Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball Game: Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox – Minneapolis, MN

I’ll start by saying this: I really hate baseball. I tried to play as a youngster when my friend Jason tricked me into playing little league with him. It went poorly, to say the least. You throw a ball at me and I duck – it’s instinct/self-preservation. Needless to say, I had zero hits and maybe 30 walks that season. I don’t even think I swung the bat when I was at the plate. Probably because my eyes were closed - seriously.

Despite all this, I usually find myself at a couple of baseball games each summer (Twins, Saints, Mudhens, etc.). I’ve got friends who love the game, in-laws who love the game, and I can usually find cheap or free tickets from people trying to off-load them at the last minute when they can’t attend. This time around, Rita’s boss had a handful of tickets he couldn’t use, so D.Rough and I got the phone call asking if we wanted to go. Of course we want to go.

Despite my loathing of baseball, I DO love stadium food.

On my drive home from work that afternoon, it started raining. Hard. I was convinced the game would be rained out, but apparently, these guys are known for playing games in the rain as long as it isn’t lightning and as long as the infield doesn’t get too sloppy. But Rita and D.Rough were determined to make it happen. They took the light rail down to the park and I drove straight to the stadium from work, when I realized the gridlock traffic wasn’t going to allow me to run home before the game.

So, honestly, this is the best possible scenario for me. It’s pouring rain and the only thing there is to do is wander the concourse of the stadium buying food and drinks. Seriously, this is a scenario where I would consider buying season tickets. Hahahahaha.

While waiting for D.Rough, Rita, and Kym, I noticed there was one food booth open to people who weren’t inside the park yet. Why, yes, I WOULD like a brat while I wait for the light rail to drop off D.Rough. Cha-ching!

It was a pretty standard brat, but it did the trick. It tided me over until I could get inside the park and get other unhealthy food. Plus, when I sent a photo to D.Rough’s cell phone of the brat, I got the proper enraged response.

Then, once inside Target Field, we had nothing to do since we weren’t going to sit in our seats in the rain. So I found some cheese curds. Delicious gooey cheese curds. It was a pretty small portion for the price, but they were worth it.

As I had finished my curds, a couple walked past me and looked at me funny. Granted, I’m used to this, since I look like a sasquatch and had changed out of my work shirt and tie into jeans and a band sweatshirt. But they looked and pointed a little bit more than most. I thought maybe they were returning the favor since I was probably staring at the guy’s excellent sideburns, so I probably had it coming. Not a big deal, until someone tapped me on the shoulder 10 seconds later. It was the couple.

She said she didn’t want to sound weird but wanted to know if I was the guy that wrote for Youcarewhatwethink. I said yes, but probably more suspicious-sounding than I intended. She said she was a big fan and loved to read the reviews. She introduced herself and her husband (Jen and Eric – I haven’t come up with fun nicknames for them just yet, so I’m totally selling out their identity) and said that even though they were both vegetarian, they loved the blog and appreciated that I give shout outs to the vegetarian food I eat and give them ideas for places to go. She said she felt honored to meet me, but I assured her it was me that was more flattered since someone actually recognized me from the asinine photos I put on the blog of myself. SUPER nice couple.

After my brief but huge ego-boost, I needed a cheap margarita to bring me back down to the real world. Well, they don’t have anything cheap at Target Field, but they do have margaritas that TASTE cheap! Mmmmmmm Jose Cuervo. Mmmmmmmm $7.75 for a 10 oz plastic cup with salt on the rim. It wasn’t the best margarita I ever had, but it certainly wasn’t the worst.

After our first loop of the concourse waiting for them to start the game, we decided which places we were going to go back to actually eat. I knew I needed a corn dog, so we headed out for the state fair booth – the only place you can get corn dogs in the stadium. While walking there, I needed a snack. And fortunately, Kramarczuk’s sausage booth was between me and the state fair booth. If you don’t know this company in the Twin Cities, you should get familiar with it. The fact that they have a booth in Target Field should tell you something about them. They’re serious about sausages. D.Rough was going to get a sausage of some sort (twss), but cover it with fried onions to deter me from eating any of hers – rude. However, I tricked D.Rough into buying me a Polish Sausage while she was in line buying her own food. And it was delicious. Approximately 81.4% more tasty than the brat I had before getting into the game. I’m not a topping guy (aside from ketchup), so keep in mind I didn’t slather it with mustard, relish, sauerkraut, and onions. But even so, it really is that much better than the regular fare at Target Field.
Immediately after getting the Polish Sausage, they announced the game was officially postponed and being rescheduled for a later date. After the collective groan from the soaked fans, the mass exodus began. Which also meant there was no way for me to get to the state fair booth for my corn dog. Sad. Face.

It’s probably a good thing the game got rained out, to be honest. I had my eye on the Carvery meat booth and the Asian food booth next to it. I also would have probably wanted ice cream at the end of it all and maybe some nachos as a between-snack snack. Instead, we got to walk back in the rain to my car parked in a random parking ramp.

Overall, this was one of the best days I’ve had at the baseball park. And, family and friends – please don’t stop inviting me to come to baseball games with you. I love professional sporting events, and as you just saw, I LOVE stadium food. I’ll be happy to accompany you to the game and then disappear while the actual game is happening. It’s a skill I am honing.

Thanks again to Jen and Eric for stopping me and saying hi!!! My friends now think I’m a minor celebrity. They won’t admit that out loud, but I can tell that’s what they think – hahahahaha.


s said...

Too funny they saw you. I keep thinking I will randomly run into you someday since I know what you look like too. I guess if the stars align it will happen. Now that you are getting "shout outs" on Heavy Table you are a minor celebrity. Hence being recognized by people you do not know. I'm guessing that you are always looking for new places. It's a hole in the wall, but try Manana on 7th St for the awesome pupusas and reportedly the fish soup.

Chao said...

Awesome. Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to check it out. I'm not a seafood/fish lover, but the other things sounds great!

And yes, keep an eye out for me. I should be easy to spot.

Gin said...

Good for Jen & Eric. I've seen you at MNRG and couldn't think of a unawkward way to approach (as if staring and pointing from 213 isn't awkward).
Next time, I'll say hello!

Chao said...

Gin, feel free to be awkward - I don't mind. I'm not a beer drinker, so you're off the hook for buying me a beer as an ice-breaker. hahaha. (I DO, however, eat mini-donuts. hahahahahaha)