eric headshotby Eric Ginsburg

Some things just shouldn’t have to be said, but what’s so hard to understand is why anyone even needs to raise the question: Why aren’t there veggie dogs at the ballgame?

Likely any concessions-stand employee at a Grasshoppers or Dash game could tell you that there is a demand for veggie dogs at the downtown stadiums, especially on Mondays in Greensboro when the meat franks are one of several items sold for just a dollar. There’s a veggie burger at both ballparks, sure, but if major grocery chains can stock the meatless dogs, why can’t the minor-league stadiums?

It’s possible there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation that points to the distributor, or a higher price, or an alleged lack of demand, but it is difficult to believe that there’s not a way to make it work. If a dive bar like Fat Dog’s in Greensboro can do it, so can a minor-league baseball stadium.

My friend Tara posed the question recently, pointing out that the Durham Bulls seem to have figured it out. And she’s not the first — every time I attend a Grasshoppers’ game, at least two friends are disappointed by the lack of veggie dogs. Tell them that there are veggie burgers, as you gleefully bite into a hot dog, and they’ll roll their eyes and sigh in exasperation. The two are not the same thing.

Let the vegans and vegetarians have this kind of fun.

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Hot dogs and baseball go together in a way that burgers don’t. Veggie dogs are much harder to mess up, and they’re better stand-ins for meat than most any veggie burger around.

While we’re making changes, couldn’t a couple tap handles be spared — or added — to accommodate more local breweries making stellar beverages in lieu of watery, mass-produced beer from out of state? Don’t touch the Natty Greene’s and Foothills beer taps that exist at our ballparks — after all, the Hoppers deal catapulted Natty’s to the next level years ago. But in that spirit, why not add one tap, even on a rotating basis, for the up-and-coming brewers in the Triad?

Don’t see this as a call to eliminate beef franks, or even to give up Bud Light. Just make a little space for the smaller markets, and the Triad public will thank you.

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