Finding Mudville: The best concession stand food ever

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014

There is one thing Goose Creek baseball coach Chris Pond brought with him from Timberland — his love of great, and different, concession stand food.

During Pond’s last years at Timberland, the Wolves struggled with a young and inexperienced team. Sometimes the best part about covering those type of games was the concession stand and what Lowcountry delicacy Pond had on the menu.

Pond loves shrimp and grits and there would come a point during the game when the announcement came over the public address system, “If you want to try our shrimp and grits, you’d better hurry. We’re almost out.”

There’s only one thing that can turn my head away from the action on a baseball field and that’s food.

Pond will throw in chicken bog and spaghetti and meatballs as well. What is on the concession stand menu is as much an attraction as watching the Wolves play then, and the Gators play now.

Given my love of food, I have often toyed with the idea of doing a little unofficial random contest as to which school in Berkeley County had the best concession stand food. I have covered games (football, baseball and basketball) at Berkeley, Timberland, Cross, Cane Bay, Stratford, Goose Creek, Hanahan and St. John’s Christian Academy.

SJCA specializes in the fried cheese sticks and egg rolls.

Cross has the best fried catfish I’ve ever caught scent of, and I don’t like fish all that much.

Chili dogs are a toss up between Cross and Berkeley — though the Stags get the nod with the chili cheese fries.

Timberland throws out a mean fried catfish, but in recent years covering Timberland football the best food was always found beneath the tents at parking lot tailgate parties.

Jennifer Easler served up bacon wrapped jalapeno peppers then and those were by far, the best snack I’ve ever eaten.

Besides, how can you go wrong with bacon?

The winner for the best concession stand food though, is wherever Chris Pond happenes to be coaching.

He’s a man who loves to eat. You can tell that in the food he cooks.

Monday night, April 21, was Senior Night at Goose Creek, the final homestand for the spring for Pond as he closed out his first spring as head of the Gators’ baseball program.

He announced that the concession stand menu fare would include shrimp and grits again.

If shrimp didn’t make my joints lock up like a rusty gearbox, I’d be there and first in line.

I like shrimp and grits, but they don’t like me.

In the six years I’ve been here covering sports I’ve had my share of Southern delicacies. Shrimp and grits are just the latest in that growing list.

The first Southern concession stand delicacy had became acquainted with, and after almost 35 years of calling the South home, finally developed a taste for, boiled peanuts.

Moncks Corner town councilman David Dennis loves boiled peanuts and would always offer some for me to try.

I couldn’t pull the trigger on the boiled peanuts until the 2013 football season.

Here’s why.

In my head, the recipe would go something like this:

1. Take a handful of dry roasted peanuts. 2. Pop them in your mouth. 3. Suck on them for an hour or so. 4. Spit into your neighbor’s hand and enjoy.

I imagine if boiled peanuts ever found their way onto Goose Creek’s concession stand menu, they’d be served with either grits or chicken bog.

And if I knew Coach Pond, he’d find a way to make them taste great, too.

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