The Sweet Fix: The Comfy Cow Ice Cream

(Blogger’s note: The Sweet Fix is an occasional feature that will run throughout the summer featuring ice cream and dessert places in the Louisville. Have a suggestion? Let me know.)

A generous cone of Strawberry Fields Forever at Louisville Slugger Field.

Gas prices have been too high to venture more than 15 minutes away from Ashlee Eats HQ, aka my Old Louisville apartment, so I haven’t made it out to The Comfy Cow in Westport Village.

Fortunately, this local ice cream shop has spread its creamy confections to Louisville Slugger Field.

Slugger Field and The Comfy Cow have entered a partnership this season that has left me smiling. The Comfy Cow is the official ice cream of the Louisville Bats. Local ice cream business plus minor league baseball? Yes, please and thanks.

The Comfy Cow offers an abridged, rotating selection of flavors from its regular menu at the ballpark. Cake Batter Up and Mint Chocolate Chippy were two of the options that day. During a Louisville Bats home game last month, I bought a regular cone of Strawberry Fields Forever for about four bucks (my receipt got lost in the abyss that is my purse, so that’s an estimate).

When you order strawberry ice cream from The Comfy Cow, don’t expect a bright pink ball of artificial flavor. This was the freshest strawberry ice cream I had ever tasted. Bits of strawberry dotted the three hearty scoops of my cone. And for such a hot evening, the ice cream held up really well. I didn’t get a drop on my hands, which is no small feat for this messy eater.

A trip to the ballpark is always fun. But the addition of The Comfy Cow makes baseball even sweeter.

The Comfy Cow
Available at Louisville Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats minor league baseball team
402 East Main Street, Louisville, Ky.

Bits and pieces: Stadium food, meat lovers and other food news from the web, 8.2.10

Happy August. *fingers crossed that the weather will go from scorching to somewhat tolerable*

On to the news.

Mmmmm, meaty meat meat.*

  • Folks whose diet consists of hearty portions of meat are more likely to gain weight than their counterparts who eat less meat, according to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald. The European study, conducted by the Imperial College London and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that “for every additional 250 grams of meat a person ate daily, their 5-year weight gain would be 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) greater,” the article states.
  • Some of Louisville’s most neediest neighbors to the north aren’t getting the government aid that they need because they receive food stamps — a practice that violates federal law. An article from the Associated Press states that Indiana’s current aid system allows state officials to cut grocery allowances when the federal government raises food stamp amounts so that a person’s total food benefits do no exceed $200 each month. “But since 1964, federal law has barred states from counting food stamps as income or using them to reduce any other public benefits,” according to the AP.

The policy has affected people with developmental disabilities who need financial help to live independently and who receive additional assistance to buy groceries.

  • Health.com has posted a list of the fattiest foods in each state. Some of the winners (or losers?) include the donut-as-a-bun Luther Burger in Georgia, the fried-brain sandwich in Indiana and chicken-fried steak in Oklahoma. Kentucky’s fattest food? Why, the KFC Double Down, of course.
  • This article from CBS News will change the way you look at stadium food. A report from ESPN shows that there are “critical” health code violations at food vendors in some of the nation’s most popular professional sports stadiums and arenas, according to CBS. “Violations ranged from dirty equipment to insect infestations to mouse droppings,” the article states. This story also includes a slideshow that highlights some of the scariest violations at places like Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. Blech.

*Photo courtesy of Flickr

The $10 Challenge: Louisville Slugger Field

UPDATE (6.7.10):  The folks with the Louisville Bats and Slugger Field let me know of some good deals at the ballpark. Visitors are allowed to bring their own bottle of water, which definitely saves a few bucks. And on Tuesdays, hot dogs and small Pepsi products are only $1. Was I the only one unaware of this?

It was a bad idea to go to my first minor league baseball game in the midst of my years-long Chubby Stage.

As a plump little girl with no athletic ability, I didn’t care about the sport. I just wanted the food.

I was 10. My friend Sara’s grandmother took the pair of us to watch the Louisville Bats play. The sky was gray, the seats were hard, but the food was amazing. Vanilla ice cream that twirled up from the edges of a crunchy waffle cone. Hot dogs topped with a swirl of yellow mustard. Sweaty paper cups filled with ice cubes and Coke.

A decade later, not much has changed. I’m not as round as I once was (thank you, Weight Watchers), but I still go to minor league games primarily for the food.

On a recent trip to Louisville Slugger Field, I discovered that ballpark food is still as wonderful as I remember.

I picked up a great bargain on Groupon that made it financially feasible to go to a Louisville Bats game — four tickets (normally a $28 purchase) for only 15 bucks.

A beautiful day for a baseball game.

The deals ended at the entrance gate.

I reviewed concession stand prices online before the game. It turns out that the stadium has major-league prices for basic ballpark fare. $3.25 for peanuts? $4 for nachos? $4.50 for my beloved waffle cone? It was just too much. I was doubtful that I would be able to limit myself to only spending $10.

The evening game encroached on dinner time. I wanted a suitable meal at the game, not just an assortment of sweet, empty calories. My two friends and I decided to do a lap around the stadium (a more tiring task than anticipated) to weigh our options before settling on something to eat.

What Slugger Field lacks in thriftiness, it attempts to make up for in variety. There’s the standards, many of which are fried or just plain fatty — chili cheese fries ($5), bologna sandwich ($3.25) and bratwurst ($3.75) among them. But the ballpark attempts to extend the palate of hungry fans.  Health-conscious eaters had options like a baked sweet potato ($3.75), veggie burger ($4.50) or basil pesto chicken panini ($6.50).

I had a craving for something filling and fatty (hey, you have to treat yourself occasionally). I considered the pork chop sandwich ($6.25), a thick slab of meat that is promoted on billboards throughout the city. But in an attempt to lay off the pork, I got in line to order the chicken fingers with fries ($6.25).

Twenty minutes in a line for food messed with my mind. As I watched the lucky ones pass me with their steaming baskets of fries, burgers and chicken rings, I began to question what I really wanted. Everything looks good when I’m hungry and waiting. By the time I made it to the front of the line, I switched my order to a corn dog ($2.50), onion rings ($4.25) and bottle of water ($3) based solely on the plate of the guy in front of me.

Corn dogs and onion rings. Look at all that cholesterol.

The basket of brown, fried food was everything I expected it to be. The cornbread was cooked thoroughly down to the meat, a trait I’ve learned to appreciate. I’ve had a couple of corn dogs that were cooked too quickly, which resulted in a crispy exterior but soggy batter around the hot dog. A few dips in some mustard was all my corn dog needed.

The onion rings were massive. Each ring was big enough to make a bangle bracelet (not that I tried or anything). The batter crunched with each bite, and the onion didn’t slide out of the batter ring, a fried-food pet peeve of mine. The onion tasted fairly fresh, but I would have preferred more onion in terms of the onion-to-batter ratio.

I was pleasantly surprised that I came in under my $10 limit. The meal was tasty and filling. But spending only 10 bucks at Slugger Field requires some studying of the menu, self-made combo platters and sacrifices: there was no money left for ice cream, which would have made my Louisville Bats experience come full circle.

The Stats:

  • Louisville Slugger Field, 401 East Main Street, Louisville, Ky.
  • Regular-sized corn dog: $2.50
  • Onion rings: $4.25
  • Bottle of water: $3
  • Total (no tax or tip at the park): $9.75

Mission: Accomplished (with some planning and sacrifice)