Friday, September 2, 2011

For the Love of the Game (and Food)

Summertime in Durham doesn’t feel complete until you make it to at least one Durham Bulls' baseball game. With the season winding down, GWG joined up at DBAP to catch up, enjoy some ballpark grub, and pull on the home team as they took on the Charlotte Knights. Admittedly we may have paid more attention to the food than the action, and one of us may have spilled a $7 beer on the field. But despite a rather devastating final score, a photo op with Wool E. Bull had us in high spirits.
 Our intent was to survey the concession stand offerings at the ballpark, particularly after hearing about a few vendor changes this year. Once we reviewed the handy concession map at the back of the game guide, we realized our options were a combination of reliable chains and traditional baseball fare. We decided to keep with tradition and ordered up two Bright Leaf footlongs, loaded tater tots, fried pickles, and a couple of Carolina Brewery ales to wash it all down.
 The lines can be pretty long so plan to miss at least an inning while you wait –we recommend a tag team effort if you are ordering from several vendors. You might also hold out for the Dollar Night promotions when several classic snacks are available for only $1 each—otherwise, plan to spend about $20/person for a full meal. Everything we ordered was good but nothing really blew us out of the park, mostly due to the fact that none of it seemed particularly fresh from the grill or fryer. 

That being said, a hot dog really completes the baseball experience and these were the original, southern red variety—one served Carolina style with BBQ and slaw on top, and the other topped off with traditional toppings from the condiment bar (ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut). Be sure to grab extra napkins and possibly a fork as the bun may fall apart before you even pick it up—that was our experience in both cases.

For our final indulgence we went for dessert and caught the donut stand just in time. We ordered ours all the way (cinnamon, powdered sugar and chocolate), and watched as the donuts floated and flipped through the grease. The mini donuts come by the dozen and ours were the freshest (and likely fattiest) snack of the night.
Other food options that we did not try out include The Pit Authentic Barbecue, Papa John’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Chick-fil-A, and Rita’s Italian Ice. Plus, don’t forget the peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy and other treats that are hustled among the stands.

At the end of the night, comfortable weather, a great turnout, and food for way more than two left us feeling fully satisfied.

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