For the 2016 season, the Texas Rangers concessions department adds one of the hottest food trends of the year. A new vegan cart will be installed at Globe Life Park in Arlington, serving a menu of ballpark snacks dedicated to fans who are hungry for something other than meat.
Stationed in Section 16, which ardent fans might know is located near the third-base line, the cart will feature a full menu of vegan options such as Southwest black bean burger, vegan nachos, vegan hot dog, vegan jerky, vegan chili, and a vegan spinach wrap.
A spokesman for Delaware North, the stadium's concession company, confirmed that the vegan cart would be part of the stadium's new dining package for 2016. A full menu appears on VeggieHappy, a website that tracks vegan offerings at major league baseball stadiums, which describes the cart's lineup as "a variety of popular ballpark fare and other healthy options that do not contain any animal by-products."
The stadium offers other items in its regular concession areas that are vegan though not specifically sold as such. There's a vegan hot dog, fruit, salad, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pistachios, French fry cup, Cajun fries, sweet potato fries, side winder fries, and pretzels.
But the new cart will serve as a convenient one-stop destination.
Although the heavy lifting was done by Delaware North, the ballpark's concessionaire, the driver has been Veggie Texas Ranger Fans, a Facebook page set up by Twalla Grant, a Rangers fan who follows a plant-based diet.
"When I started going to games during the 2014 season, I heard there was a vegan hot dog, but I couldn't find it anywhere in the stadium," Grant says. "No one knew where it was."
She settled for some peanuts, but the episode fueled a determination to uncover the mystery of the missing vegan hot dog. She eventually befriended the stadium's concessions team in her mission to get vegan options on the menu.
"I'd text them photos of French fries, and every time another ballpark would get something new, like when San Francisco AT&T Park got vegan nachos, I'd email and say, 'Really?'" she says.
The concessions team heard her requests and responded, even going to the trouble of procuring special vegan buns from Whole Foods Market. Grant became an unofficial QC agent, checking on the status of the hot dogs whenever she attended games.
Her campaigning paid off, with more vegan items than she ever expected. She'll hopes to sample them when she attends the exhibition games on April 1 and 2, where she'll be cheering from "nosebleed first base line," her preferred seats.
"I like the idea that the vegan items will be available to anyone," Grant says.