Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baseball Grub Goes Gourmet

By:  Matt Dewey
The recent trend in ballpark eating has been upscale and delicious food. Gone are the days of overpriced hot dogs on stale buns. Presently, ballparks around the country are implementing local favorites and quality food.  National’s Park is no different.

Over the past few years the stadium has really stepped it up with famed Chef and Restaurateur, Danny Meyer's, delicious creations: Box Frites, Blue Smoke, and El Verano Taqueria. Capital Cooking was on hand to taste the new menu items before the Stadium opened to the public.
Box Frites is home to thick cut fries, sweet potato fries, and gourmet hotdogs. This is the stand that left the biggest impression on me. The hot dog used on the Buffalo Dog had an incredible casing and was complemented by crisp pickled veggies and a Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce. It is a refreshing departure for the boring ballpark dog.

The fries are accompanied by two dipping sauces: a curry and a bacon. The bacon sauce is a combo of Greek Yogurt, Mayonnaise, Bacon Fat, and Bacon bits and is possibly the most delicious thing I have ever tasted, and will become a staple in my house for years to come.

For dessert, Box Frites offers fried pies (either apple crumb or mixed berry). While I typically enjoy savory food more than sweets, I could not stop eating the mixed berry pie.
Box Frites at Nationals Park on Urbanspoon

Blue Smoke is Danny Meyer’s famed New York barbeque restaurant. This year they added a fried chicken sandwich with buttermilk ranch sauce. It was incredibly crispy. The chicken was very moist and for a fried sandwich, it was light.  In my opinion it was executed perfectly and until now something I would never expect to find at a stadium.  Hey, I bet a little bit of bacon sauce won’t hurt either.
Blue Smoke at Nationals Park on Urbanspoon

El Verano Taqueria is a modern day taco stand which brings authentic Mexican flavors directly to the stadium. We sampled the Barbacoa Quesadilla (also comes as a taco) and Roasted Portobello, Zucchini, Corn and Poblano Pepper Tacos. Both options were true restaurant quality and neither items lack in flavor or heat and the Barbacoa taco was deliciously cheesy.

El Verano Taqueria at Nationals Park on Urbanspoon

Next time your are at National’s Park, come hungry and make your way up to the Miller Lite Scoreboard walk, for some adult beverages, live music, and amazing food. And take my advice and get extra Bacon Sauce!

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