Thursday, April 23, 2009

Those Damn Yankees, Why Can't We Beat 'Em?

This week, I spent upwards of 9 hours at the brand new Yankee Stadium. Before you get all excited for the wrong reasons, I was there for one reason and one reason alone - to see my beloved Oakland Athletics play baseball (which, since I do not spend much time in Oakland anymore, I only get to see about 6 times a year - way down from the glory days of living in Oakland seeing about 25 games a year - but I digress).

Even though I was there solely to see the A's play baseball, one can not ignore the massive amount of food that is now available in the Bronx. I (along with a few helpers - thanks Sarah and Danny!) did my best to sample as much of that food as I possibly could.

Food at ballparks has progressed way beyond hot dogs and beer. The food revolution has been slowly making its way across the country - San Francisco's AT&T park has been serving fancy things like sushi and crabcakes for years. The Oakland Coliseum used to sell the best tofu burgers I've ever eaten (and I've eaten a lot of horrible tofu burgers). Let's take a look at what the New York Yankees have to offer.


See this fancy butcher station? That's quality right there. Lobel's has been a New York institution since 1840 and they do not mess around. They are carving sandwiches TO ORDER. That is serious eating.

This may have been the best steak sandwich I've ever had (not that I'm a connoisseur or anything, but man, I love steak). It was clearly just carved, piping hot and still pink in the middle. There was nothing but meat and bread, with a little tub of horseradish to make your eyes water. The juices were insane, just soaking through the bread and down my chin. This was far and away the best thing I ate at Yankee Stadium. The only downside? It cost $15.

Not to say that the rest of the food sucked or anything - here's some more options for your dining pleasure.

Garlic Fries:

The second best thing I ate at Yankee Stadium. These have been a staple in Oakland for years, and I was very happy to see them make their way across the country. They were just like I remembered them - warm fries, little bits of real garlic - yum.

Mike's Deli:

Another New York classic, they've been serving the Bronx for over 50 years. Their eggplant parm sandwich (shown above) has been highly lauded - I did not get the best of the bunch though. The man at the counter warned me that the bread was kind of hard and so he threw in some free zeppole (fried dough) to make up for it.

Unfortunately, the bread really was unpleasantly hard in places. The eggplant was good, but overly breaded for my taste. The zeppole were nothing special - unless you count that they were over 2000 calories (seriously - all the calorie counts are printed). Sarah and I made a go at eating them -

- until a drunken Yankees fan knocked them over without apologizing. I think he did it on purpose.

Noodle Bowls:

Just what it sounds like - a bowl filled with noodles, broth, veggies and your choice of meat.

Danny decided not to blow an entire day's worth of calories on one meal and opted for the noodle bowl. It was surprisingly good, though as Danny pointed out, "You can smell the MSG." Still, they're a nice lighter option.

And thus, my two days of eating at Yankee Stadium came to a close. I'm excited to check out Citi Field next - I hear the food is great and the A's can't lose there (at least not this year).