If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’d know that I’m a fan of local company Field Roast, and their hearty selection of all-vegan products. I’m also a baseball fan, so when I received an invitation from the company to attend a tasting of some of their new vegan offerings at Safeco Field on May 8, I was pumped.
Thankfully, friend/fellow Seattle vegan blogger Helen of Vegtastic was invited too, and we met up to sample some tasty vegan options and attend that evening’s Mariners game (Full disclosure: Field Roast invited us to stay and watch the game in addition to the tasting). There were media reps from all sorts of publications present such as Google Places, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and more, which made us happy. Veganism news – it’s everywhere!
We were early to arrive and had the chance to meet and talk with Field Roast founder David Lee and PR Manager Jennifer Hryciw. I was happy to learn that David is vegan, (yay!) and that the Seattle-based company is in the International District. The company offered an impressive spread for us. David served us three specialty vegan hot dogs, the original frankfurters, and a specialty Field Roast burger. If you were checking my tweets/Instagram that day, some of these photos may look familiar.
I was lucky to have the chance to sample these at VegFest. The texture, flavor combinations and substance of this hot dog makes all other veg options pale in comparison, and I’ve tried a few. Savory and spicy, it was great plain but would be even better with all the fixings.
I’ll admit right now that chili cheese hot dogs are my favorite kind. Usually I have to make them myself or take a jaunt to Cyber Dogs in Seattle, but having the ability to order one at a baseball game is slightly surreal. This was the first option I tried after the original, and I thought it was great, and it may be my second favorite of the lot. The chili was mild, but it’s nothing a little hot sauce couldn’t help. The “cheez” was a combination of coconut cream and Daiya, which was brilliant, and actually worked quite well. So messy, but so worth it.
As I tweeted, I had really high hopes for the Bombay – an Indian food-inspired take on a hot dog. I know that it sounds wild, but hear me out before you knock it! My high hopes were not let down, and I believe this was my favorite all of all dogs I tried, hands down. Topped with curried chana dal (garbanzo beans), mango chutney, smooth coconut cream sauce and fried curry leaves (!), it actually perfectly complemented the hot dog underneath. If you love Indian spices and flavors, try this dog! It was amazing and I’m still thinking about it.
As a sushi fan and lover of interesting food combinations, I was intrigued by the IchiBan, which boasted teriyaki caramelized onions, grated daikon and carrot, shredded nori and a mayo dressing. The strong flavors of the onions and the mayo stole the show with this dog, and though it was tasty, I’d say it wasn’t my favorite. There were a lot of competing combinations at play here – texture, flavors, and spices – and it may have been a bit too much for me. Despite that, I will try it again to see how I like it the second time, as Field Roast gave the attendees the recipe to make this one at home!
Field Roast created their first ever veggie burger to serve exclusively at Safeco Field. Created from fresh raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion and garlic), whole barley, tomatoes, and Field Roast meats, the burger has a lot more substance than other veggie burgers I’ve had. The texture of this burger was great – not too soft (I’m thinking Dr. Praeger’s burgers) and not too firm, but just right. It held up well and is a great meal option. I only had a few bites of this, as I was pretty full by this point.
Here’s the price breakdown for each of the options that are now available at Safeco: The Frankfurter: $6.25; the three specialty dogs, which will rotate at the stand run $6.50; and the Field Burger: $6.75. For the flavor, fresh ingredients and hearty nature of each of these items, I thought the price was more than worth it.
Also in attendance for this event was Johanna McCloy, Veggie Happy creator/founder and long-time vegetarian who has made it her personal mission to ensure that vegetarian options are available at major league baseball fields around the country. How rad is that? I definitely made sure to mention Cheney Stadium/the Rainiers to her, as I’ve been told that veggie burgers/dogs exist there, but after searching for years I’ve yet to see or try one.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience enhanced by great people, a fun game (that we inevitably lost!), and tasty food. I’m already eager to come back and enjoy a game with a delicious vegan meal in hand. And I’m pretty sure that next visit will be June 9, when the Mariners take on my home team, the L.A. Dodgers. Veggie Happy actually has created an event for this day, so you can come and meet Johanna and David Lee of Field Roast, too!
The Field Roast stand at Safeco Field is located on the Main Concourse off Section 133, right next to the Natural, the pre-existing vegetarian-friendly food stand.
Update 5/21/12: Be sure to check out Helen’s review of our fun Field Roast-filled day at Safeco Field, too!