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Nats Kosher Fail

A few observations about this story, concerning the dismissal of one kosher food vendor and the delay in launching another at Nationals Park:

* You know it's bad when even Washington Jewish Week is queuing up to take shots at you.

* The specifics of the case are extremely murky, but this is at least in the running for quote of the year concerning the Nats, assuming it wasn't written by a humor writer for laffs:

"It's one thing to watch a last-place team lose just about every game. But when the thrill of eating a kosher hot dog is taken away, that makes it intolerable."

* According to the story, the founder of the dismissed vendor, Kosher Sports, initially said his relationship with the team had been fine, and that the arrangement was mutually dissolved, but upon hearing a sort of murky potential insult from Nats part-owner Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, the dude popped off, saying team employees were responsible for the tossing of $8,000 of still-fresh frozen kosher food. If frozen food can be fresh, the last-place Nats might as well be in first.

And the dude also claimed one of his kosher concession carts was tampered with, leaving open the possibility of non-kosher infiltration and contamination. Cue the Zapruder footage of Screech smearing bacon-wrapped-shrimp all over the inside of that puppy.

* The resolution is that the team is promising a new vendor with "a great kosher product" by mid-June, which will at least end the intolerable indignity of being forced to watch a last-place team absent the comfort of a kosher hot dog. Now if they could only get some real pickles, decent bagels and a few cases of Cel-Ray in the joint, they could stop playing baseball all together.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 5, 2009; 6:58 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Comments

First they alienate people who enjoy good baseball. Then spelling enthusiasts, then patrons who don't like hot dogs in shirts, and to cap it off, they insult a proud section of the Washington community.

Even Washington football can't be this bad.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | June 5, 2009 7:53 AM | Report abuse

It's not just a kosher fail, but a Hot dog fail. I cannot count the number of times myself or friends have gone to a Brat stand and they have run out of them. This happened in the 2nd inning in one game. Inexcusable. I've always thought Peter Angelos was the worst, but alas, a new contender has stepped up.

Posted by: HogsHaven | June 5, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I wondered what happened to the Kosher Grill folks. I miss my knish!

Posted by: ramgut | June 5, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

I agree, Baseball is all about the sausages. wait that came out wrong.

Bens Chili dog, Andouie, kilbaasa
Its all good.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 5, 2009 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The breadth and depth of the Natinals incompetence is astounding. There is nothing they cannot do poorly. They are much more than a bad baseball team

Posted by: tclarksmith1 | June 5, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

http://www.koshervendingindustries.com/

I don't work for them. But man, seems like the logistics people at Nats Park need to see how much it costs to rent one of these kosher hot dog vending machines for the year.

Wonder if they've ever heard of google?

Posted by: moo21 | June 5, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Wow! You not only like to bash the Nationals at any turn but now you are including religious jews as well. Impressive!

The Washington Jewish Week (or "Weakly Jewish") is well known for being negative towards observant Jews. If it makes them look bad, great! Of course they would love to hop on this. "See, this is the reason to not eat kosher" (not to mention the fact that they quote someone who will eat dairy/vegetarian in non-Kosher restaurants complaining about a lack of kosher hot dog). They also likely misquoted the person from Shalom's. "I don't know anything about it" is not "We are not doing it" but more likely "I'm not the one involved with the logistics".

As for Mr. Katz, it sounds like he is trying to save face and/or make the Nats organization look bad. I know someone who has been in contact with him (someone in my household actually). At the beginning of this season, he stated that "we are still working out some issue but should be opening soon". Hmm, that sounds like they did not have a seperation prior to the season. The tampering? It was the chain, which certified that no one else had access to the cooking surface and to which only they (the kosher supervisiors) had a key, that was missing. This compromised the kashrut ("kosher-ness") of the stand but is a simple problem to fix (the cooking surface can be made kosher again). It was mentioned it to Mr. Katz as a "oh, by the way, in making your plans to reopen the stand, you'll also need to rekasher the grill". As for his statement that the team mislisted the location of the stands, it has been listed as behind Section 143 and Section 308 since day one of Nationals Park (RFK was another story, where they were hard to find, although listed correctly). The Upper Concourse stand moved from behind Section 416 to their listed location after the first homestand of 2008. Sounds like someone just spouting off now.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | June 5, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Cel-Ray!? Are you following in Kornheiser's tastebuds? I once saw a guy win a bar bet by chugging a Cel-Ray without stopping ... and he said it just wasn't worth it; he'd never do that again.

@moo21 -- Kosher Vending Industries is a small firm in New York. Their closest machine is over 200 miles away. Someone has to service and stock the machine. I don't believe they have a local partner. I did email them to ask, though.

Regarding Shalom Kosher, they would be the most logical choice for the Nats, since they are the only local kosher vendor that already operates a kosher stand at a sports stadium -- the Max's stand at FedEx Field.

Posted by: MJPinDC | June 5, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Shalom Kosher Market did provide kosher box lunches for a stand at RFK in the first year of the Nats, but not hot food. And not saying Shalom couldn't or wouldn't operate a stand, but operating and staffing a stand for eight Sundays in the fall is a lot different than doing it for 81 games.

Posted by: TheFingerman | June 5, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

The love affair is over. When you alienate the Kosher eating population (and a vocal one too), you're asking for trouble.

Posted by: jetfan85 | June 5, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It turns out that Kosher Vending Industries does can service a machine in the area, or so they stated in their reply. If a live vendor cannot be arranged, perhaps that can at least be a backup.

Posted by: MJPinDC | June 5, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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