In true New York Yankee fashion, the new stadium touts a concession equal to the team—diverse, talented, and a bit expensive. Fans will fork over big bucks not only to fill seats but their stomachs, too.
Though the lines are long, they move. Between the permanent concessions and the stand-alone carts, there were plenty of hungry fans willing to wait while they peeked through to the open field or caught the latest action on one of the hundreds of high-def monitors placed at every turn. Stadium favorites still take the lead as armfuls of hotdogs (both Nathan’s and Hebrew National are featured this year) along with popcorn and peanuts were being carried around. And even at $9 a bottle, it didn’t take long for the beer vendors to unload their coolers in the aisles.
The real standout for best new taste at Yankee Stadium was stolen from what’s been a standby at numerous West Coast stadiums: garlic fries. Tucked into a corner, they certainly were not out of sight or smell. Piled high and drizzled with crushed garlic, they were warm, crisp, and full of flavor. The pungency didn’t hit until the second order, but they were well worth the $5 (small) or $8 (large).
One of the biggest hits of the ballpark is the introduction of Lobel’s of New York. This pop-up butcher shop showcases its skills as passersby watch butchers trim cuts of beef for use at the Stadium’s two full-service restaurants through a glass window replica of Lobel’s Madison Avenue location. Those wanting a portable taste of the gourmet meat can purchase a deli-style sandwich at Lobel’s carving station.
Our foursome stopped by Carl’s Steaks and ordered up a delicious mess. Not as good (or as cheap) as the original, but the mounds of steak dripping with Whiz stuffed into a fresh, chewy hoagie rolls were surely savored by those Philly fans in attendance. Sadly, we sacrificed the deep-fried pickle slices, known as “frickles,” from Brother Jimmy’s BBQ a must for the next game) and instead of spooning my way out of a $7 Johnny Rockets milkshake, I opted to pay $6.50 for a take-home Yankee cup of soft-serve from Carvel.
It may be too early in the season for newcomers Soy Kitchen of the Bronx or Asian Noodle Bowl, or perhaps it’s a bit of a stretch to take me out to the ballgame—for sushi—but they choices are there for the picking. So too are $4 apples from Melissa’s, a farmers’ market hidden near an elevator corridor that could end up striking out most innings.
We didn’t venture into the two full-service dining establishments, Hard Rock Café and NYY Steak , but the fact that both are open year-round will earn them a homerun from the locals.
The new stadium simply offered too many options to sample them all in one visit. We’ll be returning to the field to clean up on Cuban sandwiches from Latin Corner and zeppoles at Mike’s Deli of Arthur Avenue fame.
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