Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dinner at Citi Field

Since this blog is about food and related topics, I'm only going to cover the food portion of my visit to Citi Field last night.

We arrived at Citi Field at 6PM, and after taking a few pictures of the outside and Jackie Robinson Rotunda, we wound our way on the field level to the high-end food court behind center field. Once there we had the following selections:

-BBQ from Blue Smoke
-Burgers, dogs, shakes, fries from Shake Shack
-soft rolled tacos from Verano Taqueria
-Belgian-style fries at Box Frites
-Pizza and pastas with fresh ingredients such as mozz and basil
-ice cream
-imported, craft, and specialty beers

We got food from two places, Blue Smoke and Verano Taqueria. For ballpark food, I thought both were pretty good.

From Blue Smoke, we ordered the pulled pork sandwich. The line was long but the counter is run efficiently so it moved pretty well. The food is ready to go and boxed so all the cashier has to do is pick up the right box. This worried me as this sort of set up often leads to lukewarm food and soggy buns. Not the case last night. The sesame seed bun was nice and fresh and toasty, not soggy at all.
The pulled pork was piled on generously but not so much that it would have been falling out the sides while we ate making a mess. The flavor of the meat was good but I could have used with a dab more sauce. Served with crisp, garlicky pickle slices and one wet nap. How thoughtful even though I didn't need it after the sandwich.

I did need it after the tacos we had from Verano Taqueria. We ordered the taco combo platter, which isn't a platter but a box containing three tacos, one of each on the menu.
We had one grilled skirt steak, one green mole chicken, and one carnitas. All topped with adequate doses of fresh cilantro and chopped white onions. Three kinds of salsas were served on the side in neat little to-go containers as well as a lime wedge. I liked all three tacos - the chicken was the spiciest, the beef nice and charred, and the carnitas melted away. Often with soft rolled tacos, the corn tortillas will split or get soggy. These were hearty corn tortillas that stayed whole, didn't get soggy, and actually had taste.

We washed everything down by splitting a Blue Smoke Special Ale (by Brooklyn Brewery). We took a break after the sixth inning and got a Carvel ice cream to split.

Now you might be wondering what did all this cost. It is NYC after all, and food tends to be on the pricey side. Well, I really didn't think the cost was all that bad considering the quality of the food we had. The prices are certainly much lower than they run across the subway tracks at the tennis center. (Where I'll be this September for the US Open! But I'll be taking my own food.) The pork sandwich and beer at Blue Smoke were $9 and $7.50. For comparison's sake, regular, domestic Bud Light was $6 for a regular, $7.50 for a large. The taco combo was $9.75. Yes, in Texas, that would amount to highway robbery for three tacos, but it is NY. The ice cream I thought was the overpriced item of the night at $6 for the helmet cup.

Other food items we saw but didn't have the stomach to try this trip: corn on the cob with queso fresco, Belgian style fries, grilled sausage, po'boys, lobster rolls ($17!!!!), and good old Nathan's hot dogs. I love Shake Shack, but with the Madison Square Park location right outside the Flatiron building, it's accessible on a daily basis. The Shake Shack lines were also the worst of the restaurants and stayed that way all night. I would have loved a shake, though.

Today should be the last hot day before it cools off and some rain returns to the area. Dinner this week are going to be meaty - steak and the leftover white beans from Union Square Cafe, chicken burgers, chicken tikka, and sausage calzones.

Good eating to you!

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