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A post that has nothing to do with baseball. Sorry.

An open invitation to anybody attending a game at Nationals Park this weekend:

There is a Mexican stand called Capitol Cantina located in the first concourse behind Sections 128 or 129. It serves nachos, tacos and burritos, the latter of those options of most interest to me. If you order a burrito, you can opt for chicken, steak, beef or veggie. All cost $9. Maybe they are good, but I'm not sure; I've never tried.

So I ask:

If anybody goes to Nationals Park this weekend, order a burrito (if your appetite desires) and write your review. Post it on the NJ. Make it 100 words tops. Pay particular attention to the meat grade and the pliability of the tortilla. How is the vegetable distribution? Is the rice flavored with cilantro? Do the burrito-makers spread the sour cream in a consistent stripe, or is it applied with an uncaring dollop? Please, articulate.

A minor award, yet to be determined, and probably of trivial value, will be awarded to the most helpful post. Extra consideration will be given to anybody who photographs their order with a cell phone camera (or digital camera) and e-mails the photos to harlanc@washpost.com.

I am just curious. Thanks.

By Chico Harlan  |  June 6, 2008; 3:53 PM ET
 
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Comments

How about we start with your review? Set the example, or do you need food testers?

Posted by: joemktg | June 6, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I hate it when I get new-posted while I'm ranting:

As a long time defender of the Post and it's writers, I have to weigh in on the side of grossly inadequate coverage of yesterday's happenings. 2 games, 6 draft picks, 1 article -- not nearly enough. No column on the decision to go with a Pitcher over a Hitter - or any other aspect of the draft. Granted MLB does not rival the NFL or even NBA for draft day hype, but good lord. One article? One writer assigned? Instead they devote a feature piece to the Redskins. I would have expected 2 gamers (there were 2 admission fees) plus at leastone draft article.

As I mentioned, I am a big fan of the Post sports coverage but no interviews with the drafted players, their coaches, league sources, etc.... No contrast/comparison with other teams. These are not difficult things to get.

And while I'm ranting, what about the failure of the Nationals to stock draft beer on the upper level last night. No Micro-brews on tap at 4 of 5 stands I checked - they ran out. I asked one concessionaire about it and she said the Nationals had failed to order enough and that the guy who normally does it was on vacation. Also I had to look in 5 napkin dispensors before I found a napkin. My fan experience was not very good last night.

Posted by: NatBisquit | June 6, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So I have to ask, what do YOU win Chico for sending all the people to Cantina?

Will it depend on how much their sales spike? Up $1,000 on that game day you get a Cantina Marina T-shirt? Up $2,000 you get an open bar happy hour for you and 3 friends on your next off day at the actual restaurant on the waterfront?

What was your price?

I kid of course :)

Posted by: Ryan | June 6, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So is this an experiment for a sociology course?

Posted by: Section 133 | June 6, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

100 words to describe a burrito? Talk about paying above the slot - you started by giving us a mere six words to describe an entire game. What's going Chico (the writer, not the pitcher)? A few faint words of praise about your ability to fit two ballgames and a draft into the gamer and suddenly we embrace pleonasm.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 6, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, am looking forward to what people think. Of course, when Barry did this, Chico, he bought the food for all of us out of his own pocket, then asked us.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

This sounds like a consipiracy. DCSportsBog will be waiting at the stand with camera in hand, and Chatalogical Humor will have stalls staked out in the nearest bathrooms -- both male and female -- to cover the aftermath.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I had to look up pleonasm...

Posted by: SF Fan | June 6, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

And ice cream for dessert.
__________
Of course, when Barry did this, Chico, he bought the food for all of us out of his own pocket, then asked us.
Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 4:20 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | June 6, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

He also made all the burritos himself, with all natural ingredients that he gathered himself, keeping it all kosher, of course.

