Nats Park: A Taste of What’s New

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The new Street Skewers food offerings at Nationals Park. Photo by Patrick G. Ryan.

Major League Baseball is back, with the Washington Nationals scheduled to take the field on Thursday, April 5, for the team’s 2018 home opener. Nine innings of cheering can work up an appetite — not to mention a thirst in the summer heat — and fans can look forward to a slate of new food and beverage options at Nationals Park this season.

Hungry guests can fill up on expanded options around the park that go beyond the humble hot dog. Start at the Street Skewers (section 113), which will offer a rotating selection of kebab snacks inspired by countries from Greece to Thailand. Italian Outpost (section 301) invites fans to dig into hefty sandwiches, from Italian hot beef dip to a classic meatball sub.

Following its debut last year, Old Hickory BBQ has expanded beyond the exclusive Norfolk Southern Club into the public section of the park (near section 301). The menu features items like BBQ pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, nachos and pork rinds. For a smaller stack, look for Philadelphia-inspired soft pretzels and dipping sauces at the Knotted Up cart (sections 130 and 315).

On the beverage side, the Nationals will have two District of Cocktails kiosks (sections 112 and 135), showcases for the high-quality craft spirits distilled in the District. Participants include Republic Restoratives Distillery, New Columbia Distillers, One Eight Distilling and District Distilling Co. The menu will rotate seasonally with cocktails like the Curly W Tonic and the Ground Mule Double.

When the temperature and humidity rise, cool off with an adult juice box from District Coolers (section 108). The pouches will be priced at $14 apiece and come in flavors like Pineapple Tequila Cooler, Blueberry Mojito and Electric Lemonade. For a nonalcoholic boost, local business Compass Coffee will provide jolts of caffeine at two locations (sections 142 and 216).

Notably absent from Nationals Park this year are the three concession stands from restaurateur Mike Isabella (Kapnos, G Sandwich and Catchfly) that had operated in past seasons. That comes on the heels of recent news that Isabella is being sued by a former female employee over alleged sexual harassment. The Nationals subsequently shared to local media that they would end their partnership with the local chef, though they also told Washingtonian magazine that Kapnos and Catchfly had been pegged for replacement before the Isabella allegations came to light.

In addition to all the new items, many of existing concessions around the park have been freshened up for the long season ahead. Happy eating. May it last well into October.

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