Going to a major league baseball game in Washington, D.C. might leave you frustrated. That is, if you're a fan of competent baseball.
But if you're a good-beer-loving vegetarian, you won't leave Nationals Park thirsty or hungry.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has released its list of Top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks. The Washington Nationals received an honorable mention:
Nationals Park (Washington Nationals):
Veggie burgers, hummus and vegetables, fresh fruit salads, pear and walnut salads with lemon vinaigrette, Healthy Kids meals (PB&J, juice box, and fruits and veggies)
Washington's neighbor to the north —Baltimore, Maryland— did even better, coming in at the 9th position:
Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles):
Birds fans would be disgusted to know that the meat industry drugs chickens and turkeys, making them grow so fat that their legs often become crippled under their own weight. Luckily, Orioles diehards can help prevent such cruelty by choosing mouthwatering vegetarian options such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, vegetable wraps, vegetable panini, various salads, made-to-order sandwiches, and fresh fruit cups as Camden Yards cracks PETA's list for the first time.
Here's the full list:
1. Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)
2. AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants)
3. Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
4. Turner Field (Atlanta Braves)
5. Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)
6. PETCO Park (San Diego Padres)
7. Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)
8. U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)
9. Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Baltimore Orioles)
10. (tie) Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)
(tie) Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Comparing the good-beer choices between those two ballparks, I might give the nod to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, for its support of local breweries. Fans will recall the heyday of the mid to late 1990s, when the ballpark sported three Maryland beer stands. Now there's only one, located on the Eutaw Street pavilion.
At Nationals Park, although much improved over its initial efforts, there's less overt support for local beer. (Clipper City Brewing is the closest brewery to the ballpark, located only 35 miles north, but its beers are not offered.)
But the D.C. ballpark has the greater variety of good beer —and better access to it.
The vendors walking in the stands only hawk Industrial Light Lagers and food like hot dogs. Food booths and the stand-alone 'Beltway Bars' offer a few better choices (such as Dominion and Wild Goose).
But the best draught options can be found at the Red Porch stand, overlooking left field. There, on Opening Day, I had a Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (9% alcohol by volume).
Of course, you can always get some peanuts or crackerjacks. On a summer afternoon, together with a good beer, they just might be anodyne for the bad baseball blues.
UPDATE: After reading A Washington City Paper on-line column today that referenced this post, I realized that I hadn't followed my own code of ethics. I had neglected to mention that until July 2008 I had been the Territory Manager for the Clipper City Brewing Company, and that currently I am a representative for a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virginia, one of whose product is, indeed, Clipper City!
Thursdays at Yours For Good Fermentables.com are meatless Thursdays —as inspired by Veggiedag in Ghent, Belgium.
Tom Balthazar [mayor of Ghent, Belgium] has officially declared Thursday meatless in his city of nearly a quarter million people. In an effort to make the connection between meat consumption and greenhouse gases (18 percent of which come from livestock production), Balthazar has asked his fellow civil servants to abstain from meat every Thursday.Keeping with the 'good fermentables' aspect, I'll often inveigle beer or wine (or spirits) into the posts.
- Kim O'Donnel