The Washington Blade has announced that it will serve as a sponsor of the 2018 MLB All-Star Week, which will be hosted at Nationals Stadium. The Blade will be the first LGBT news organization to partner with MLB on the event.
This partnership has created an exciting opportunity for people across the spectrum of fandom. Baseball games can be warm, sweaty and tiring affairs, and watching men in tight uniforms takes plenty of energy. To get that sustenance, the ballpark has an array of toothsome options, from high-end spots to your classic salty peanuts, as well as several bars. To make it easy on you, we’ve created a handy LGBT-appropriate guide to dining at the park, whether during All-Star Week or any time during the long, hot season.
Before the game starts: Start with something refreshing and adorable to get you in the mood for the big game. Head to Section 108 for newcomer vendor District Coolers and its handy throwback bags of nostalgia. District Coolers is selling juice boxes for adults, filled with mixed drinks. Options include the likes of raspberry gin rickey and blueberry mojito, poured from a tap into your pouch. The heat just got a bit more bearable.
Top of the Inning: When those balls come flying, you want to be quick on your feet, so you may want to keep it light when beginning your day at the park. At Field of Greens (Section 136), the all-vegetarian menu can feed a crowd or those looking for a superfood start to a game. Check out the veggie cheese steak, mushroom sandwich or the Maryland-proud vegan crab cake. There’s also a gluten-free grill station in Center Field Plaza. For something a more substantive, visit Grace’s Kitchen, a hot new stand featuring fare from female chefs and restaurateurs: try subs from the likes of Pizzeria Paradiso’s Ruth Gresser or shrimp po’boys from Hank’s Oyster Bar.
Between innings: Yep. Time for a drink. Whether you lean more toward the pitcher, the catcher or like them both equally, all teams are in favor of grabbing a cocktail. Take your ID with you to District of Cocktails (Sections 112 and 135), where you can not only get a buzz while watching balls and strikes, you can also support local. The stand is pouring from a rotating menu of drinks using spirits made right here in D.C. The sourced distilleries include District Distilling, Republic Restoratives (co-founded by two lesbian women), New Columbia Distillers and One Eight Distilling.
Seventh inning stretch: To soak up the drinks and rev up for the final innings, there are two new vendors that are laser-focused on what fans are gunning for when they need true nourishment: meat. Visit Italian Outpost in Section 301, which plates enormous, Coliseum-size sandwiches, including the sure-to-be-famous Italian hot beef dip. Otherwise, we can also suggest a trip to Old Hickory BBQ in the same section. It also serves meaty sandwiches, like a juicy brisket, but the star here is the enormous nachos, a plate of chips drowned in warm, gooey cheese and smothered in hot pulled pork. Chili cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl is also a good option.
Extra Innings: When everyone on the field has scored, but you’re looking for something more, there’s a full-on party at The Yards and the Capitol Riverfront in the blocks surrounding the stadium in celebration of All-Star Week. For a nightcap, take your palate to District Winery (385 Water St., S.E.), which will offer a wine flight featuring four 2017 District Winery-made wines; on the rooftop terrace there will also be an “upscale tailgate.” And to round out the day with something sweet, check out Ice Cream Jubilee (301 Water St., S.E.) and its specialty Baseball Sundae: two scoops of any flavor of ice cream, topped with sprinkles, whipped cream, and yes, a cherry.