Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Baltimore, MD
I don’t care if you hate baseball there is something magical about watching a pro baseball game. I can’t watch baseball on TV, because I don’t have a vested interest in any team. I have never lived in a town with a major league team so visiting a major league stadium is always a treat. So on my not so recent trip to Annapolis my father and I buzzed down to Baltimore for a Orioles vs Astros game.
Parking sucks at Camden Yards. Parking signage stinks, too. I circled the stadium several times before I found a lot. So do some research before you go to ease the pregame stress. After a short walk I found a short line for game day tickets next to a long line for game day tickets. Tip – check out the will call ticket windows, because they open game day ticket windows next to those.
I like to sit on the 3rd base side on the 2nd level if I can afford it. Our tickets for section 55 were $27 each. The best seats I have had lately were at Chase Field. The club level at a DBacks game is righteous. These seats were good, but from a food and beverage perspective they had a couple of drawbacks. First, no cup holders. You gots to have a place for your beer. Second, no specialty food vendors nearby. I want the hot dog, but I also wouldn’t mind to try something special. The best part about this section and just about any seat on this side is the great view you have of the field and the signature B & O Warehouse that is on the first base side of the field.
The landmark B & O Warehouse, beyond right field, is the longest building on the East Coast at 1,116 feet (but only 51 feet wide). The eight story building provides unique office space for the Orioles and other tenants including the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and the Maryland Stadium Authority. A 432-foot home run drive will reach the Warehouse if it hugs the right field line. – from The Orioles A-Z Guide.
We walked in on the warehouse side past some great pulled pork and smoked turkey sandwiches. I wanted to get in line right there, but I thought there would be something better around the corner and my dad was focused on finding our seats. Well something better didn’t come, but some classic ball park eats did. I had worked up a sweat walking so first thing we needed were some beers. My rule for sporting events is treat yourself to the good stuff early, then top off with the cheap stuff later! Following my rule to a tee, I spied some Smithwick’s at the Guinness kiosk. I ordered the maximum two beers for $6.50 each. I took a sip of each to prevent spillage and delivered them to our seats. The beer was warm. 😦 I know it is an Irish beer, but Americans like their beer COLD.
After two innings the O’s were up by a run and I decided to get dinner. I picked up two hot dogs, nachos and two more beers (Budweiser this time). I stopped by the condiment stand and grabbed some mustard and relish. No WVHD toppings here. (Since this is not a WVHD I reserve the right to review it.) I like stadium mustard, but I think it is hard to find. To keep the beer from spilling down my arm and dripping off my elbow I again took a few sips off each Bud. Like clockwork as I was walking back to my seat the Astros made a big play that I missed and were now up by one run. The dogs were good with their buns squished inside of the foil wrappers. I have noticed that the new ballpark standard for hot dogs is a 4 to 1 weenie aka the 1/4 pound frank. It is hard to eat more than one of these girthy dogs, especially if you have nachos waiting.
I asked the vendor three times about Jalapenos for the nachos. He topped it with enough spicy green rings to choke a horse. Serves me right. The nachos were gooey goodness with spicy cheese that has that unnatural yellow-orange glow. You have to be very careful when eating these, because between the abundance of cheese and the distraction of the game you can accidentally bite your finger. Ouch!
What happen to the peanuts? You might ask. Well I ran out of room on my cardboard tray and decided if I wanted more of anything on this hot night it wasn’t going to be something that made me more thristy. This RD knows the sodium content of my meal was already through the roof.
We stayed through the 8th inning and left with the O’s down by a run, but by the time we made it back to Annapolis they had pulled out a 6-5 victory. Camden Yards is the first of the new “old” ball parks. It is not to be missed. If it is a foodie ballpark you are looking for, the THREE Fork Camden Yards might not be a homerun.
2008 FOOD SERVICE FACTS: ORIOLE PARK AT CAMDEN YARDS
On OPENING DAY, fans are expected to consume
9,200 Hot Dogs
4,500 Pounds of French Fries
3,700 Soft Pretzels
2,570 Orders of Chicken Tenders
1,800 Bags of Peanuts
1,410 Sausage and Pepper Sandwiches
1,330 Orders of Nachos
650 Bags of Cotton Candy
650 Slices of Pizza
375 Bags of Cracker Jacks
100 Bags of Popcorn
40 Gallons of Ice Cream
4,530 Souvenir Sodas
1,400 Bottles of Water
18,000 Pounds of Ice Used
NEW menu items and offerings
• Jack Daniel’s Ribs
• Garlic and Herb Tossed Fries
• Gourmet Frankfurter
• Ballpark Sliders
SPECIALTY menu items and offerings / REGIONAL favorites
• Boog’s Barbecue
• Baltimore Crab Cakes
• Seasonal Crab Soup
• Kosher Menu
• All-You-Can-Eat Program
HEALTHFUL menu items
• Assorted Sandwiches and Wraps
• Yogurt and Granola Parfaits
• Grilled Chicken Salad
• Tomato and Basil Salad
• Kids Hot Dog
• Kids Soda
• Kids Popcorn
• Soft Pretzels
• Philly Water Ice
PREMIUM menu items and offerings
• Tossed to Order Wings (BBQ, Lemon-Garlic and Spicy)
• Crab Cakes
• Garlic Fries
• Gourmet Hand-Packed Burger
• Club Level Burger (Half-Pound Burger Topped with Pulled Pork and Fried Onion Rings)