionally served with lamb, beef or chicken. This version was made with ground beef and pinto beans serving as the base. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese and sour cream dressed the meal.
Like everything Armenta has made this week, the Navajo taco was everything it should be. The still hot from the fryer fry bread was the correct golden brown color and the cold toppings played with their crunch to compliment the warm filling of meat and beans.
The only "complaint" about this dish was it doesn't seem possible for one person to eat an entire Navajo taco this size. If you order one next year, make sure to share it with someone and have a lot of napkins on hand.
Matthew Asher can be reached at 575-628-5524, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Caveman_Masher on Twitter.