By Paloma Lacy
Baseball has always seemed so glamorous. We’ve seen it played in films countless times but playing it is another matter. I did just that last week and it didn’t go well.
Sluggers has arrived at Boxpark Croydon – a haven for Latin American baseball culture – batting cages for hire, a bar offering rather good cocktails and a solid menu offering sliders.
I donned my helmet, entered the cage, and got into batting position.
A buzzer went off and the first ball was pitched my way from a machine 30 ft away. I failed to hit it or any of the other 19 balls that were pelted at me.
It’s a difficult game to master, as was evidenced by the similar standard displayed by many around me.
Must try harder, needs more practice, I could go on.
We are simply unfamiliar with the sport but Sluggers is a fun place to get the practice in.
A welcome second addition to the leisure options at Boxpark Croydon, Bad Axe Throwing joined a few months back. Sluggers gives visitors even more excuse, if any were needed, to stay, eat and play.
I asked why Sluggers is Latin American-themed and was reliably informed it was chosen because firstly, baseball is so hugely popular in this part of the world.
It also lends itself to an exciting cocktail list, including Paloma and La Cabana.
After I and a few friends had royally embarrassed ourselves in the cages, it was time for refreshment and we made our acquaintance with a delightful cocktail menu.
Paloma was a tad sharper than I remembered, but rum-based La Cabana and gin-based Croydon Spritz were both well received.
The small plates menu is well thought out and something a little different. It’s easy to see why Sluggers went this route, instead of typical American fodder.
Those looking for a light snack to soak up the cocktails will love cassava chips and sweet potato fires – two personal favourites of mine – both elevating the boring old potato chip.
Pulled pork sliders with blue cheese and bacon were delicious, as were Venezuelan arepas buns, filled with pork loin and crackling .
For bigger appetites Cuban sandwiches and rice bowls and meaty quesadillas.
Sluggers, Unit 64, 99 George Street, Croydon CR0 1LD.
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