Monday, April 1, 2013

Baseball Eats #OpeningDay

It's baaaaack! Baseball season, that is. Today is opening day of the 2013 Major League Baseball season, and our local Nationals are the World Series favorites this year.  With so many new restaurants now open (or opening soon) near Nationals Ballpark, I wanted to highlight some great places to eat before or after the game.

A favorite spot for many of the Nationals players is Matchbox - famous for their 3.6.9 sliders and wood oven pizza, this restaurant is along the ever bustling Barracks Row.  Other newer favorites with international flare along Barracks Row include: Greek specialties from Cava, Balkan food at Ambar, and Persian kebobs at Tash.

Saffron Lemon Chicken at Tash
Further south of Barracks Row (closer to the ballpark), find humble Southern-style dinners and North Carolina BBQ from Levi's Port Cafe. Hours are limited, but this often overlooked restaurant is a great alternative to avoid the crowds.

Inside Nationals Park there are plenty of traditional game days eats like pizza, hot dogs, and of course chili from Ben's Chili Bowl. But I prefer some of the more upscale options like the pulled pork sandwich from Blue Smoke, burgers and shakes from Shake Shack, or garlic-Parmesan fries from Box Frites. (For a full breakdown of concourse eats, check out this list from Eater DC.)

New this year inside the stadium is Shawafel - from nearby H St NE, serving Lebanese sandwiches and spreads, this may be a nice lighter option especially during the hot summer months.

Additionally, there are quite a few new places around the Navy Yard Metro.  The largest draw will be at Gordon Biersch, which will be officially open at First and M streets SE at 10 a.m. today. The brewpub, which has room for more than 200 patrons indoors and a patio with seats for 85 more, will have six to eight house-made beers on tap, plus five rotating draft selections from such local breweries as DC Brau, Mad Fox and Loose Cannon.

Right down the street, Park Tavern is aiming for a Monday opening. Run by Xavier Cervera, the man behind Molly Malone’s, Lola’s, and Pacifico Cantina on Barracks Row, Park Tavern will offer outdoor seating at Canal Park.

The map below from the Washington Post highlights some other new dining spots that are planning to open later in the year.
Image via Gene Thorp/The Washington Post
When the park first opened, dining options were few and far between.  But with the expansion of development near Navy Yard, Yards Park, and up by Barracks Row, there are much more options for baseball fans to gather at before and after the games.  I am looking forward to following the Nats this year and showing off my #Natitude.

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