To see all posts from my July 11, 2015 visit to the Vermont Lake Monsters (this is Part Three) click HERE. To see all of the posts from my August/September 2015 trip through New England, click HERE. To see ALL of my “On the Road” posts (going back to 2010), click HERE.
2015 “On the Road” landing page HERE!
As mentioned previously, my visit to Burlington, Vermont to see the Lake Monsters was not part of my end-of-season New England road trip. It was a standalone visit that took place on July 11, which I have since shoehorned into my larger New England narrative.
When in Vermont I stayed in neighboring Hinesburg with my cousin, Ali, her husband Jim, and their two kids Jason and Becca. (I call Ali my cousin, but her Mom and my Dad are cousins so technically I think we’re “first cousins once removed.” And her kids are, what? Second cousins once removed? It gets confusing really quickly.)
Ali, Jason and Becca accompanied me to July 11’s Lake Monsters game at Centennial Field, and I recruited the latter two to serve as my designated eaters (you know, the individuals recruited to consume the ballpark cuisine that my gluten-free diet prohibits.)
Jason and Becca were joined in this endeavor by Jason’s friend, Devon. Jason and Devon are in fifth grade, while Becca is in second grade. Let’s meet them:
Designated eaters check in, Vermont Lake Monsters https://t.co/qPyHZfaPSQ
— Benjamin Hill (@bensbiz) July 11, 2015
Centennial Field is the oldest stadium in Minor League Baseball (the grandstand was built in 1922, but games have been played there dating back to 1906). Operationally speaking, the Lake Monsters don’t have the capabilities to offer a wide array of outlandish and/or regionally specific items (the bread and butter of most of my food posts).
Furthermore, my designated eaters, being kids, did not have the most sophisticated palettes. They wanted the basics anyway, and the Lake Monsters are adept at providing the basics.
He was far more charitable toward the cheeseburger itself, remarking that “It’s good. The cheese is actually melted and the bun is good, too. A double burger may sound like a lot, but it’s actually the perfect amount.”
As for what food he’d like to see at the ballpark, Jason said that it’d be great if the Lake Monsters sold Moe’s tacos. He then recanted this sentiment, wisely stating that “I take it back. I don’t want chains, I want people to know about local restaurants. So how about Public House? They have good baseball food, I think.”
Our focus then turned toward Becca’s pizza.
Becca, in this case, was a second-grader of few words.
“I think it’s really good,” she said. “The sauce is really good.”
She then added that her ideal ballpark food would be “Strawberry and chocolate donuts, and maybe even some coconuts.”
Becca might be the first kid in the history of kids to like coconuts.
Finally, we have Devon’s foot-long hot dog. Like his buddy Jason, Devon eschews condiments. Perhaps this is why they are friends.
“I like ketchup but only on fries,” said Devon, seeking to clarify that he did not have an across-the-board anti-condiment philosophy. “This is the longest hot dog I’ve ever seen. I wish that on ‘Hot Dog Heaven Day’ [when the Lake Monsters sell hot dogs for a quarter] they would launch these into the stands.”
As for how the hot dog tasted, Devon offered a single word in response: “Good.” He then explained that his ideal ballpark food would be “Pizza and then edible baseballs. Like, a sphere cake, vanilla, with white frosting and red stitches.”
“They could call it ‘Cake Me Out to the Ballgame,'” I said in response. This was followed by an unamused silence.
Edible baseballs were not available as a dessert option. But Chesster’s ice cream cookie sandwiches, a Vermont convenience store staple, were agreed by all to be an acceptable alternative.
“They’re really good with the creamy ice cream in the middle,” added Becca, who, for the record is also capable of making a funny face while eating a Chesster’s ice cream cookie sandwich.
Becca: What was the highest number again? [I told her.] Okay, that.
Alright, then. Any final words before we wrap this up?
Becca: Kids ruin everything. Except me. I’m awesome.
Jason: I would recommend going to Vermont if you’re close by. Except for Essex. Don’t go to Essex.
[Note: Jason and and Devon are on the same hockey team, and Essex is their biggest rival.]
Devon: If you’re near the Vermont Lake Monsters stadium and they’re in town, then you should go.
I couldn’t have said it any better myself, Devon. Centennial Field is a good place to eat, and a better place to see a baseball game.