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Mudville: May 30, 2024 4:04 pm PDT

LoanDepot Park II

“There is happiness in duty, although it may not seem so.”― Jose Marti.

This is a first.

Just one week after we published the first article on LoanDepot Park I find myself sitting in front of my keyboard wondering how I should write a second article about the same place. Maybe I should have let Jose write this one. Maybe I should just post the same article and see if anyone notices. I know people nowadays have short attention spans, and the videos are way more interesting than my column.

You can say that again.

I won’t.

You could have let me write this one, too. You had options.

I wouldn’t.

But you’re right about one thing- I did have options. Instead, we did something a little different in hopes of getting a little different spin on “Behind the Dish” and we went local.

Miami is known for a lot of things- sandy beaches, beautiful people, celebrities, expensive everything… but when I think of Miami I always think of culture. Miami is home to a ton of Cuban, Caribbean Island and Latin American families and the city has always embraced and celebrated these different cultures. It’s a beautiful thing and I think it’s the thing I love most about this city.

Yucca Mojo Nachos

So instead of just focusing on the ballpark I went out into the city with my buddy Jose and embraced the Cuban neighborhoods that surrounded the city. I wish it was all my idea, but BallNine legend Kevin Kernan gave me the idea a few months back and I didn’t really act on it until now. How many hot dogs can you watch me eat? Don’t answer that.

We did a little research, and we found a fairly new, but extremely well known Cuban Sandwich shop called “Sanguich de Miami” located on 8th street just outside of Little Havana for an amazing, traditional Cuban sandwich on some of the best bread I’ve ever had – pressed around pork, cheese, mustard, pickles and ham. New to the area, this local legend of a sammy shop was built in 2015, but don’t let that fool you, it’s won more awards than I’m going to list and been frequented by local Miami legend Alex Rodriguez.

Well, if A-Rod’s been there it must be good.

That’s something we can agree on, for once. It’s a new twist for BTD along with our first two-part episode. If you like it, I might just do it again. If you don’t, I might just do it again, anyway.

The one thing we did do in BOTH of these episodes is have fun. We sang, we danced, we ate, and we swept all three games in Miami. We spent time with locals, family, and friends. Shit, I even ran into an old classmate I haven’t seen since High School at the game – small world. What more can you ask for from one of my favorite cities in America to visit? I think when this is all over and #thefoodguy retires and buys a boat so me and Sarah can fulfill our dream, I might dock that bad boy in Miami (As long as that’s okay with the wife).

This stadium has the best music program out of any of the ballparks I’ve done this year as it really embraces the music on all of its cultures, plus has a full band playing live throughout the games.

You danced? That was dancing? Looked more like a seizure.

I’m a lot of things, but maybe graceful isn’t one of them and that’s okay. If you know me or you’ve ever watched an episode of “Behind the Dish” you know I don’t really care to much about what other people think.

I embrace the fun in life, the food in life and the people in life. A wise man once said, “Every day is a gift, that’s why they call today the present.” That might have been Owen Wilson… but it’s great advice. Get out there and see the world. Visit other ballparks, embrace the history, laugh, and eat. (See what I did there El Jefe?)

History, Humor and Hotdogs. Welcome other fan bases to your stadium, be humble when visiting others. There’s a lot of great people out there and I’ve been blessed enough to meet hundreds being #thefoodguy for BallNine. You should do the same. I hope you enjoyed this week’s finale of BTD. We have some really fun outings coming up, so until next time: #staytuned #stayhungry #thefoodguy

LoanDepot Park: 501 Marlins Way, Miami FL 33125

Rating:  As promised- A fair score for this wonderful park in South Florida. We are going with:

“Fancy Pants- Sushi, Steaks and monocle wearing worthy menu options. Fancy.” Why? Because this place has it all – local Cuban food and coffee stands, poke bowls, hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken, ice cream, Mexican food….you name it, it’s here.

Major League Teams: The Miami Marlins

Minor League Teams: Jupiter Hammerheads/GCL Marlins

Shout Out: To Jose- my part time editor, part time co-host, part time camera man and full-time friend. It’s been a pleasure having this dude on the show and on these adventures!

The “Stadium Food Scale” we are using in ballparks in 2021.

  • 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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