Yes, Barry Svrluga invented Kosher pork.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Chico -- FYI, there's already a Washington Post local blog called Grounds Crew that has alot of food reviews from the stadium. I'm really not excited about a bunch of descriptions of burritos (not to mention seeing pictures) on this blog. Maybe people can just send them to your email address if you have a great need for this information. Care to post that?

Posted by: Skeptical | June 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

In 2006 there were Burito Brothers stands at RFK. They were pre-prepared and wrapped in foil so you got the damp tortila thing and they put letuce in them so you got the soggy letuce thing, and the rice had puffed up because of the prolonged moisture, and there was too much rice, and if you ate it with a Bare Knuckle beer it was still pretty good. I have not had the Cantina Marina burito, but the blackened crabcake and seasoned fries were pretty good.

Posted by: Burrito | June 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It's alright as long as Chico doesn't have to . . .
_________
I had to look up pleonasm...
Posted by: SF Fan | June 6, 2008 4:23 PM

Posted by: lowcountry | June 6, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

not that i have anything against the burrito, because it's one of the better food choices at the park, but...

i have to concur with NatBisquit. there are LOTs of guys doing this for free,

http://bottomfeederbaseball.blogspot.com/2008/06/nats-select-crow-with-first-round-pick.html

http://farmauthority.dcsportsnet.com/

http://dcsportsbox.com/main/index.php?option=com_news_portal&task=category&id=16&Itemid=85

and the Post can't even manage to adequately cover things, despite having multiple people at the draft announcement?

it's shameful and disappointing that the main newspaper in town can't even have a list of yesterday's draft picks posted on its website. the Times wasn't much better, but at least they had two stories-one about the games and one about the first round pick.

if you want in-depth coverage of the Nats, stray away from the newspapers and seek Natosphere assistance. even though the Nats have now yanked the credentials from "most" of the on-line media, they still do a better job covering the team than the rags do.

Posted by: Dave | June 6, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Cantina Marina is about as Mexican as Chipotle

Posted by: How about this? | June 6, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

NatBisquit,

Tell me about it. The one bright spot I found was that behind section 107, there's a stand serving Dominion and Fordham, two locals...and the first I've found. But you have to schlep down to get it as that's the only stand. Reminds me of getting a Guinness at RFK. Oh how I miss RFK...if only someone would blog about the good ole days...oh, wait.

http://imissrfk.blogspot.com

Beware the lurking Mets fans who will be going through this next season.

Posted by: murky | June 6, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I must concur. This is fluffy stuff Chico.

Posted by: Softball Girl | June 6, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Chico likes burritos. Who knew?

I, for one, recommend the fish taco. It's spicy though, which while good for me, may not be appreciated by all. I may eat one tonight and post a more detailed review.

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 6, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Hey NatsBisquit - this a serious question, not a snarky one in disguise. Where do you normally find microbrews at Nats Park? They have big signs for Baseline Brews, but then serve Stella and Bass, both of which spill more beer every year than the threshold for a true micro. I would love to see some quality beer there!

Posted by: Angry in Alexandria | June 6, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the price for Bass v. the price for Bud makes Bass a comparative steal. Same with mixed drinks. If you want to get drunk at the ballpark, go "expensive."

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Don't feel bad upstairs in the 200 level - they ran out of draft beer on the 100 level as well... and then something went awry with the registers, and they went to a cash only situation.

Posted by: Sec 114, Row E | June 6, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Meh Heh Heh .... Fish Taco

Posted by: Beavis | June 6, 2008 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I hate to change the topic but it appears that we are becoming a refuge for LHPs.

Posted by: lowcountry | June 6, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"and then something went awry with the registers, and they went to a cash only situation."
----------
This seems to happen almost nightly in my experience.

Posted by: Section 408 | June 6, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure whether the Nats (CenterPlate) did a good job getting a variety of beers or not.

Because, for as much variety as they have, I don't think that they have any beer that is particularly interesting.

The additions of Fordham and Old Dominion are welcome additions. Prior to that, Bass was the best beer on sale.

