Baseball. The very word conjures up memories of glories on the field, family moments in the living room watching the games, standing under the Wrigley Field sign for the obligatory tourist picture. For me personally, there are innumerable memories that I still carry with me. I’ll never forget Harry Caray phonetically spelling player names backwards. I’ll never forget going to Wrigley Field as a young man and catching a baseball thrown by Damon Berryhill (look him up, kids). And most recently, I’ll never forget my first gluten-free meal at Wrigley Field.
I knew that Wrigley offered Redbridge gluten-free beer at select beer stands throughout the stadium. I also knew you might find some sort of pumpkin seed and dried fruit mixture if you looked really hard. What I didn’t realize was the incredible offerings you can find nestled in the right field corner of the stadium at the Sheffield Grill.
I found myself wandering into Sheffield Grill for two reasons. I knew they had gluten free beer and I knew it was air-conditioned. When I walked in and ordered a Redbridge, the lovely young lady behind the register inquired whether I was aware that they also had gluten-free hot dog and hamburgers. I was not.
I ordered a hot dog with grilled onions and the cooks countered with a pickle, potato chips and the first hot dog I’ve eaten in almost three years. Everybody behind the grill knew exactly what they were doing. The hot dog bun took a few minutes to prepare (I’m assuming it was frozen), but the cook took the time to explain to me that everything he was putting on my plate was indeed gluten-free. He even went so far as to clue me in that the gluten-free rolls they serve come from everybody’s favorite: Rose’s Wheat-Free Bakery north of Chicago in Evanston. I’ll spend some time singing the praises of Rose’s in another post.
Just like that, I’m part of the crowd. I’m enjoying an ice-cold beer at the ballpark while chowing down on the quintessential ballpark cuisine and not feeling even a bit left out. I even went back for another round. I was stuffed and couldn’t finish the second hot dog (the rolls are quite filling, but taste amazing).
So I have a new tradition to enjoy at the old ballpark. I keep hearing that more and more sports venues are adding gluten-free vendors to the mix. I’ve been adding them on Gloodies.com as I come across them, but feel free to talk up your local sports venue in the comments if they support the gluten intolerant. Cheers!