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Mudville: April 16, 2024 6:08 am PDT

Return to Dunedin

“Life sometimes converts deja vu into reality.” ― Sneha Dewan

Once in a while I convince myself that if I do the same thing over and over again, I will get a different result. Some people would tell you that’s the famous Einstein quote about the definition of insanity, but those people are incorrect.

The first time this quote and his name were mentioned in the same sentence was three decades after he died and there is no physical evidence or witnesses that link the two, but I digress.

I knew that the Blue Jays were playing in a small, local minor league park to start the season and I knew I was foolish to expect a huge difference with the food options in two weeks, but alas… I bought some tickets, and I went with an open mind and empty stomach.

Sometimes I don’t think people appreciate the history lessons….

Or the poetry I mix into the column, but it’s there and I enjoy it. My mom does too. Maybe Sarah. So shut up.

Welcome to my world.

Focus. We didn’t have the best time at the game, and I was hoping to turn it around with a little humor in the video and some positive spin with the words. To be completely honest, I like TD Ballpark.

It’s small, but there’s not a bad seat in the house. It’s poorly lit, but they brought some extra lights for the MLB season.

The food selection is average, but what did I really expect…Sahlens to set up a hot dog stand in right field? Don’t answer that because, yes. I do.

All in due time.

As for the park, it’s a great place to watch a game and that’s really all that matters. It feels a little more intimate than attending a big ballpark and with the 15% limit on capacity doesn’t seem as empty.

The mask police are pretty strict here as they were in Spring Training, and they have a lot of additional staff on to ensure we are all complying, though they are a friendly bunch of enforcers who hate doing the job as much as we hated being forced to cover up outside in the fresh air. It’s a tough job, but the hot dog vendors needed to find a new gig after Covid pretty much eliminated that job for the foreseeable future.

More on that to come in the future.

Did we win?

“We” didn’t win. We haven’t won much out of the gate to be honest, but that’s not the point. We’re here for the food, and sadly when your team gets its teeth kicked in and the menu is boring and limited – you walk out wondering about all the other, more satisfying ways you could have spent $250.

That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Here’s where the fun starts though. It’s time to go “wheels up” and start spreading our trips outside of the warm, sunny Florida and Arizona Spring Training states and hit some “too cold for baseball” games around the country. First up, Camden Yards and after that I think we’ll hit Coors Field in Denver and do a little food finding covert ops before the All-Star Game in July.

I’m ready for unique food, new friends, and the dog days of summer. We’ve grinded out a pandemic, a missed season, a ton of local hot dog joints and made a lot of new friends.

We’ve eaten great food, met amazing people and gotten outside of our comfort zone. We are as ready as we’ve ever been to start getting Behind the Dish in ballparks all over America.

The Pulled Pork Nachos.

Stay tuned and Stay Hungry. #thefoodguy

TD Ballpark: 373 Douglas Ave. Dunedin, FL 34698

Rating: “Take me Out” Second visit didn’t move the needle. Average ballpark food at best.

Major League Teams: The Tampa Bay Rays and technically The Toronto Blue Jays

Minor League Teams: Bradenton Marauders (Pittsburg Pirates) Dunedin Blue Jays (Blue Jays) and Tampa Tarpons (NY Yankees)

Other Baseball: Spring Training for the Philadelphia Phillies is a few blocks up the street.



The “Stadium Food Scale” for ballparks in 2021 (from worst to first):

  • Dumpster Fire – On the menu or in the bowl- this shit stinks.
  • School Fair – Everything is greasy, everything is fried — Limited options.
  • The “Take me Out” – Traditional food, but nothing special.
  • Fancy Pants – Sushi, Steaks and monocle wearing worthy menu options. Fancy.
  • The Babe Buffet — Everything you need and a bunch of things you didn’t. This is the end all be all of stadium food. Limitless options and so much food, even George Herman Ruth would tap out.

Father, husband, runner, and food guy. Baseball traveler, stadium food connoisseur, and podcast fill-in. Just here for the hot dogs.

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