They have Pilsner Urguell, Peroni, Heineken... all light lagers. The Leininkugel stuff is bland. I've heard a rumor that there's Sierra Nevada, but I haven't seen it yet.

Posted by: Sec 114, Row E | June 6, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Chico,
How is it that this is your full time job and you only wrote one article from the various events yesterday? Two games, Draft, Ladies Night, etc.

There are several folks in the natosphere that are very dedicated and wrote multiple articles FOR FREE in addition to having full time jobs.

How did you get this job anyway?

Posted by: Amazed | June 6, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the Stella. I hate Stella.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"How did you get this job anyway?"

I believe the mystical Lady of the River (who may or may not be glowing and have three eyes) gave him the mighty pen, Excalibre.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

If anyone finds the Sierra Nevada, let us know. There's Blue Moon in a couple spots also. Maybe they can nix the coffee stands now that it's 95 degrees and additional beers. And does anyone know why Miller doesn't serve High Life anywhere?

Posted by: murky | June 6, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

try the nachos instead.

Posted by: jnic | June 6, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

They were charging too much for it and the High Life guy came and took it back. On TV.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"And while I'm ranting, what about the failure of the Nationals to stock draft beer on the upper level last night. No Micro-brews on tap at 4 of 5 stands I checked - they ran out."

I had a very nice draft Blue Moon lager from the Union Pub on the third base end of the upper concourse last night around the fifth inning. Looked like they also had Foster's on tap there, although technically I suppose it's not a microbrew.

And I want Chico to get us a 100-word quote from Jim Bowden describing the flatulence produced by one of those burritos.

Posted by: An Briosca Mor | June 6, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Following up on 506's earlier comment on coverage, I was rather surprised (and pleasantly so) by Mr. Garcia-Ruiz's response to my email as well. Now, does that change the fact that the Post dropped the ball today? No. Might it suggest that in the future coverage might be ramped up when appropriate? The proof would be in the pudding, I suppose. But I suggest that if others have views on what the Post could have done better to cover yesterday's events, they let Garcia-Ruiz know about it by email. At the least, people are listening.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 6, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone see anything in the Post about the Negro Leagues draft? I just did a search and didn't find anything except a possible mention in early May. John Heyman had a good story about it in si.com & by poking around on the Nats' site I found out that the Nats drafted Mamie "Peanut" Johnson. Cool! I wd give everyone a URL but they were all really long and I don't understand how to get a tinyurl. I think this deserves at least a brief story in the Post--all these now-old guys (and a girl) who didn't get a fair shake from MLB decades ago are being honored in this way. It was Dave Winfield's idea.

Posted by: Section 109 | June 6, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

I have tried the steak burrito.

I would compare the steak burrito to the Nats draft coverage by the WP - light on meat, very little substance and arrived much later than expected.

Posted by: Los Doce Ocho | June 6, 2008 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The fish tacos at Cantina Marina were in my luncheon plans when I got to the park yesterday, but it was shuttered for the day game, so my memory of them is distant. The tortillas are warm and soft, the fish fried,(not grilled, as I wished-but going to Nats games teaches you detachment from your wishes) the chipotle sauce redolent of cilantro and summer heat, in pleasant contrast to the fresh crunchy vegetables (which impart the illusion of health food)and evenly spread sour cream. Since they are not a popular snack and the folk are friendly and willing to please, I'm sure that you could boss them about a bit to get it the way you like it.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

when this is the extent of the Nats coverage, who wants to still defend Chico?

Posted by: q | June 6, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I hate that A & R Seafood didn't find its way from RFK to the new stadium. Local vendor and good fried shrimp.

The Gelato (unfortunately on the other side of the park from my seats...or for the sake of my waistline, fortunately) is any worth the trip maybe better than any other desert.

Don't! Don't! Don't stop selling coffee. Temperature outside is irrelevant. Need caffeine!

Posted by: Catcher50 | June 6, 2008 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Chico was great, he did an awesome job putting all the information he could into every space. Not a wasted sentence. That six words practice helped.

