I took in my first game of the season at Citi Field this afternoon. For the most part, it was an enjoyable experience. No traffic getting in and out It helps when you arrive early and leave early. It also helps when the crowd is a bit sparse, to put it mildly. Great seats behind home. Good company. Unseasonably warm and sunny, despite a forecast of thunderstorms. Good pitching and hitting by the Mets, as they defeated the D-Backs, 8-4, for their –gasp! — fourth straight win.
Just one thing was missing: ballpark food. Not that is wasn’t readily available in all its fatty, salty, greasy varieties. But it’s still Passover and despite the temptations of ballpark cuisine, I did not break down and forsake my religious convictions. Thankfully, they had a salad station in the Delta 360 Club so I was able to have a decent, albeit boring, lunch. I’m not sure if the Mets were just being respectful of their sizeable Jewish fan base or the few fans who actually like to eat healthy when they attend a game. Brisket and potato kugel would have been better, but salad was a viable option, Passover or no Passover, considering all the Belgian beer and hand-cut fries I consumed yesterday. Not to mention the way I gorged myself in New Orleans recently. So it was good to go healthy, although I would have preferred it be during a visit to MOMA or something, not Citi Field. But it serves me right going to a game during Passover. I’m likely to fall victim to at least one of the ten plagues for such an indiscretion.
Anyway, ballpark salad has an odd ring to it (especially at $11 a pop), but it actually was okay. Much better, in fact, than the dinner of M&M’s that I had at the Garden during the Rangers game on Wednesday night. I would have had the corned beef sandwich and removed the bread but they were all out of corned beef that night. Just like the Rangers were out of goals. And luck.
Full disclosure: I do, um, how should I say this — cheat a little during Passover. I don’t keep Kosher, but I do avoid bread and grains. So could I have grabbed a hot dog or a Shackburger and tossed the roll? No, that would have been pointless. Dogs without rolls are very unsatisfying, plus you need the bread to serve as a buffer to all the bad stuff they put in hot dogs. At least that’s the case with me and my 50-year-old stomach, the one that relies on a daily dose of Dexilant. A naked hot dog in my gut is a lit fuse.
How about a Shackburger without a bun? No way. There’s something sublime about a Shackburger bun, all warm and soft and buttery, when it’s pressed against grilled beef and cheese. Besides, tossing buns and rolls away, in the middle of a ballpark, would look kind of weird, wouldn’t it?
So I stuck with salad and followed up in the later innings with some traditional (Cracker Jack’s) and untraditional (Kozy Shack pudding) ballpark treif. The combination of sugary corn and pudding (gluten free!) neutralized whatever health benefits I derived from the salad, but I escaped from Citi Field still clinging to my loose interpretation of Passover dietary restrictions.
I’ll be back at Citi Field in a few weeks. It would be nice to witness another Mets win, but more importantly, I’d like to savor my first helping of grilled and cured ballpark meats of this young season. All wrapped in bread. Lots of bread.
After all, what are ballgames for?