Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies

The City of Brotherly Love has gotten its dog on at Citizens Bank Park. I arrived on the night that is the hot dog explorers equivalent of a 10 year-old waking up at Disneyland: Dollar Dog Night. That’s right, all the delicious tubular meat slapped on a bun that you can eat at a buck each. Just stay away from my hand and mouth ladies and gentlemen and you will be fine.

What was unexpected was the quality of the dollar dog. Many stadium downscale the size of the frank of the availability of toppings during this special event, but the Phillies offered up a great tasting Hatfield’s frank with a good variety of topping that included the option of brown mustard. It was also the night honoring one of the Phillie players for breaking some sort of team record or whatnot...I didn’t have time for that….it was dollar dog night.

Phillies ballpark is a newer structure that is an architectural beauty. It is mainly red bricks supported by a terracotta-colored I-beam frame. It looks great and is in a huge sports complex that also houses the stadium the Eagles play in as well as an arena for I assume basketball or hockey (or both, dunno, I don’t watch either). The stairs to the upper levels built onto the outside of the main structure remind me of fire escapes and give the place an urban feel. I really enjoyed the open feeling of the main concourse. It is open to the field and there is plenty of room to maneuver; something Yankee Stadium fell short on. Each level has narrow stainless steel counters along the concourse so you can eat or drink without having to return to your seat. This is actually a huge deal. The outfield wall has some extremely jagged turns in it, tormenting outfielders playing long drives off of the wall. There is a neon Liberty Bell in the outfield that supposedly swings and rings after a Phillies home run (the Phils were shut out so I didn’t get to see it do its thing). In the distance over centerfield you can see the Philadelphia skyline.

Bun-not steamed but still fresh.
Taste-Hatfields makes a mean frank, and it tasted just right. For a buck it was delicious.
Price-did I mention it was dollar dog night? Normal price is $4. Both are winners.
Toppings-nice selection AND they had BROWN MUSTARD.
Portability-the Phils use regular aluminum foil. It does a great job of keeping the toppings on but as I mentioned in other posts it can squish the bun.
It Factor-the only dog available on dollar dog night is...the dollar dog. There is a Frank and Steins (get it?) that offers three or four specialty dogs which I was unable to get a look at. They sounded good though.

Location-not exactly in downtown but in South Philly. Close to being a downtown ballpark but it loses ½ a point for location.
Access-good metro service to the park. And the parking lot is gigantic. I parked a mile away for free parking on the street. Did I mention I am on a budget?
GA Ticket Price-$17 is a little pricey for a seat in the upper atmosphere. Not like over the top in St Louis (no, St Louis…..I have not forgotten) but still not a bargain.
Cleanliness-pretty damn tidy.
Fans-nice turnout for a Monday, and the Phillie fans are engaged from the first pitch.
Ambiance-I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but the Phillies can’t pull out top score here. I tried to channel the spirit of Connie Mack while in the stands but came up a tad short. I think there is a disconnect due to location and the exterior look to the place.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability4GA Ticket Price4
It Factor4Fans5

Despite the small shortcoming on ambiance I really like CBP. It’s is open and airy, pleasing to the eye, great selection of food and dogs, engaged fans and easy to get to and from. The score of 55 reflects that and Phillies fans should be proud of that score. The Phillies are on a slide as of late, but despite their poor performance a trip to CBP to see the club is in order. Hit the park on dollar dog night and make a pig of yourself….I did.

The book based on this blog "Gone to the Dogs" is now 5% funded. You can help bring it to print by visiting the "Gone to the Dogs" kickstarter page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/859640299/gone-to-the-dogs-book-about-the-search-for-the-bes?ref=email

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