Tuesday, June 4, 2013

And Now - 1000 Words On Hot Dogs

I told my friend that it's getting sort of hard to write these blog posts during this losing streak. Not just because we're losing, but nothing too exciting is happening. He asked me if I had done a thorough review of hot dogs yet and I said no, but that sounds like a good idea.
Here's the deal with hot dogs at Progressive Field: there are two main kinds. There are the $3 hot dogs, which are the same as the $1 hot dogs on Dollar Dog nights. Then there are some huge hot dogs, I think 1/4 lb, which are $5 or $5.50. The cheap dogs are also what you're going to find in the "All You Can Eat Seats." As far as I know, you can get the bigger dogs anywhere you can get hot dogs, but I may be wrong. I usually shoot for the bigger concession stands that have everything.

If it's Dollar Dog night, or you're buying hot dogs for kids then the cheaper dogs are a no-brainer. They're no different than gas station dogs but they get the job done. Plus, you're really just there for the Stadium Mustard anyway - who cares what goes on underneath it?

Now, if you are a person of substantial size (ie a Clevelander) then you will enjoy the bigger dog much more. There's a lot of hot dog there. And you can taste it around the mustard, which is fine, cuz it's good. If you have been waiting since lunch you can probably manage 2 dogs and some fries (should I do another post all about the fries? The fries are awesome!) If you're a normal-sized person, perhaps visiting from out of town, one big dog will do you. But get the fries too.

One issue I have with the big dogs is that they are super freaking hot. I've had to take them apart and eat them bunless when I'm being good and watching my carbs (best and possibly only low-carb treat at the ballpark!) and they burn my fingers. When I get them in a bun, of course they don't burn my fingers but even after a walk from the concession stand to the condiment bar to my seat they're still blazing hot! This makes me unhappy because as much as I like eating hot dogs, I like cheering for the Tribe even more and that's hard to do with a tray of hot dogs on my lap. I gotta hold on to the napkins, and keep drinking pop, and make sure I don't get ketchup all over my jersey. It totally impedes on my clapping ability (and I have a wicked good clap). So it sucks to have to go slow and not burn my mouth on these damn big hot dogs. It also sucks to go fast and burn my mouth on the damn big hot dogs. It's one of the only bad things about dinner at the ballpark!

These hot hot dogs do beat the cheap dogs at the All You Can Eat stands, which in my experience are cold by the end of the game. Boo!

Unfortunately the hot dog vendors that come to the seats only sell the cheap dogs. If you would like to have the very baseball experience of having someone sell you a hot dog from an insulated box while you sit at your seat, then by all means get those cheap dogs. There's definitely something special about that - so special that they send around the hot dog guys in the old timey vendor outfits and everything. Unfortunately I don't think they squirt your condiments for you anymore but in reality I think that saves everyone some trouble.

You actually have more hot dog options at The Prog, including the foot-long hot dog. These are sold in the stands by vendors (with the funny outfits) and according to this site they're also at a fancy hot dog concession stand that sells veggie dogs and mega condiments. I've never seen this stand, but to be honest my friends and I are generally not trawling for food (we find stuff and eat it. End of story.) I'll have to look for it next time I'm out there, though, as the foot-long guys don't come to every section.

The foot-longs are pretty good. They seem like more than just double the cheapo dogs. I was prepared to be unimpressed but by the time I was done with the one I had (from a vendor, noless!) I was like "huh, that was worth it!" I don't remember the price on those, it's been a while, but I know they still have them for sure. If you see a vendor come by and you're wanting a hot dog - try a foot-long!

Of course there's tons of other food at The Prog and I've written about it before, as I try it, but I always come back to the hot dog. I don't know if our hot dogs are anything to write home about but the Indians do have the best mustard in the big leagues (™ maybe?) which I never, ever eat at home (although I think every NE Ohio fridge has a bottle, just in case, from that one time you had a bbq at your house) but I make a beeline for it at every game.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention The Hot Dogs in my report - and I mean the hot dogs that race in the Hot Dog Derby.
These hot dogs.
 I'm a big fan of Mustard, myself. Never trusted that dang cheating Ketchup. I'm ambivalent about onion - I'll cheer for her if Mustard is out of the race. I've been known to give Ketchup some sass if I see him walking around the park. One time he did something rude to me, I forget what. Like a hand gesture or punched my arm or something. I will admit it was pretty hilarious to be heckled by a hot dog. I'm very excited that I have a Mustard magnet on my fridge now! Some day I might even buy myself a Mustard doll.

My best friend that I go to games with is a big fan of Ketchup. Odd - we are politically opposed as well. Does the cheating Ketchup appeal to the Right and the sideways-hat-wearin' Mustard appeal to the Left? Hmm. That is a question bigger than us all! However I WOULD like to know why the hot dogs that represent Cleveland includes a bright YELLOW Mustard. I don't think I can ever take them truly seriously until Mustard gets some soul.
There you have it - my treatise on hot dogs at Progressive Field. Widely researched and poorly executed but research is on-going.

As for today's game against the Yankees - how about that Drew Stubbs? He broke a no-hit streak last night then came in tonight to go 2 for 3 with a 3-run homer! He got 2 of the team's 3 hits and all of the team's RBI for the night. Oh yeah and he's not too shabby in the field, either!

Oh and how about that Nick Hagadone? Coming in with bases loaded and 1 out and I bet you were all holding your breath (like I was) and then he gets Robinson Cano, of all people, to hit in to a double play. Wow!

No word on where you can buy the BROHIO shirt yet. It's definitely getting a lot of attention, according to the blog's stats. As soon as I figure out where you can buy it I'll post a link. Damn the burgeoning custom soft tee manufacturing market in Cleveland! They make one-off tees like nobody's business! Of course now I'm already on to wondering what shirts these were that Mark Reynolds and friend were wearing in the clubhouse today. Did the mullet barber bring them? What do they say? Don't worry, boffins - I'm on the case. I Tweeted Kipnis for us!

Tomorrow's an afternoon game in New York, a 1:05 start. It'll be Kluber versus LHP 3.71. A Cy Young Award winner - our favorite!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Those folks...they don't want to take a chance on bruising their hands while clapping, or getting a sore throat from screaming."
- Tom Hamilton on subdued Yankee fans in the expensive seats

"The only thing that A-Rod likes more than himself is money."
- Tom Hamilton

"Fans here fully expect someday to see Derek Jeter walk across the East River."
- Tom Hamilton

"When you're down 4, you don't think there's anything cheap about a home run."
- Tom Hamilton about Stubbs hitting a "cheap" homer

"Terry Francona went to Nick Hagadone and said 'Look kid, I still believe in ya. Now prove me right.' And boy did he!"
- Tom Hamilton

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