A farewell to Oriole Park at Camden Yards' crab dip waffle fries

The list of things fans will miss about baseball season in Baltimore includes a new entrant.

When baseball season ends and your team didn't make the playoffs, it's never a happy time. In particular, Orioles fans have to adapt to a winning ballclub that fell a bit short of the ultimate goal. There are plenty of things for Orioles fans to miss this year while they wait for the 2014 season to start. The crack of a ball off of Chris Davis's bat. The smooth motion of Manny Machado toward a seemingly unreachable ground ball. The unparalleled mix of fear and excitement when Jim Johnson takes the mound in a one-run game. But above all, anyone who spent any time at Camden Yards this year will need to spend the next six months learning how to cope without crab dip waffle fries.

One of the new food options rolled out in Baltimore for 2013 (alongside some trendy Korean BBQ), the crab dip waffle fries became an instant fan favorite. Allow me to describe them for you. Start with delicious, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside waffle fries. Pour a generous helping of crab dip all over the top, which as near as I can tell is made with a potent combination of shredded crab meat, cream cheese, butter and crack. Ideally, you consume the dip-less fries from the bottom, swirling them through the excess dip on top of the pile, and you finish by eating the grease-soaked fries from the top of the pile, getting messy and savoring every last morsel from the little cardboard tray. There are probably other ways to approach them, such as the use of silverware, but those ways would be wrong.

Optimally, the fries should be purchased at the Flying Dog kiosk and paired with their own Maryland-brewed Snake Dog IPA, or alternately an Evolution Lot #3 IPA from the Free State Pub around the bend. You can also obtain them right behind home plate in the upper deck, or at Dempsey's Brewpub on Eutaw Street. No matter how you do it, the crab dip waffle fries with a beer are the perfect first-inning snack to kick off an Orioles game.

But now ... it's October, and the Orioles are not playing October baseball this year. A completely hypothetical Orioles fan who may have developed a total addiction to one serving of crab dip waffle fries every week or two will be going through an intensive withdrawal. It's important during this period to remember that this completely hypothetical Orioles fan will be grumpy for a little while, because my ... uh, his ... favorite team missing the playoffs is multiplied by the pain of knowing his new favorite snack is unobtainable until next April.

So try to be understanding. And if you missed out on the joy that is crab dip waffle fries, make sure to hunt them down as soon as possible in 2014. Just don't hold me responsible for the addiction that follows.

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