Thursday, April 23, 2009

HowFresh Eats the New Yankee Stadium.

Yes I did. Before we start I'd like to give a special thanks to Buckemdown Inc. for providing the funding for this study. Without their generosity none of this would be possible. I'd also like to express my gratitude to DBD Co. for providing the Opening Day Pt. 2 seats- it was the Yankees first home victory so that's number 1- right? Indeed. If you hate food and prefer a non-gastronomical take on the stadium click HERE.

I tried to eat as much as I could. For the places I didn't get to or just wasn't interested in I have provided photos of the counters and menus, most at least. Click on the images to get a much clearer view- prices and calorie counts are on each menu. Do you really want to know you're calorie intake at a game? Not one bit. Let me get my fat fuck on on some ignorance is bliss shit. The ball field is an escape from reality- let's keep it that way.

The best thing about the new stadium is that while you're getting your grub you are still part of the game. The open concession areas and the numerous amount of TV screens keep you involved at all times. 880 AM is pumped through the airwaves so you have no choice but to listen. A complete turnaround from the old stadium when you'd never want to leave your seats risking missing that go ahead hit or great catch. When I wrote about the segregationist policies being practiced by the Yanks, that was clearly before experiencing it. From what I felt and saw, it couldn't be farther from the truth. You have free reign everywhere- aside from the private bars, but who wants to be inside on a beautiful day- that shit is for the birds. Get the cheapest seat possible, walk around, and park yourself behind the box seats, out in center field above the bleachers, or just about any place you choose- as long as you don't dare try to sit in an empty seat. You will get handled with quickly and sternly.

On to the food...

The first dish I tried, and coincidentally the best, was the Moe's Southwest Grill Billy Barou Nachos for $9. A generous portion of crisp nachos topped with a very well flavored ground beef, salsa, a white cheese sauce, olives, jalapenos, sour cream and guacamole- many are optional so choose as you please. The dish is messy but after a bite or 2 you don't mind getting your fingers dirty. Just watch the white pinstriped jersey. I made the mistake of not covering up and now it needs a mean clean. In 2 trips to the stadium this has been ordered 4 times. Available at the La Esquina Latina located on the field concourse by the right field foul pole and at the various Moe's stands throughout the stadium- by section 211 and there is one in the 300s.

Feeling Latin at la Esquina Latina I had to try the Cuban Sandwich. My expectations were low, but I do this for you. This is one stop Latin food shopping, Mexican, Cuban and for my PR and DR bredren they got Utz plantain chips. That's it though. They need to step it up. The sandwich wasn't that good but far from offensive. Ham, swiss, pickle and a thick slice of either chicken or pork, I wasn't sure. It surely wasn't roast pork, which usually is needed in a Cuban. The roll had a mass production feel- very fast foody. Fuck it. One and done. Won't be ordering again.

Next to the La Esquina Latina is the Garlic Fries stand. Shit sounded good. Ordered a small for $5. The quality of the fry was better than average- crisp and soft in the middle. Didn't seem like they were frozen but I don't know. Way OD on the garlic. After a fry or 2 that was more than enough. No interest in ordering again. I did notice the chicken fingers there and they looked GOOD. Way better than the ones at the old stadium. Bigger and the batter looked official. Next time.

A drink break is needed. Soft drinks and domestic (read: shit) beers are available at close to all concessions. I don't drink soda but a Souvenir Cup Mountain Dew is what I do in the stadium. Close to a liter of the neon juice should have you more than hopped up. There are several beer vendors offering a decent variety of imported bottles with several on tap. Bottles will run you $8.50, but wisen up- for an additional $2.50 you can get a 24 oz. draft of either Stella Artois, Beck's, Heineken or Guiness. It's simple mathematics, you got to love it... Problem was that half the kegs were out at 3 of the beer spots we hit. Go early and go often. Remember that beer gets cut in the middle of the 7th. I didn't and was caught with the buzz needing that little push to the next level. And let me warn you now about $11 drafts at the Hard Rock with pushy little waitresses.

Who eats Chinese food at a baseball game? Howfresh does apparently. I needed to just to say I did. And I saw a wok. I saw a wok in Yankee Stadium. And it was being used. By an Asian person. A real Asian person. The Yankees aren't playing around. I probably get a kick out of it way more than anybody else. The Noodle Bowl is located by 3rd base on the field level.

Ordered the dumplings (4 for $6) and the Chicken Pan Fried Noodle Bowl ($8.50). The dumplings were the typical half moon doughy sort with a minced pork filling. Throw on some soy sauce and enjoy.

The noodle bowl was basically chicken lo mein but better. The noodles were al dente with small tender chunks of chicken and a variety of fresh vegetables- green and red peppers, broccoli and bok choy. Much better than expected. If you get the urge for some Chinese in the 5th inning go in. Since China and Japan are relatively close to each other on the globe, the sushi stand bordered the Noodle Bowl. I would have gotten some sushi, again just to say I did, but I had to fall back after being told that every roll had sesame seeds in it. Wasn't trying to risk an allergic reaction. They didn't look that special. These stands are next to the Yankees food court- an open area with tables where you can eat your food and catch the game on one of the many screens or watch the traffic on Jerome Ave. Really dope. Boar's Head, Carvel, and Mike's Arthur Ave. Deli are also in the area.

