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The Nats Make Concessions

Svrluga dropped an important word in his notes column today: Centerplate. As in, the new concessionaire at the Nats' new stadium. As in, the outfit responsible for the food at AT&T, which, as we all know, has finished first or second in the most-vegetarian friendly park standings three years in a row. Centerplate also does the food for the Mariners (third-most veggie friendly), and the Durham Bulls and Portland Beavers (first and second on the minor league list).

To shamelessly quote from the company's propaganda:

To extend the rich dining tradition of San Francisco into the ballpark and create a one-of-a-kind experience for fans, Centerplate formed agreements with local institutions like Ghirardelli Chocolate; The Stinking Rose, a San Francisco mainstay known for its famous Forty Clove Garlic Chicken Sandwich; and Gordon Biersch Brewery, maker of quality lagers, and home of the original garlic fries. Centerplate has also incorporated Northern California's nearby wine country by designing and constructing numerous wine bars throughout the stadium, offering more than forty California wines by the glass.

Also, when Centerplate recently took over the Asheville Tourists' concessions, better beer followed, accordign to the local paper: "Two Asheville breweries have their suds on draft: Highland and French Broad. You can get Smithwick's Irish ale, Guinness Stout, Corona, Sweetwater 420, even a kolsch called Pyramid Curve Ball."

The company also changed the offerings at Devil Rays' games this spring, according to Nation's Restaurant News:

Among the upgrades is the new Sand Bar Bullpen Beach, a party area behind the visiting team's bullpen, where fans are served specialty cocktails, such as margaritas and mojitos, in an upscale beach resort decor....New menu items at the ballpark include a grouper fillet sandwich with citrus mayonnaise; whole turkey legs; a steak and asiago panini; a turkey and pesto panini; and the new Sting 'em Dog, a hot dog piled with spicy chili and shredded Cheddar cheese.

And this season, according to the New York Times, Centerplate apparently helped introduce authentic Washington Heights foodstuffs to Yankee Stadium, including ground beef or cheese empanadas; chicken in salsa with sweet plantains, rice and beans; Cuban sandwiches with plantain chips; and papas rellenas, or fried stuffed potatoes.

I was all ready to head to Southwest and get in line for my first veggie BLT panini with the accompanying papusas and Ben's Veggie Chili and mojitos and Dominion Spring Brew when I realized that Centerplate also does the food at FedEx Field. So we'll see.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 27, 2007; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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That's great that they work on bringing in local food, but it is a moot point if they cannot make the lines move faster than now.

Posted by: WFY | August 27, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

The Bog man and the Cheat demand veggie food NOW!

Posted by: the cheat | August 27, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

Posted by: Mike Morgan | August 27, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Well, they added Kosher, so why not add vegetarian? And given that the new stadium will have actual kitchens and stuff, I can't see it getting worse than it already is.

Posted by: TG | August 27, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Sweetwater 420

now you're speaking my language

Posted by: Unsilent Majority | August 27, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Now if only they'd take a cue from every fast food chain and offer a value menu.

Some of us don't like paying over 10 bucks for a dog and a Budweiser and don't relish (wokka, wokka, wokka) the prospect of shelling out 20 bucks for a vegetarian tomato pesto panini and a Bacardi tropicalpassionfruitfizz daiquiri.

Posted by: Pompous Magnus | August 27, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

They do the food at FedEx? This gets a giant pass from me then.

Nothing beats those Chicken Tenders at RFK these days.

Posted by: FS | August 27, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

This is a huge step-forward in Stan Kasten's promise to bring the very best fan experience possible to Nationals Park.

They need to keep Capital Q Barbecue, bring back Hard Times Café, and woo Ben's Chili Bowl and Five Guys.

How about, instead of Papa John's, they offer Armand's, or Matchbox pizzas?

They also need to offer LOCALLY-BREWED beers, such as Dominion, Wild Goose and Flying Dog (brewed at Wild Goose).

Posted by: Nationals Power | August 27, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Great timing for this post. A little over a week ago, I had my family visiting me here in Asheville, when we decided to take in a Tourists game (Cal Sr coached here while Jr and Billy were batboys, Eddie Murray also learned to switch-hit in Asheville). Thursday Nights at Tourist's games are "Thirsty Thursday's" Meaning $1 domestic drafts $2 Microbrews (Highland, French Broad, etc). I love our local beer here, and imbibed quite heartily. I also enjoyed a great bratwurst (not as good as Boogs at Camden Yards, but decent)

Posted by: AlecW81 | August 28, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Local beer is sold at Camden Yards by Aramark, but the same company hasn't done that just 40 miles away at RFK. I certainly hope Centerplate will step up to the plate (sorry!) And adding to Nationals Power post, don't forget Clipper City/Heavy Seas from Baltimore!

Posted by: Thomas Cizauskas | August 30, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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