This week was Phillies Phantasy Camp. I didn’t go. Well, didn’t participate. I never had the opportunity to play as a kid and starting to learn the basics doesn’t “earn” me the right to indulge myself with this level of Phantasy that I could play.
BUT, that doesn’t mean I can’t watch grown men living our their dreams. Some of those guys can play rather well. Ross and I had a good time walking from field to field at the Carpenter Complex.
I got to see some of the Phillies’ greats like Micky Morandini, Larry Andersen and
Now here’s the cool part…I got to MEET LarryAndersen! I was walking between fields when LA was also coming across. I said hi to him and he said hi back.
I offered him my hand and said, “Nice to meet you!”
He replied, “Well, I haven’t met you yet!”
So I went on to introduce myself and tell him about this site as we walked. He asked me if it was another site all full of “useless” stats. I said no, it’s more about the entire experience, not just data.
He paused, as if he was surprised, and then asked me how long I’d been doing this…I told since June.
So…May be I’ll get a look-see from one of the greats! I hope that if he reads this, he’ll know how he made this anonymous little blogger’s day!
Let me begin by saying that I’m not a “foodie”. I’m not into gourmet stuff. I just like a good quality food. I’m willing to try almost anything, especially ballpark food, just for my blog. That being said, I looked back over the variety of things I’ve tried or Ross has tried, just for you, my readers.
I have to say that the majority of places we’ve gone have had decent food. Most had passible hotdogs, fries and the like, so if I don’t mention it here, that means it was good or average enough not to stand out.
Best Hotdog–Reading Phillies
Hands down…no debate the Berks hotdogs at Reading’s First Energy Stadium are not to be missed. We went to may be fifteen or twenty games here and we never failed to eat at least one every time. The quality never waivers. These are the first hotdogs that you really don’t need ketchup to give them taste. In fact, by the third or fourth time I had one, I just gave up on the condiments all together, eating them plain. How many other hotdogs are THAT good?
Best Fries–Crab Fries–Philadelphia Phillies & Trenton Thunder
Both Citizen’s Bank Park and Trenton’s Waterfront Park have Chickie’s and Pete’s outposts and everyone knows that Chickie’s and Pete’s have the best crab fries. I guess “technically” they’re not strictly ballpark food, but they are the go-to fries. If you see them, eat them. Best Liquid Refreshment–Lemonade–Clearwater Threshers
Anyone who’s been to Brighthouse Field during baseball season knows how important it is to stay hydrated. Soda just doesn’t cut the mustard. You need something cold and caffeine free. Sure, you can go for the bottled water, but one bottle of water is just like any other. Here, you can see Ross and I sipping on a cold, sweet lemonade that was made as I ordered it. It’s sure to keep you refreshed.
Best Extra–Awshucks Corn–Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
It may be called Coca-Cola Park, but I’d call it Awshucks Corn Park. The corn is roasted in the husk and then dipped in melted butter or melted butter, parmesan cheese and garlic. I preferred the buttered, Ross preferred the “everything”. If you’ve every had braces and tried to eat an ear of corn on the cob, you know how difficult it is. It would take me more than twenty minutes to eat it and another twenty to brush my teeth, but it was SO WORTH IT! So much so, I did it twice in a week! Best Special Treat–Fried Oreos–Hagerstown Suns
They are beyond awesome…but not something you could eat every day. They are a once a summer treat. I’m looking forward to them next year when we return to Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium…but only once. They are warm, sweet and almost melt in your mouth. I swear I could feel myself gain a hundred pounds as I finished my third, but for a once a year treat, it couldn’t be beat.
Best Cheese Steak–Philadelphia
(Sorry, I didn’t get a picture)
I decided to split this to Philly vs Everyone Else. If you’ve ever been to Philly, you know that there’s a reason why they are called “Philly Cheese Steaks”, so I found it unfair to try to compare all the ballparks in one category.
Ross and I debated on this one for a while, but we have come to a unanimous decision: we like Campo’s Steaks at Citizen’s Bank Park the best. Sure, there are a lot of people who will say that Tony Luke’s are better, but Ross and I like Campo’s. We feel that the steak is a smidgeon thicker at Campo’s but it’s the bread that kept us coming back for more.
Best Cheese Steak–Outside Philadelphia–Clearwater Threshers
(Sorry, I didn’t get a picture)
As any true cheese steak fan knows outside of Philly, what we call a “cheese steak” isn’t what everyone else calls a “cheese steak”. Once you have had the best, you really get choosey as to what is acceptable to you.
At Brighthouse Field, Delco’s has a steak stand just behind home plate. While hot dogs are the go-to food in Reading, Delco’s are our go-to dinner in Clearwater. The steak is good, not fatty at all and it’s smothered in cheese and the rolls are perfect.
Overall, I enjoyed our gastronomic tour of the ballparks. Once I started blogging here, I really made it a point to try a hotdog at every park for comparison as well as looking for any food that would make that park stand out. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed. Of all the foods we ate, there were only two that were just plain bad. They weren’t just not to our liking, but bad. I won’t mention them here, I mean it could have been just an off night for them, but I will tell you this much…I won’t try them again to find out!
I hope you liked this review of the Food of 2011. I’ll be posting more “Best of” lists in the near future.