Where is the veggie food at Camden Yards?
After PETA named Camden Yards one of the Top 10 veggie friendly ballparks, the messages from B'More Green readers were a little mixed, to say the least. Some said they found NO options.
One reader did some more digging, er, eating, and wrote in to say that Pastimes Cafe on Eutaw Street did carry several options, such as wraps, salads, veggie dogs. (Thanks Chris for the work!) But, Chris noted, that there were no signs. And besides pizza and fries, not a lot of option in other parts of the park.
So, I called management. David Freireich, a spokesman for Aramark, the park's food service company, says that veggie items just aren't that popular. Even the Maryland crab cake is only offered in one place because, he said -- GASP! -- it also is not that popular. (He's clearly from not from here.)
He put me in touch with the local general manager, Nick Biello, who basically said the same thing, but added some numbers:
In the last 39 games, the average number of regular hot dogs sold per game was 4,517, or more than half of the sales for all main food items. The park sold 1,194 chicken fingers and 1,537 Boog's sandwiches.
Crab cakes? 167. Veggie burgers? 3. Veggie dogs? 2.
Perhaps if managers would sell veggie food in more than one place or advertise just a little? Visitors to Pastimes don't find out that there are veggie dogs and burgers until they are at the front of the line and see the 8x10" black and white signs with prices ($4.75 for dogs and $8 for burger, same as the regular kinds).
Though, Biello said they do advertise in the A-Z section on the Orioles Web site and in an Os magazine.
He maintains there isn't enough demand to warrant veggie options in other parts of the park, and there are the difficulties of dedicating grill space (our investigators say there were microwaved and not grilled). Further, he doesn't want to overwhelm each station with so many choices the line backs up.
He said 85 percent of park goers hit Eutaw Street during the game, so it's the best place to offer veggie food, if it's only going to be in one place.
If you'd like to tell Nick your thoughts on this, he said he honestly wants to hear them. He wants you to enjoy your day at the park, including your food. He graciously offered his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you contact him, let me know, too.
Keep reading for a list of some veggie stuff available at Pastimes.
Fresh fruit cup
Fruit and yogurt parfait
Tomato and basil salad
Fresh fruit cobbler
Nachos with cheese
Cheese and veggie pizza
Photos by Meredith Cohn at Camden Yards