Canberra’s very own baseball team Canberra Cavalry is becoming known internationally not only for the sport, atmosphere and loyal local fans but also for its amazing American-style food.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting one of the key people behind the food at Canberra Cavalry – Illya Mastoris, who has extensive experience in Canberra’s local food scene and also is the part owner of the Playground Bar in Garema Place and has run other cafes around town.
Illya explained how he literally stumbled into the Australian Baseball League food scene and offered to help our local team “lift their game” so to speak after attending a game in 2012. He loved the game but had some great ideas about improving the food and quickly took the Cavalry Canteen to new heights.
Within weeks of taking over and redesigning their kitchen Illya and his team took Cavalry to the top of the baseball cuisine league and has kept them there for five years.
Not only is Canberra renown for the best baseball food in Australia, word of Illya’s lavish 2016 Canberra Cavalry Thanksgiving Dinner has spread as far as the US and Canada and visiting baseball fans still ask about it.
The regular menu during home games includes authentic American-style cheeseburgers, hotdogs, fried macaroni and cheese balls, Coors beer, chips, onion rings and waffle fries (potato wedges cut like waffles). There is also Ben and Jerries icecream.
The dish I’m most keen to try next is the baseball cap nachos – an inverted baseball cap full of a dinner-sized serving of nachos! That certainly makes more sense than putting a KFC bucket on your head at the cricket!
Actually I lied. I’m also keen to try these babies… fried balls of macaroni and cheese.
Illya’s food crew have now been running the canteen at Canberra Cavalry for five years and are a regular part of the Cavalry community.
What struck me most about the passionate way he described his food and the games, team, fans and atmosphere was the sense of pride in how far Cavalry have gone as a team in such a short space of time.
I’m looking forward to attending their Friday night game this weekend with a few of my kids. As always there will be plenty of family entertainment, a great atmosphere and delicious food.
If you haven’t been before the games are held at MIT Park in Narrabundah. It’s Canberra’s own specialised baseball facility and is designed to maximise the view for fans. Illya and the rest of the Cavalry family will maximise your enjoyment of the game of baseball as well.
We’d like to know, have you been to a Canberra Cavalry game yet at Narrabundah? Have you ever been to a baseball game in the US, and what was that like?
Where: Canberra Cavalry Canteen. The Fort at MIT Ballpark is located at Narupai and Goyder Street along side Jerrabomberra Avenue in Narrabundah, ACT. Directions here.
When: Canberra Cavalry is playing against Perth tonight, Friday and Saturday (gates open at 6pm for a 7pm start each evening) as well as Sunday (gates open 11am for a 12pm start). More details here.
Elias (aka CBRfoodie) Recommends: Try everything! It’s all good!
Elias Hallaj (aka CBRfoodie) is a part-time food blogger and full-time political staffer who has joined RiotACT as a regular contributor. All opinions are his own. If you have any tips or feedback you can find him on Twitter @CBRfoodie.