Gluten-Free Stadium Foods: Nima Community Members Test Ballpark Foods
It’s game season! While baseball is having its final heated showdown with the World Series this week, other athletes and fans are battling it out too at pro and college stadiums nationwide. We wanted to know if sporting stadiums have gluten-free options, so we asked Nima community members to report on their favorite sporting venues. See what Melanie, Jess, and Allie discovered as they searched for gluten-free stadium foods with Nima.
Devils Hockey Game
Location: Prudential Center – Home of the New Jersey Devils Community Member: Melanie Rieder Items Tested: Turkey Sandwich, Popcorn, Hot Dog, Nachos Prudential Center in Newark, NJ is home to the New Jersey Devils and hundreds of concerts and events each year. Recently Mel who posts nimatested photos at @melsgfadventures conducted several Nima tests at various stands around the arena. Mel is proud to report that Prudential Center has #nimatested and approved items!
Location: RWJBarnabas Health “Healthy and Gluten-Free Options” Cart outside section 18
The healthy cart contains healthy and gluten-free options. They serve salads, cider and two selections of gluten-free sandwiches. I tested turkey and swiss and it came out smiley.
While I was testing, one of the managers came over and said they actually called the place that makes the sandwiches to understand the process. She said the place has a designated area of the kitchen with separate utensils and spaces to create the sandwiches. There is one person responsible for the gluten-free sandwiches to avoid any sharing of tools and that person is aware of the seriousness of preparing a gluten-free meal. The sandwiches are then individually wrapped before being sent out to the arena.
The facility does produce gluten containing items so they warn for any cross contamination on the label but they are made in separate spaces.
Location: Club Lounge East
My second test was popcorn. The popcorn is plain and unseasoned so there was no surprise when it tested smiley. I tested the popcorn in Club Lounge East but the same popcorn is available around the arena.
Location: Club Lounge East
In the Club all of the hot dogs already were made and wrapped in bread. I was able to test a raw hot dog to confirm the ingredients are gluten-free. It tested with a smiley. The only difference between a raw and cooked hot dog would be the risk of cross contamination, but the product itself is safe. Upon request they can make hot dogs without the rolls.
Location: Section 11
Last week a friend of mine asked if the Nachos at Prudential Center were gluten-free and I didn’t know. Good news…they are! I tested the nachos with cheese only. They have meats that can be added but for my tests I stuck to the basics and went with the chips and cheese.
The nachos are a stand alone portable stand which means the person putting the food together is only working with nachos during the event.
Bonus: GF Pretzels
Location: Club Lounge East
While waiting for my test to complete, I stumbled on these prepackaged Snyder’s gluten-free pretzels. I didn’t test them since they are a packaged item but it’s great to know they are offered at the arena!
Although I work at Prudential Center, I have Celiac and have been gluten-free for 13 years. Eating gluten-free at any arena is a big concern of mine so being an employee didn’t affect the accuracy of my tests in any way. Our food service supervisors were actually excited to have me conduct the tests to confirm whether the items they are selling are gluten-free!
Pirates Baseball Game
Location: PNC Park, Home of the Pittsburgh Pirates Community Member: Jess Gabrielson Items Tested: Milkshake, Hot Dog, Popcorn, Nachos
A middle school math teacher from Pittsburgh, we’ve seen Jess post pictures of Nima in her class on social at @efmsroom227. When she’s not teaching algebra, Jess attends Pirates games with her husband as they are season ticket holders. The gluten-free options at PNC Park help keep Jess’s energy filled to cheer for her Pirates.
Vanilla Milkshake from BRGR
BRGR is located behind section 115 on the field level of the stadium. They offer a lot of different menu items that are not gluten-free, but we tested the vanilla milkshake and it was! The stand has an express milkshake line which was nice. There are other flavors of milkshakes (chocolate, strawberry, and salted caramel), but I only tested the vanilla.
Gluten-free Hot Dog
The hot dog can be bought from the concession stand “Just4U: Healthy Options” that is entirely gluten-free. It is located behind section 129 on field level in Pop’s Plaza (a location with lots of tables and concession stands).
I tested the parts of the hot dog separately: the bun and the dog.
JD’s Gourmet Popcorn
I got caramel corn and cheddar mixed together. They also sell kettle corn. There are two locations: one is behind section 125 on the field level. I’ve included a picture of the stand. There is another location on the main level out in center field. The popcorn is also found at most concession stands pre-bagged. It is the same brand.
Gluten-free Nachos and Cheese
This was also from the Just4U stand. The cheese does not seem like traditional nacho cheese, but it is very delicious!
This picture shows other gluten-free options. There is beer, salads, sandwiches, and more.
Stanford Cardinal Football Game
Location: Stanford Stadium Community member: Allie Scheiber Items Tested: Popcorn, Frozen Lemonade
Our last report comes from Allie who we previously wrote about in a Breaking Bread post. She has since graduated from Stanford and is now working at an allergy research center while preparing for medical school. Allie attended a recent Stanford football game at the university stadium. She was happy to report Nima smiles so she can focus on cheering for her team!
I tested popcorn from one of the stands and a frozen lemonade. They both came back with smileys!
P.S. we should remind people that Nima is allowed in the stadiums. I know I was worried about getting it through security, but having the cartridges in the package and the sensor in the pouch with the logo seems like a safe bet!
So in case you were wondering, you can bring Nima past the security with you to into stadiums. Just keep the capsules inside their instructional packaging.
What stadiums are you going to test with Nima? Share with the community by posting on social #nimatested or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.