DC at Night

DC at Night

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When an Intentional Walk Becomes an International Wok

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjack
I don't care if I never get back

For the 2nd time in 3 years, the Washington Nationals have won the Major League Baseball National Division Eastern Conference title. And that means the Nats will be playing extra games in October. And extra games means more chances to eat at Nationals Ball Park.

Now while it's true you can still get peanuts, crackerjack, and of course, ball park perennial favorite the hot dog, the food choices at today's ball parks are much more varied than ever.

Intentional walk becomes International Wok
Want proof that this is no longer your grandpop's baseball park, here are some examples from the concessions available at the Nationals' home field:

  • local iconic half-smokes from Ben's Chili Bowl
  • Chesapeake Company crab cakes
  • barbeque from Blue Smoke
  • herb-crusted roast beef from Capitol Carvery
  • cauliflower sandwiches from Chef Mike Isabellas' G Sandwich Shop
  • jerk chicken from Jammin Island Outpost
  • shawarma and falafel sandwiches from Shawafel
  • tacos from El Verano Taqueria
  • sushi from South Capital Sushi and
  • pad thai and drunken noodles from International Wok
Even hamburgers are given a special treatment at Shake Shack, which claims its mission is to preserve the culinary traditions of classic American burgers while adding its own spin.

Before the season started, Jonathan Stahl, senior director of guest experience and hospitality relations at Nationals Park told WTOP 103.5 FM "We kind of want to change the perception of the ballpark experience and ballpark food. It's not just food that's been sitting out on a warmer ready to go."

But despite the new culinary choices, don't expect a lyrics change to the ball classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

I'm certain even the most rabid anti-traditionalists would agree that "buy me some peanuts and crackjack" sounds better than "buy me some falafel and drunken noodles." When it comes to a national pastime, some things just aren't meant to change.

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