Great American Ballpark
100 Main Street
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!