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More From the Concession Stands

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Four Post staff writers and two contributors scoured the new Nationals Park during the exhibition game on Saturday and opening day on Sunday, trying dozens of items in search of appropriate deliciousness. We found a few we're labeling Home Runs, plus some Runs, some Hits and, unfortunately, some Errors. Find pictures and reviews of other Nationals Park nibbles here.

HOME RUN
Pulled pork sandwich $10.50
Pulled chicken sandwich $10.50
Smoked brisket sandwich $10.50
Red Hot & Blue
Left Field Food Court (Section 106)

As good as ballpark food gets: The pork was moist, with nicely charred ends and a great smoky taste. The pulled chicken could almost qualify as healthful. And this was one of those rare occasions when the brisket was as moist, juicy and tasty as the pork. In all cases, the buns were warm, portions large and service quick and easy. Three sauces were available: hot, sweet and vinegar; all of them were good.

-- Nancy Lewis

HOME RUN
French fries $5
Nats Dogs and Taste of the Majors
Multiple locations, including Section 116 and Left Field Food Court (Section 106)

The fries were unerringly good: hot, crispy and with potato flavor. At Taste of the Majors, they were the only thing good about a crab cake platter.

-- Nancy Lewis

ERROR
Roasted peanuts $4
Stands hawker

Great roasted peanuts are a wonderful reason to take in a ballgame, but these were awful. Brining gave them a too-salty taste; the peanuts were overcooked and stale and the shells almost flaky. Give me some fresh peanuts in a brown paper bag, not prepackaged in cellophane.

-- Nancy Lewis

ERROR
Cheesesteak sandwich $8.50
Taste of the Majors
Multiple locations, including Section 116

The meat was shredded so finely it almost looked like ground beef; there was no cheese, and the onions were barely cooked and too strong. After waiting in line for 15 minutes with only six people in front of me, I was handed a cold cheesesteak.

-- Nancy Lewis

HIT
Hebrew National all-beef hot dog $5.50
Nats Dogs
Multiple locations, including Left Field Food Court (Section 106)

These are plumper and juicier than the regular hot dog. The biggest problem was that the bun was stone cold. The automatic condiment dispenser, as neat as it seems, makes the chopped onions watery and acrid.

-- Nancy Lewis

ERROR
Crab pretzel $10
Slice Down the Line
Five locations on three levels

"You're going to be in love," the cashier said in suggesting it. Inside the orange blob was a hard, twisted lump of dough, thinly coated on top with a smidgen of gooey crab dip. The whole business was enveloped in a leathery layer of orange cheese the consistency of fondant. I was not in love.

-- Walter Nicholls

RUN
Hamburger $7
French fries $7
Five Guys
Club level, Section 240

The juicy burgers at this beloved vendor werefresh and loaded with your (free) choice of tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and pickles. The fries were guilty pleasures, worth every calorie.

-- Margaret Engel

ERROR
Chicken and sausage gumbo $8
Fish taco $10
Cantina Marina
Club level, Section 240

The taste had been cooked out of the sausage and chicken in this spicy, yet watery, gumbo ($8). A scoop of white rice didn't add much. As for the jumbled, too-large taco, it was a dog's breakfast. The fish was obscured by greasy breading, the enormous flour taco was dry and uninteresting, and the fillings sub-par.

-- Margaret Engel

HIT
Hot chocolate $5.50
Mayorga Coffee
Sections 110, 132, 233, 318

The 16-ounce drink is costly enough, and customers are charged $1 more for ordering double chocolate. But there's no fake powder here. The chocolate base is rich. Steamed milk, not water, makes the price tolerable.

-- Margaret Engel

HIT
Shrimp pasta $15
Pasta Station
Club level, Section 210

For those who paid for club level seats and suites, a pasta station. The penne was a tad overcooked and the sauce uninspired, but five firm-fleshed chunks of shrimp had plenty of flavor. Two strips of garlic toast added crunch. Considering other options, a good value.

-- Walter Nicholls

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