It wasn't his decision to only assign one reporter to cover the day.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

After the first inning of the day game, alcohol was in my plans, and as Nat after Nat flailed away to no effect, alcohol became increasingly important, just as the Examiner was important to my thirst for coverage this morning.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Classic, 506.

********

They were charging too much for it and the High Life guy came and took it back. On TV.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:21 PM

Posted by: Bob L. Head | June 6, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Omnibus post for the day:

1) Re coverage -- a week or so ago we were talking about the fact that the gamer wasn't in the top ten most viewed sports articles. I have a theory why: it's almost never one of the two articles under the "Sports" heading on the main page. I often only have time to scan the main page and click on articles that appear interesting. If others are also doing this, they would never read about the Nats. (I care enough to find the gamer.)

2) Re burrito blogging -- I don't mind it. Chico posted like a man possessed yesterday, so he can do what he wants today. When I used to blog and wanted a suggestion for something (food, wine, shoes, whatever), I would always put up a post. I haven't had a burrito at the park yet, but I can tell you that Hard Times' wings are awesome.

3) Re Zimmerman bobbleheads -- does anyone have an extra? I'll trade you a C.C. Sabathia (or cash, or a beer, or I'll be your best friend).

4) Dukes is the man. That is all.

5) Forgive me if I missed this, but was there any discussion of how maybe Lannan sucked the other night because of Flores catching instead of Nieves?

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 6, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Catcher50 is right about the gelato and everything else, especially the lemon gelato which is so good it should bge the only flavor offered. And great one, 506! Got the Marine Corps son-in-law laughing hard, and that's hard to do!
*********************


They were charging too much for it and the High Life guy came and took it back. On TV.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | June 6, 2008 5:21 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I thought everyone but Steinberg took Friday afternoons off anyway.

Posted by: prophet | June 6, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

baseball america's take on crow (don't think i saw it posted earlier).

===

In three years, Crow has gone from an undrafted high school senior to the best righthander in the 2008 draft, thanks largely to the best fastball package available. Other pitchers may throw harder, but no one can match the combination of Crow's velocity (92-96 mph with a peak of 98), hard sink, command and ability to maintain his fastball. He also has a plus slider, though he tends to rely on it too much. His changeup can become a solid third pitch, but he has had little use for it in college. He has control and command, keeping the ball down and throwing strikes to both sides of the plate. If there's a quibble, it's Crow's delivery, which has some effort but is cleaner than it was coming out of high school. Some teams wonder if his mechanics and size (generously listed at 6-foot-3 and 195 pounds) might make him more of a closer than a frontline starter. Crow led the Cape Cod League with a 0.67 ERA last summer and was the No. 1 prospect in the league. He threw 43 consecutive scoreless innings early this spring, and was tied for the D-I lead with 11 wins. He wasn't as sharp after the streak and was pulled from a start with back spasms, but he solidified his place at the top of the first round.

Posted by: 231 | June 6, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

not that i think all the people complaining to chico for the lack of coverage and calling him out will actually read this (since at least a few of them have monikers i don't recognize), but chico doesn't decide how many column inches he gets, the editor does.

so unless someone can show somehow that chico decided he just didn't want to write that much and convinced his editors to give him *less* column inches (which might make him one of the first reporters to ever do that, especially in his first month on the job), you should redirect your frustration at the sports editor, who makes those kinds of decisions.

Posted by: 231 | June 6, 2008 6:06 PM | Report abuse

There are two different "Cantina" stands. Cantina Marina is on the second level in right field and has blackened stuff, fish tacos, etc. Chico is asking about Capitol Cantina, which is on the first level and has more traditional Mexican food.

I thought Cantina Marina was just OK, though some people rave about it. I haven't been to Capitol Cantina yet.

