New Eats, Great Treats

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When baseball fans think of ballpark food, they usually expect hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jack. But food options have multiplied over the last couple of decades, and here in D.C., we’ve got some fantastic choices. When we heard that there were new food items available from Blue Smoke, El Verano Taquería and Box Frites at the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk for the 2012 season, we weren’t sure quite what to expect. Needless to say, we were impressed by both the variety and the quality of the new additions.

The folks from Union Square Events were nice enough to let us here at Curly W Live drop by and sample their new items on Friday, April 13. With the Nationals sporting the best ERA in baseball heading into play on Sunday, we thought some pitching analogies would be appropriate to help describe these new culinary delights.

The Fastball: Fried Chicken Sandwich

Comes With: Lettuce, Tomato & Buttermilk Ranch Sauce

Available At: Blue Smoke

For those looking for something different, and perhaps lighter, than the traditional red meat offerings at the ballpark, the fried chicken sandwich from Blue Smoke is a great option. For one, it is very lightly battered, so you’ll get plenty of actual chicken in your sandwich. The toppings provide a crisp, fresh balance, and the ranch is a nice touch. Moreover, the chicken is very juicy, not dry at all. Want to keep it simple and reliable? Here’s your dinner.

The Curveball: Buffalo Dog

Comes With: All-Beef Hot Dog, Potato Bun, Buffalo Blue Cheese Sauce, Pickled Carrot and Celery

Available At: Box Frites

We couldn’t have a sampling without a hot dog on the list, but the Buffalo Dog is unlike anything you’ve ever tried at a ballpark. Smothered in a buffalo blue cheese sauce with heaps of pickled carrots and celery, it explodes with bright, complex flavors. Oh, and you’re going to want to order it with a side of the Sweet Frites,  lightly salted sweet potato fries that come with a delectable dipping sauce.

The Changeup: Vegetarian Tacos

Comes With: Fire-Roasted Tomato salsa, Chopped Onions & Fresh Cilantro, Corn Tortillas

Available At: El Verano Taquería

Vegetables in a tortilla? At a baseball game? We’ll just call this the surprise of the tasting, and wow, were they good. The veggies have tons of flavor on their own, and the addition of the onions and cilantro only add to that. For those Nats fans who love their Mexican food, you will not be disappointed. This is a great veggie option for you non-meat eaters at the park. Of course, if you’re craving Mexican food and still want to appease your carnivorous cravings, there’s always…

The Slider: Barbacoa Quesadilla

Comes With: Lime Crema

Available At: El Verano Taquería

With a healthy serving of spiced, shredded beef, this is easily the most filling of the items we tasted, perfect for those with a big appetite. The beef is slow-cooked in chipotle and guajilo peppers, giving it quite a kick. The jack cheese, flour tortilla and lime crema provide a cool counterbalance contributing to a really tasty meal.

The Strikeout: Fried Pie

Comes With: Food Coma

Available At: Box Frites

If you survive this food gauntlet and still have room for dessert, you’ll find yourself safe at home with the Fried Pie from Box Frites. You can certainly split it between a couple friends, but you probably won’t want to. Served hot with all the apple-cinnamon goodness and caramel sauce you could hope for, it’s as American as baseball itself. There is also a mixed berry and apple offering, if you’re so inclined.

Dig in!


I tried the Blue Smoke bologna sandwich. It took ten minutes to make for me. They had ribs, pork, and chicken sandwiches all laid out and ready to go, but they must have assumed no one would order the bologna because they had to put one on the grill for me fresh. It was a good sandwich, a little salty but tasty, but if they expect no one to order it, why have it on the menu? They did take me up on my request for a free pack of french fries for my trouble. I should have asked for another beer.

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