It Just Might Work: Veggie dogs at the ballgame

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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.
Let the vegans and vegetarians have this kind of fun.

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.