Editor’s Note: This year’s Major League Baseball All-Star-Game is July 16th at Citi-Field – Home of the New York Mets. NYC Dads Group contributor Niel Vuolo shares some of the culinary all stars that will be featured during All Star Weekend in his latest guest post. If you’re not planning to attend the game for the baseball, you might be attracted to the food. -L.S.
Last week, the New York Mets unveiled its “signature menu” for this year’s 2013 All Star Game which is being played at Citi Field. Since the NY Mets moved into their new state of the art stadium in 2009 their play on the field has left a lot to be desired. Regardless, fans and foodies have flocked to Citi Field for their amazing and diverse food choices.
While you can get standard ball park fare like hot dogs, nachos and peanuts. You can also get delicious ribs or pulled pork from Blue Smoke, juicy burgers from Shake Shack, and amazing fries and dipping sauces from Box Frites, among a cornucopia of other options. There have been more hits served up by the all-star culinary team that have been assembled by ARAMARK, the lead concession provider for Citi Field, than by the Mets sometimes shaky bullpen. Citi Field’s Caesar Club was set up as a tasting tour of all the amazing things you can eat at the ball park, and our hostess Mrs. Met introduced several new dishes.
Among the newly introduced items for the All Star Game was a new signature dish “The All-Star Meatball Hero”, featuring a Pat LaFrieda blend of ground beef, pork and veal and Citi Field executive Chef Robert Flowers’ own meatball recipe with his family’s centuries’ old sweet Italian gravy recipe from Sicily. It’s all topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella and fried basil and served on a long sesame seed hero-roll. It was hearty and savory; if you were served this at a really nice Italian restaurant you would be very pleased. Unfortunately, it’s just slated to be a limited edition offering, but as they say in Flushing, “Ya Gotta Believe”.
Two dads from NYC Dads Group were fortunate enough to be invited to the feast and here are some of their favorite dishes.
Niel Vuolo’s favorites:
- Steak Sandwich – Pat LaFrieda’s: When you eat something and your only reaction is a guttural moan you know it’s good. The thick chunks of Angus steak and grilled onions practically melted in your mouth. On my next visit to Citi Field, the Pat LaFrieda’s stand is the first place I am going to stop.
- Lobster Roll – Catch of the Day: Served on a soft roll this lobster roll was succulent and decadent but felt so appropriate to be eating at the ball park.
- Raspberry Cheesecake Doughnuts – Acela Club & Cannoli – Mama’s of Corona: On the surface you would think that the very gourmet doughnuts and a traditional cannoli don’t have much in common, but they do. They were so good, and if I wasn’t so stuffed I would have kept eating them all day long. The cannoli’s had an amazing crunch and the filling was that perfect mix of sweet and sour. Thanks to the ladies at Mama’s who sent us home with a care package of cannolis and black and white cookies.
Lance Somerfeld’s favorites:
- Steak Sandwich – Pat LaFrieda’s: A winning combination of tender Angus Beef, melted Monterey Jack Cheese, and sweet Vidalia Onions on a fresh Baguette roll made for a hearty sandwich that I was surprised to find at a ballpark.
- Beef Brisket Slider – Blue Smoke: A top-notch, chopped brisket sandwich with the perfect combination of spice. Blue Smoke knocked it out of the park with adding a touch of the Spicy Kansas City sauce.
- Cannoli – Mama’s of Corona: You wouldn’t expect to knock off a few cannolis at a ballpark, but the savory ones from Mama’s of Corona are better than what you’d find at well-known shops along Mulberry Street.
|Pat LaFrieda Steak Sandwich at Citi Field|
Some of the other succulent dishes were: hand-carved Pastrami, Nathan’s Pastrami Dog, English Pea Ravioli, mac and cheese, lamb chops, fries, burgers, sushi from Daruma, pizza by Two Boots, and many other things were available for tasting. In addition to the specialty dishes, ARAMARK expects to serve nearly 37,000 hot dogs and 15,000 pounds of French fries during the mid-summer classic. The Mets last hosted the All-Star game in 1964 in their old home, Shea Stadium.
Finally, as you may know, a fan vote decides the starting position players in the MLB All-Star Game! So, #Mets fans, #VoteWrightNow on www.mets.com/vote to send David Wright to the 2013 All-Star Game!#DontLetDavidDown. Vote Today! Voting ends July 4th!
Niel Vuolo is many things, a stay at home dad to two awesome kids, a writer, and a lifelong Mets fan from Queens, NY. You can read more about him and his adventures on his blog, Great Moments in Bad Parenting, and on Twitter, @GMIBadParenting