The weather around here has been so crappy for weeks, that I was worried this past Tuesday that the baseball game that night would be cancelled, and that would have been very disappointing since I was going to hang out with my friend Emma and enjoy $1 hot dog night while the Nats took on the Tigers. But as you can see, it was lovely out, if a little cloudy. It ended up being a little chilly in the higher seats where I sit, thank goodness I wore long sleeves, had my rain jacket and a scarf for warmth. Kids, do as the boy scouts say: be prepared!
But seriously – I’m a big fan of $1 hot dog nights. And also $1 ice cream nights – anything where the usual price is closer to $5, and being dropped to $1…and then handing over singles to pay – so satisfying. I somehow only ate two hot dogs, but that’s probably for the best. As we waited in line for our dollar dogs, I told the Emma the story of the time I was involved in a hot dog eating contest at a football game, and tried to be sneaky and ended up feeling sick because I ate 6 very large hot dogs in the course of an hour or so, and then met up with my cousin and his friend that I had a minor crush on while bent over double, feeling sick and full of hot dogs. The lesson is: just because you can, doesn’t mean you need to. So I have to learn to balance out my “take advantage while they’re cheap!” tendencies.
There was a funny incident at the game where a male and female duck flew into the stadium. We saw it happen, and then they landed just behind third base…in fair territory. The entire time they were on the field, Emma and I feared for them – what if someone hits a line drive out there, and they suffer a similar fate to the Randy Johnson bird? What about a foul ball (a…fowl ball? Oh god, please stop me before I pun again)? We didn’t know if the ducks were visible to TV audiences, but apparently they were. Luckily they ended up walking into foul territory, and eventually left, but we had gotten up for food at some point, so didn’t see how they were escorted off the field. I like to imagine that the security guys ran at them flapping their arms and yelling, but it was likely more sedate.
My favorite food item at the ballpark used to be the chili nachos (tasty, a meal portion that didn’t cost a fortune for how much food you got) from Hard Times Cafe, and lucky me – there was a stand just behind my section that served them up. It was a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, Hard Times is going through some hard times, and many of their restaurants are closing. So the Nationals have brought in a new food vendor at all the old Hard Times locations, and behind our section is another place that makes nachos – this time “Dos Locas Nachos”. Emma and I ordered their chicken nachos to split (they do offer chili nachos as well), and we were not impressed. Do you see the cheese in those nachos? Neither did we. We had to be reassured by several people that it was in the middle layer, underneath some of the chips. This set everything up for disappointment, because it’s hard to enjoy cheesy nacho goodness when you have to go digging through the chips to find the cheese. And those two small scoops of guacamole cost $4 extra. Probably not our smartest choice. I’ll reserve judgment completely until I’ve sampled their chili nachos as well, but so far this is looking like not the best replacement.
The game was pretty close, and it looked like the Nats might have been able to take the game when Ryan Zimmerman hit two home runs. But with a poor call by the umps, and the Tigers scoring another run soon after meant that all those homers were for naught. Poor Zim. He stepped up in a big way, and on the night that I wore my Mr. Walkoff tee. Too bad everything else was conspiring against him.
Normally at baseball games, I’m all about getting an ice cream somewhere around the 7th inning. But on a cold night like we had, that was not going to happen (though Emma did get one – she’s an ice cream fiend!). I instead chose to get funnel cake…along with a dozen other people who figured out that it was the only warm dessert to be had on this level of the stadium. It was everything you expect funnel cake to be…covered in powdered sugar, crispy, sinking under the weight of powdered sugar…you get the point. I’m amazed that I didn’t make myself or my clothes permanently sticky with the powdered sugar. The only really disappointing part was that big bubble of dough on the left side – it didn’t seem to fry all the way through, so the very center was a little on the doughy side. :/
Despite the loss, we had a great time at the ballpark, and got to see an interesting game. I had the chance to enter an instagram contest for a favorite local brewery of mine by making a play on my surname, and the name of my favorite beer of theirs – the Kellerbier Kolsch. Though I’m not sure they got the play on words. Maybe they did? Who knows. In any case, a fun night of baseball, friends, beer, cheap hot dogs and ducks was well worth my time.
So…has anyone else out there ever been in an eating contest? Have a weakness for foods when they are cheap? Love ducks as much as Emma and I do?