Sunday, July 25, 2004

Frank Talk

Inquirer food columnist Rick Nichols takes a swing today at the hot dogs at Citizens Bank Park, but only after his admittedly damning-with-faint-praise observation that the Park's chow "is head and shoulders above the wretched fare at the late Vet ... ." Nichols describes a couple of my CBP faves, Peace a Pizza slices and the roast pork sandwiches from Tony Luke's, in moderately complimentary terms, though he tragically fails to mention the Schmitter. Anyway, after a few 'graphs of this, he starts grilling the Phillies on the ballpark's biggest culinary failing:

If you want to actually see the game, on the other hand, you can grab a hot dog. But there's the rub. Someone forgot to pay attention to the official nosh of the national pastime: The dogs, not to put too fine a point on it, bite.

The worst of the lot are the rubbery tubes of barely warmed baloney, turning their buns to mush in stacks of foil body bags ($3). You can pay a couple of bucks more at the Hatfield stands, where they griddle foot-longs. They're better, but not much.

This is a towering shame because hot dogs are meant for the masses. They're quick, cheap, customizable, portable (though, lamentably, I didn't see a single roving hot dog vendor) and forgiving. Just because they're easy, though, doesn't mean they don't deserve respect.

Build one right, and they will come and remember -- and be fans forever.

It's a hell of a thing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a gleaming and immaculate new stadium only to screw up one of the very basic parts of the ballpark experience. Of course, if that turns out to be the biggest problem with which we have to contend this year, then it will have been a good year. Oh, that's right -- the Phillies' mind-blowing inconsistency and enormous, gaping holes in centerfield, in the rotation, and at the top of the lineup are pretty bad, too. Yesterday the roller coaster began climbing back up, which means we can expect it to plummet again any day now. Hot dog!


At July 25, 2004 at 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hot dogs really do suck. I haven't had a warm one yet. Other than that, I've been pretty pleased. Harry the K's has a great cheeseburger. I also like Tony Luke's cheesesteak, Peace-a-Pizza, the water ice, and the cheesesteak nachos at McFadden's. They really needed this, because the food at the Vet sucked, and there aren't many places near the stadium to eat.


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