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Published: Sunday, 4/17/2011

Anyone up for a Fifth Third Burger?

BY DANIEL NEMAN
BLADE FOOD EDITOR

I spoke too soon. And apparently too harshly.

Last week's Morsels column introduced some of the new food available at Fifth Third Field this season, and while acknowledging that they were surprisingly delicious, we gently suggested that items such as a ⅓-pound hamburger with a Philly cheesesteak sandwich on top of it might contain more calories than would be good for anyone to eat, ever.

Silly me. I think so small. The Mud Hens have nothing on the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

Playing out of their own Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Mich., the Whitecaps held a contest to determine what new food they should offer at their concession stands. One of the top prospects was the Walking Spaghetti: a pound of spaghetti with meatballs, marinara sauce, and cheese -- on a bun!

That's 5,630 calories in one sitting, or about what one full-grown adult male should eat in two days.

Among the other choices was the Sonoran Dog, a bacon-wrapped all-beef Hebrew National hot dog smothered with guacamole, mayonnaise, onions, tomatoes, hot sauce, and mustard. That might taste great, but the idea of a bacon-wrapped kosher hot dog makes me giggle.

Other calorific options included The Big O Sandwich (pulled pork, beef, and boneless chicken wings, with two layers of Provolone cheese on a hoagie roll layered with jalapenos, potato wedges, barbecue sauce, and an onion ring -- 3,670 calories), a Mac 'n' Cheese Burger Burrito, the Meat Salad (seven different meats from four types of animals), and a 1-inch thick slice of fried bologna on a stick they call a Bologna Lollipop.

And with all these fine choices, what was the food item that won out? Something called Chicks with Sticks, an assortment of fresh vegetables sliced thin to dip into hummus.

Isn't that dainty? The votes from the defibrillator crowd must have canceled each other out.

But don't worry. You can still get the famous Fifth Third Burger. That's 1⅔ pounds of beef, with five slices of cheese, nacho cheese, salsa, Fritos, sour cream, lettuce, and tomato. It costs $20 and theoretically is meant to serve a family of four.

Eat one by yourself before the game ends and you'll get a free T-shirt and your picture on the presumably prestigious Fifth Third Burger Hall of Fame.

Revolving/evolving

It isn't enough, apparently, that Revolver, in Findlay, is considered one of the top restaurants in the region.

Now they're bringing in chefs from some of the other top restaurants in the region.

This is a one-shot deal (and the chefs all seem to be from Illinois). On April 28, beginning at 6:30 p.m., the guest chefs will get together to create a six or seven-course meal.

The details of the menu are still being worked out, but honestly, who cares? No one, when the guest chefs are Val Bolon (contestant on Top Chef, Season 4), Josh Adams (a James Beard Foundation award winner as one of the best rising chefs of the year and owner of June, in Peoria, Ill.), Erin Mooney (executive sous chef at the ultra-hip Hot Chocolate in Chicago), and Doug Dvorshack (of the Nuevo Latino hot spot Carnivale, in Chicago).

Obviously, a meal like this is going to be pricey. In this case, the price is $100 apiece, which does not include drinks, tax, and tip.

Revolver is a small restaurant, and space is limited. For reservations, call 419-424-4020.

Michigan wine

You've probably already noticed this, but April is officially Michigan Wine Month.

Gov. Rick Snyder made the announcement earlier in the month (don't know why we just found out about it now. The telegraph must be down) to celebrate the red and white glories of the state's 81 wineries.

That's 81 -- 10 more than last year alone. And these vineyards draw sizable crowds; more than 1 million people head out to taste the fruit of their vines.

Last year's growing season was long and warm, assuring what the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development believes will be a fine vintage. Right about now, some of the 2010 wines should be coming out, as well as some of the red wines from 2009.

All month long, the Mitten State is holding special wine-related events. A full list of these events is at michiganwines.com, but among the upcoming highlights are a pair of wine dinners in Fennville, Mich. On Wednesday, Salt of the Earth restaurant will hold a five-course gourmet meal using local ingredients (reservations and information: 269-561-7258), and on Saturday the Fenn Valley Vineyards will pair their wines with a five-course Vietnamese meal (800-432-6265).

The Wine Month celebrations come to a close on April 30 at Sandhill Crane Vineyards, in Jackson, Mich. Live music will accompany the release of a new wine. Admission is free, and information is at 517-764-0679.

Hambone, where you been?

It ain't the Butterball Turkey Line. But it's sort of like it.

If you want to make a ham for Easter -- or even for another day -- and you don't quite know what to do with it, you can call the Kentucky Legend Holiday Ham Hotline.

From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays through the end of this month, the ham experts at Kentucky Legend Ham will answer questions about ham, ham recipes, ham glazes, how to carve ham, and even what to do with ham leftovers. The number to call is 866-343-5058.

Who even knew there was such a thing as a ham expert?

Items for Morsels may be submitted up to two weeks in advance of an event to food@theblade.com.



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