Thursday, April 24, 2008

Great American Ball Park

Great American Ballpark
100 Main Street
Downtown Cincinnati

Rock concerts and ball games are generally not known for their food, and arenas and stadiums aren’t the best places around to find vegetarian fare. There are options available, however, as long as you don’t mind hunting and aren’t too picky.

Great American Ballpark has plenty of concession stands on every level of the stadium, and most have at least something vegetarian. The list includes nachos, jumbo pretzels, popcorn and LaRosa's cheese pizza and, if you don’t mind some traipsing around, there are also veggie-dogs.

The veggie-dogs are a little elusive. Not every hot dog vendor has the veggie-dog, so put on the ol' hunting cap and go for a stroll. We usually opt for the view level seats on the top deck when we go to a game, and the only concession stand that serves up veggie-dogs on that particular tier is Dugout Dogs, conveniently located next to the Skyline Chili stand behind section 418/518. It’s even more difficult to locate the beer vendor selling Christian Moerlein, but at $7.75 a cup it’s maybe best to do without. Just for the record though, the Moerlein vendor is tucked away near section 527, by the elevator.

I'm not a big fan of veggie-dogs but feel that it is my duty, as a vegetarian, to have one at the ball park, lest they decide it isn't a profitable item and get rid of it. I give props to GABP and Sportservice for offering it, even if the actual product isn't the greatest tasting thing in the world and at $4.25 costs as much as an entire pack of veggie weiners from the grocery.

I think the problem with GABP veggie-dogs is that they sit around awhile because there is probably not a huge demand for them. I've been to three games this season so far and have tried the veggie-dog on each occasion. Much like the Reds, the results have been inconsistent; sometimes they suck, other times they're pretty good. One time the dog was almost cold - surprising since they are kept in a heated case, and on another visit the skin was tough and chewy, as if it had been heated and reheated several times, which more than likely it had been. Perhaps it is just too early in the season to get a good one.

My favorite way to enjoy a veggie-dog is to squirt on a packet of Texas Pete's hot sauce and a packet of pickle relish (both can be picked up at Dugout Dogs), add a thin line of mustard and ketchup, and top it all off with a few cranks from the onion grinder. The onion grinder, by the way, is one of my all-time favorite gadgets. If only diced onions were always so easy and convenient!

Lastly, go ahead and splurge. Wash it all down with a Moerlein Select. Just be careful not to spill it when Brandon Phillips knocks one deep, or Edwin Encarnacion powers a 3-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to grasp victory from the jaws of defeat!


Cin Twin1 said...

They have a kids meal at GABP that consists of a PB&J, apples slices, and I bottle of water. I considered it more healthy than your typical ballpark food.

Julie said...

Too funny-- I have a post half-written on this, from the carnivorous perspective. However, I too got a picture of the onion machine-- Terry's favorite thing at the ballpark. :)

Veggie Option said...

Julie, that onion grinder is three shades of fabulous! I am looking forward to reading your perspective. Have you ever done the Machine Room?

Cin Twin1 - thanks for the info on the kids meal. We are childless so I rarely look at kids meals, but that's a good deal.

Cin Twin1 said...

Oh I am childless too, but sometimes I like the smaller portions of the kids meal when it is pretty much the same as the adults.

In college I used to order the grilled cheese off of the kids menu at Ruby Tuesday's. It came with fries and then you add on a salad bar for $0.99. My total bill was under $5.

Julie said...

I've ordered kids meals too, just for portion size. If I get a hankering for McDonald's, in particular, I'll get a hamburger happy meal. It's not a terrible splurge, calorically, and fills that "MUST HAVE JUNK!" craving.

liz said...

i always get the happy meal at mcdonald's! it is just enough to satisfy my craving w/out making me want to puke. and you get a toy!

Vegan Girl said...

Hi Julie,

Do you know if the hot dog buns are vegan? And for that matter the veggie dogs... It always makes me sad when soy meat products have eggs in them. I think soy hot dogs are usually vegan, but I've seen some soy sausages that are not. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the veggie dogs are vegan friendly? or the veggie sushi for that matter? Im finding it impossible to dig up an ingredients list.