The sushi menu.

The final meal of the day was a Lobel's USDA Prime Beef Steak Sandwich ($15) about 100 feet up the foul line past the Asian Persuasion. Tender and juicy slices of top quality steak on a fresh cheese bun. No gristle whatsoever. 50 feet from the stand is a window showing Lobel (not sure which one since they've been in business for 150 plus years) himself cutting steaks. If the Yankees are losing by 20 runs then watching a dude cut steak behind glass might be more appealing. For $15 you might expect a bigger sandwich, but relative to what else is in the stadium, definitely one of the highlights.

While I enjoyed most of what I ate, aside from the nachos, I don't know if I'd go out of my way to eat any of it again. My MO is getting a sandwich at the Banana Deli on 161st St. by the stadium for $5 and enjoying it during the early innings and then getting something else. If you prefer you can hit the Boar's Head counter at the Stadium and shell out $12 for a sandwich. Fuck that. That $7 can get you a beer or some Yankees wrist bands. Lately my sandwich of choice has been the Hot to Trot- blazing buffalo chicken with salsalito turkey on a roll with monterey jack cheese, horseradish sauce, lettuce and tomato (the second photo in the post). Originally it was named after Torre but you know how that goes. Support local businesses.

One of the longest lines in the entire stadium was the Popcorn, Indiana line. We all know how much I love Indiana, and I love Indiana, but I don't get it. Peep the photos below- the line goes past the steps. If anybody has an explanation, please share. If it was cold and the line was for hot chocolate, I get it. If it's boiling and people want a lemonade, I understand. But popcorn on a windy Sunday in April? No clue. Maybe I'm the weirdo that doesn't like popcorn.

Below are photos of what else is being cheffed up in the new confines. I will note that several attempts were made to get a hot pretzel but every time we asked for one the vendor said they weren't warm yet. This happened at least 4 times. In terms of other items, I've had Carl's numerous times at both the stadium and at their stores in the city. They offer a fine cheesesteak and are a safe choice. Never had Mike's Deli in the stadium but have eaten it on Arthur Ave.- official cold cuts. Johnny Rockets doesn't excite me. Would much rather have some Shake Shack but the other team snatched them up first. Brother Jimmy's has several stands- one wasn't operating as of Sunday. Another spot not on my to-eat list. Nathan's are all over the stadium- a very good dog, as are Hebrew Nationals. Holla. For Part II including more pics and info click HERE.

Jeter, the Mick and the Gator.


Jay said...

I love the fact that they changed the name of Dale & Thomas to Popcorn Indiana. If those people knew it had anything to do with Isaiah, they wouldn't have been lined up around the corner.

And of course, nice work on the guide, man. It is bookmarked for the next time I head up there.

Derek said...

That is my Dad's hand in the nachos.

thekid10705 said...

"Click on the images to get a much clearer view"=Hilarious!!!

I went with my traditional chicken fingers and fries combo which was soggy as shite'. Oh, and gettin' ID'd everytime in my seat by the same beer vendor was annoying. All in all the future is here, let's all enjoy the "Freshness" of the BX.

Fresh, don't front and take the 7 out to Queens. I think they have the centerfield outdoor section on smash. A must see!

buckemdown said...

Ooooooh shit!!! Had I known this was Dale & Thomas popcorn I would've been on the back of that line in a jump. Their peanut butter and white chocolate drizzlecorn is like woah! Never knew about the Isaiah affiliation though - props to Jay for the look.

I'd have to agree with just about everything Howfresh said about the food, except for his knock on the garlic fries. If you like garlic, go in - and go in big. If not, then don't. To me, a french fry without ketchup is akin to a piece of cardboard, but I actually did not need any condiments to enjoy these bad boys naked... pause. All in all, a definite step up in ballpark culinary options from the old stadium - with the prices to go with it.

I couldn't have been happier with the new Stadium though. The freedem that it gives you to do whatever you want, and go wherever you want, without missing a beat of the game is incredible. If it's a nice day and you just wanna have a good time, head out to the bleachers for the indoor tailgating party. Chicks showing their itties and all that.

P-Matik said...

Dude, you have the stomach of a iron cauldron. I couldn't have played 1/4 of that stuff on the menu.

Come to DC and I'll take you to the Nats stadium. There, they have Ben's Chili Bowl which you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!! HOHOHOHOHO!!!!

Good drop.

P-Matik said...

Oh is Dale & Thomas some NY shiz? I had that PB & white choco popcorn and I thought I was in heaven. That company wins all day.

buckemdown said...

P-Matic - don't think it's really an NY thing (apparently it's a Indiana thing) - you can buy them online...

jk said...

I tried the California Roll, it was good. Next time I'm going for the Bronx Roll. I must give a shout out to the new fruit stand. A nice addition for those who can not gorge on salt and fat.

As a native and former Riverdalian, it is good to know the nabe has evolved to having imported cheese balls.

Keep up the great work!

Subway Squawkers said...

Hi there. Thanks for posting this on Subway Squawkers. In addition to the article you saw, we've also done food reviews of Citi Field

Overall, I thought Citi Field totally killed Yankee Stadium in the food department.