Opening Day 2013

Happy opening day to all baseball fans! And this year we got to celebrate opening day at the Historical Grayson ball park in Savannah, Georgia. We were in town for business–a conference–and were able to attend the Sand Gnats vs. Rome Braves game. The game did not disappoint (unlike the weather) with back-and-forth scoring by both teams, with Rome finally winning the game–sorry, Savannah.

The food, likewise, did not disappoint. The ball park is old and small, and doesn’t have too much selection of eats, but it has one of the best sandwiches we’ve ever had in all the 143 parks we’ve been to so far. “The Godfather” consists of an Italian sausage on a hoagie roll with your choice of either Philly Steak or Chicken Philly meats. Then you can add mushrooms, grilled onions, peppers, or American cheese. They also used some kind of sauce while cooking the meats, that we didn’t identify. We ordered one each of the different kinds of meat sandwiches. After all, we needed to see how both tasted. They were fantastic! Yet, be prepared to get messy, especially with the Chicken Philly meat. The sauce tends to make the bun a bit soggy and the meat falls through the bottom. But that’s ok–what are fingers for anyway?

One other unique food item they offered was a hit with Dan, but not with Ginny. The “S’more Panini” is a dessert made with white bread stuffed with a concoction that needs to be seen to be believed: Nutella, marshmallow and broken pieces of graham cracker. All this is pressed in a panini press, slapped onto a paper plate, covered with powdered sugar and Hershey chocolate. When Dan brought that back to our seats, Ginny just stared at him like he was crazy. “What–is–that?” she stuttered. “A S’more Panini’,” Dan said triumphantly, then tried to eat it. The panini was cut into halves, but the crust on the top was still hanging together, so when he attempted to pick up one half, the other came along with it, trailing powdered sugar and chocolate precariously close to spilling down Dan’s black jacket. Finally, Dan managed to detach the two pieces and made a swift end to one of them, mumbling between bites, “This is good, you have to try it.” Ginny eyed it suspiciously. “You know I hate marshmallow,” she said. “But it really doesn’t taste like marshmallow. Here, try it.” Dan pushed the remaining half toward her. Finally, during the break in one inning to the next, Ginny tentatively took the plate and gingerly picked up the dessert. She took a bite, then a second and handed the plate back to Dan. Through a mouth full of panini, she asked, “What is that crunchy stuff in the middle? Were the marshmallows roasted?” Dan smiled strangely: “That’s the graham cracker. But first they spread Nutella on the bread.” Ginny grimaced: “Ugh! I just ate three things I hate! Nutella, marshmallow and Hershey’s chocolate! Ugh!” Dan, finishing the dessert, just shook his head, muttering that he couldn’t believe anyone would turn down marshmallow and Hershey’s.

The staff at the park also did not disappoint. They were incredibly friendly and helpful. We want to thank “Miss” Sarah and Hank, who pointed us in the direction of what unique food was at the park and all the others we spoke to about the team, the park and Savannah itself. The only disappointment was the weather. We had expected, being the South, that for opening day it would be warmer than Rochester, NY. How wrong we were. A wet, cold snap had come through the area, leaving things damp and chilling. In fact, Ginny had to use Dan’s extra fleece jacket to wrap her legs. The jeans just didn’t cut it keeping the cold out. At home, we’d have dressed in several layers, but in Savannah, we foolishly believed we’d be warm. We should have known better, considering that in 2007, we had to wear several layers during one of the coldest springs ever in Alabama and Mississippi.

On the other hand, Savannah–and the Sand Gnats ball park–is definitely worth the visit. Historic, quaint and curious, it’s welcoming and warm–at least the people are warm and when the sun’s out, so is the weather



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