Norfolk, VA. – The Norfolk Tides picked up their fifth straight win on July 17 after beating the Scranton RailRiders in a 3-2 battle, but the battle for the taste buds of fans was easily won by the Harbor Park Stadium food vendors.

The stadium, home of the Tides, has gorgeous views of the Elizabeth River, energetic fans and tremendous tasting foods.

Walking through the concourse, you’ll be overcome by the smells of barbecue and deep-fried snacks .

After not finding any healthy items on any menu (not that I was looking for healthy items), I decided to try a couple of the ballpark’s signature hot dogs.

The way they dress up their hot dogs is unique, fun and also delicious.

They have their signature “Smokehouse BBQ Dog” topped with pulled pork and onions and “The Orioles Dog” topped with wmac and cheese and crab meat on it.

Crab meat on a hot dog is something only a mad scientist could imagine but it worked. The crab balances and complements the mac and cheese well and the juicy beef hot dog doesn’t overpower the whole concoction.

Harbor Park also features a restaurant tucked off in right field called “Hits at the Park.” The buffet-style restaurant has a challenge icalled the “Salute to Pork Challenge” or the “Big Pig Challenge” but I like to call it the “Heart Attack Challenge.”

The challenge is simple – eat four pulled pork BBQ sliders, four four-ounce Cajun-smoked sausages, 12 Smithfield pork wings and Smithfield bacon and chili cheese tots – all under an hour.

If you complete the challenge, your meal is free, you get four tickets to a future Tides game and your picture goes on the Wall of Fame.

Combining all the wonderful food choices with the entire atmosphere of Harbor Park Stadium, I’ll have to rate this ballpark an eight on a 10-point scale.