Tropicana Field Gluten-Free Concessions
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Jul 14 2012

Tropicana Field Gluten-Free Concessions

My mom and step dad, Joe, have been spending some time in Florida this year.  They went to a baseball game last night and sent me a picture and brief review of the gluten-free offerings at Tropicana Field.

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I love the sign next to the menu that says “GF Gluten-free Ballpark Favorites”!  They have Redbridge gluten-free beer, hot dogs and sweet Italian sausage made by Kayem, juice and soda.  The gluten-free concession area is located in the “Center Field Street” concessions area.

Joe ordered a gluten-free beer, which he really enjoyed, and a hot dog.  He said the bun was not very good, but he did enjoy the hot dog.  I am working on finding out who supplies the buns.  As we all know, certain brands require certain care and preparation in order to taste good.  I experienced this when we dined at Margaritaville in Myrtle Beach.  They serve their burgers and chicken sandwiches on a bun, but the bun ends up falling apart.  With the multitude of options on the market these days, this shouldn’t be an issue.  I got conflicting answers when I inquired about the brand of buns Margaritaville was using.

I appreciate that so many public places are implementing gluten-free options.  It is great to have an abundance of choices, but even having one or two options is better than sitting there hungry or looking around watching everyone else eat and drink.  I’ll never forget going to a Rascal Flatts concert shortly after I was diagnosed and started the gluten-free diet.   The stadium where the concert was being held didn’t have a license to sell wine, only beer.   This was back before there were gluten-free beer options, so while my friends were all able to enjoy beer during the concert, I was stuck drinking water or diet soda.   I still had fun, but it would have been nice to join in the fun with my friends.

Have you tried any of the gluten-free options at Tropicana Field?  What about any other baseball parks?

Article Written by:

Kimberly Bouldin is a gluten-free wife, runner & blogger with two children in Columbus, Ohio. After her celiac diagnosis in 2006, she has made it her mission to embrace an entirely new approach to nutrition in a gluten-free world, exploring options that run the gamut from "made from scratch" homemade bread to sampling and reviewing the gluten-free prepared foods that are continuously being introduced to the market. While navigating the waters of becoming gluten-free, Kim shares her experiences and passes along valuable product reviews in addition to helping other moms of celiac kids develop healthy menus that are kid-friendly and palatable. Kimberly is a valuable resource for those who are newly diagnosed, as well as for the more seasoned gluten-free veterans. Follow Kim on Twitter!

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  • Steve

    I had a chili-dog last summer at the National’s baseball stadium in D.C. On the one hand, it was a treat to be able to buy one. On the other hand, the bun was slightly dried out, and the guy loaded up way too much chili. Bottom line: even though the frank and the chili tasted great, It was a mess to eat (especially trying to eat it in my lap).

    • http://glutenfreeislife.com/ Kimberly Bouldin

      Steve,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

      Kim

  • Kaitlin

    I have always been able to eat at these places by just having things omitted, reading ingredients or asking a few questions. For instance, I would order a hotdog without a bun in a french fry boat, nachos (the chips, cheese, all of it is prepackaged) or french fries (they go through so many most ball parks use dedicated fryers, just ask!). But last year when I saw ball parks were going this route, I had a hot dog and a soft pretzel at National’s Park in D.C. to see if it was worth the extra price. I agree, the bun was awful. They used Kinnikinnick. Not a fan of that brand to start with, but I know if you wrap it in wax paper and defrost low and slow in the microwave it is edible. Yeah, they just pulled it from a bag, room-temp defrosted. It fell apart when the kid was trying to put it in the foil so he just put it in the french fry boat anyway. But the worst was the soft pretzel. To start with, it was dated 2008 and I was at a game in 2011. That is just unacceptable. I only noticed it when I asked for the packaging after taking a bite and it was disgusting. They just took it from a freezer, put it in the microwave and nuked it. It was dried out and I couldn’t bite into it. I suggested to the manager not serving those, especially if they were 3 years old! Frozen or not, gross. All of them were dated that old so I got a refund. I don’t know if a fresher one would have been edible. It was 1/3 the size of a regular soft pretzel and not worth the calories or cash in my opinion. I also enjoyed some Woodchuck Cider and some Redbridge beer, which was a nice addition. Until they start tasting their GF food first and doing some research on how to prepare this (I hope UNO’s takes a similar page for that book) I will stick to my plain hotdog, fries and nachos.

    • http://glutenfreeislife.com/ Kimberly Bouldin

      Kaitlin,

      I absolutely agree with you. Dated 2008 and served in 2011. Not only gross, but unsafe! I had a similar experience when my daughter was in the hospital last year. The cafeteria staff found a lonely gluten-free muffin in the basement freezer, but no one knew how long it had been there. No thanks. While I understand that the demand may not be there yet in some instances, it is not okay to ignore rules that are put in place for other foods (expiration dates).

      Kim