Like most other sports venues, Busch Stadium has pretty much stuck to the good old American baseball menu of peanuts and Cracker Jack, hot dogs, burgers, nachos and deep-fried foods.
But while some things never change -- for instance, the people-watching potential that results from squeezing tens of thousands of inebriated people into an enclosed space -- St. Louis fans are gaining access to more and, arguably, better food options.
This year, near Gate 1 in Section 137, there will be a farmers' market-type stand offering mostly gluten-free items, including yogurt, salads, fruits, veggie wraps and Italian subs.
"Sportservice has the benefit of serving at ten ballparks nationwide, and we've learned from our colleagues that offering gluten-free options is a growing need for more fans," says Sportservice chef Norman Taylor Jr. "We made it a priority to develop menu items that naturally tasted delicious without relying on gluten. Fans will find more offerings that aren't breaded or sandwiched by bread, but will instead see more fruit, salads and other options."
This could be good news for fans outside the gluten-free demographic as well. It wouldn't kill any of us to lay off the cholesterol. Plus, it allows the ballpark goer to save more room for beer.
Not only can you no longer fall back on the old "Well I had to eat a deep-fried bacon-wrapped donut pretzel -- I was hungry, and they don't serve healthy food at the ballpark" excuse, but you can't break out the formerly tried-and-true "I looked for the healthy food and couldn't find it" gambit, because the gluten-free options are all concentrated near Gate 1 and are hard to miss.
If you can process gluten but have a hard time justifying the price tags on some of the snacks at the park, Busch is introducing some new promotions this year, as well.
At the Family Pavilion, fans can purchase a kids' meal with a hot dog, chips, cookie and juice or milk for $8.75. The "Grand Slam Ticket Pack" includes four terrace-level seats, four hot dogs and four soft drinks for $60. Although the combos are not gluten-free, the prices are tasty.