Posted by: Cosmo | June 6, 2008 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Listen, to the extent I personally have become associated with the coverage debate, I want to be crystal clear on my views here. Any issues I have with the Post's coverage of the Nats in today's paper are not with Chico. It was Chico's editors who decided not to (a) assign 2 writers to the Nats yesterday to write multiple stories or (b) give Chico the space to write multiple stories. As others have stated, Chico's editors have recognized that they made a mistake in not devoting more space to the Nats today.

Now, do I have any thoughts that Chico's reporting can be better? Could he have covered more of the draft through the blog? Maybe. But he's been on the job for a month, is an enthusiastic and talented writer, and should be given the opportunity to grow into the job for a while before people start taking shots at him personally. And if his editors won't give his beat the resources that it needs and deserves, it's hard to hold that against Chico.

Posted by: Coverage is lacking | June 6, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

) Forgive me if I missed this, but was there any discussion of how maybe Lannan sucked the other night because of Flores catching instead of Nieves?

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 6, 2008 5:57 PM
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I wondered this, too, especially when LaRussa walked Langerhans to get to Nieves. Would he have walked Rivera? I never understood why Maddux insisted on Perez catching him, shunning Javy Lopez. Is Manny trying to break up the pair? I mean, he was going to have to play both, why not save Jesus for the night game?

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Catcher question quoting Scott in Shaw was mine.

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

How's the burrito truck on Half Street?

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 6:15 PM | Report abuse

how about a lineup maybe? Kilgore at least got the lineups with some other info BEFORE yahoo fantasy sports picked it up when they were officially posted. Also, this is the Washington Post Nats Journal, not a personal blog. I'm okay with asides, so long as it comes with ACTUAL content. and like others have said, plenty of non-paid bloggers have written much more substantial content over the busy day yesterday.

Posted by: q | June 6, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Lincecum, get off of my cloud!

Posted by: flynnie | June 6, 2008 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Enough taco talk....we need lineups!!!

Posted by: Pablo | June 6, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Good call Flynnie -- I left out the fact that Flores would have caught the nightcap (presumably). Now, who knows what would have happened, but maybe Flores doesn't end up with a bruised hand? Maybe Langerhans doesn't get walked? Maybe Flores has a few RBIs and we don't even end up in extra innings? I guess that's why they play the games.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | June 6, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Re Chico - Yes, "...he's been on the job for a month..." and has already take two vacations.

Re the Post - They had THREE reporters at the draft press conference including the editor George Solomon. I would think that it the Post felt it important enough to send THREE reporters to the press conference, they would give them more space to write.

Side Note - the best burrito is at the bullpen place near Gifford's ice cream.

Posted by: Amazed | June 6, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Re Chico - Yes, "...he's been on the job for a month..." and has already take two vacations.

Posted by: Amazed | June 6, 2008 6:32 PM

Amazed - do you work 7 days a week? Give the man a break. If I recall, he's had 6 days off in that month.

Posted by: HALjr | June 6, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I'll be damned if I would pay nine dollars for a baseball park burrito.

Posted by: JT | June 6, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

I hate to give away secrets, but the best beers in the park are Hook and Ladder. I'm only telling ya'll so that you'll support them with the opening of their brewpub in Silver Spring. And, maybe they'll start stocking more at the Park. They keep running out of this wonderful nectar.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | June 6, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Just to clarify, Chico - that particular stand around 129 is now styled "Baseline Burritos".

Have no idea why it was changed.

Posted by: Ghost of Ray King | June 6, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Ghost of Ray King - I just noticed the change the other day too. It is actually "Bullpen Burritos." They stopped selling tacos a few weeks ago and they changed the nacho containers to huge bowls. Best food in the park.

HALjr - Yes, thanks to the crackberry, I work 7 days a week. I was not saying that he hasn't worked hard. It just seems odd to me that you get this great job and right away take 2 vacations during baseball season in the first month of a new job.

Posted by: Amazed | June 7, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

I was in too much of a hurry to order to notice the details.

Posted by: Ghost of Ray King | June 7, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

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