Monday, May 29, 2017

Nationals Park Gluten-Free Grill Review (2017)

The roar of the crowd... the crack of the bat... baseball season is in full swing (pun intended)! While everyone can join in on the fun of cheering on the home team, baseball stadiums can be difficult to navigate as a gluten-free eater because hot dogs, pretzels, and other gluten-filled snacks are the staples of concession stands everywhere. 

Luckily, Nationals Park in Washington D.C, home of the Washington Nationals, has taken steps to include gluten-free eaters into the full experience of visiting the ballpark- hot dog and all. With a 100% dedicated gluten-free concession stand, and food policies that allow you to bring in outside food, it's easy to plan ahead to enjoy an afternoon or evening at the ballpark.

The dedicated gluten-free concession stand is located at section 100 on the main concourse. Find it behind the Budweiser Brew House. You'll find hot dogs, sandwiches, and pizzas, along with an assortment of snacks. Bread-based items are served on Udi's products. They have Omission beer on hand, but celiacs and severely sensitive people should note that that beer is "gluten-removed." I didn't ask if they had information for other allergies- especially since most items contained dairy.


My dad ordered the gluten-free hot dog to test despite not being gluten-free. The hot dog tasted "normal" but he did note that the bread was crumbly, as it was not toasted. Hot dog topping stands can be found around the park with ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions, but there are no dedicated stand for toppings so there is a chance of cross contamination if you choose to dress up your hot dog. 



Since I skipped the entree items, I purchased the Melissa's Clean Snax, on the suggestion of the concession stand's friendly staff. They were sweet and crunchy, reminding me of granola in a way. I normally don't go for anything with coconut in it, but I actually loved the clusters and finished off the whole bag. Note that they are made on shared equipment with soy and milk and contain peanuts and tree nuts.



Want to bring your own food to the park? Per the Nationals Park policy, you can bring water and outside food into the stadium with a few restrictions:

"The following items are expressly prohibited inside ticketed areas:
  • Metal, plastic or glass containers of any kind (except for clear, factory-sealed or empty plastic water bottles no larger than one liter, juice boxes, insulin containers and baby food). Only one water bottle per person will be permitted.
  • Food items not in adherence to the following policy: All food items must be contained in single serving bags within a soft-sided container or cooler that does not exceed 16"x16"x8".
  • Hard coolers or ice chests"

Although I ate before the game and only had a snack, it was nice to see a dedicated gluten-free stand so that celiacs and gluten-free eaters alike can enjoy the full experience of going to a baseball game. The staff were enthusiastic, and truly cared about serving up food for everyone. 

Find out more about visiting Nationals Park on this website.

Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact Nationals Park directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

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