Monday, July 6, 2009

New Yankee Stadium Food - Save Your Money And Bring Food From Home


For those who pissed this post due to the holiday weekend:

For many people, the bevy of food options at the new Yankee Stadium was an unnecessary addition to the baseball experience. From the "just give me a hot dog and a beer" crowd, to the "bring your own food from home" fans, there were plenty of people smarter than us who knew that the new menu options just meant more terrible food to choose from. Unfortunately, we promised a food tasting series here on NSI, so we have been subjecting ourselves to unthinkable food horrors over the past 3 months.

Without further ado, here is some of the most terrifyingly disgusting grub that we have wasted our money on. We recommend that you stay far, far away from these menu options on your next trip to the new Yankee Stadium.

The steak sandwich (sold at select NY Grill locations throughout the new Yankee Stadium):

The best description we have heard of this steak sandwich is from fellow blog author Nick - "that sandwich looked like E.T when he was dying... tastes like it too." Trust us - if we knew this was what this "sandwich" (sold at the NY Grill near section 434 in the upper deck) looked like, we never would have bought it. Unfortunately, we saw the $15 price point and assumed it was another outlet for the $15 Lobel's steak sandwich that we know and love. In short - it is not. This "sandwich" consists of a dry, tasteless, overcooked mystery meat, thrown onto a tasteless hoagie roll (although the concession stand menu says it is a garlic roll). To spare you the gory details, it tastes as bad as it looks. This is $15 we will never get back, and we can only hope that this reaches someone else to save them their hard-earned money. The key is knowing that the $15 Lobel's Steak sandwich on the field level down the left field line is amazing and is totally worth the $15. This is an impostor sandwich and is the biggest ripoff in Yankee Stadium history.

Mac N' Cheese (sold at Brother Jimmy's locations throughout the new Yankee Stadium):

Egg on our faces for ever thinking that Mac N' Cheese at a baseball game was a good idea. As the story goes, we saw it on the menu at the Brother Jimmy's on the field level, had memories of the very good Mac N' Cheese at the actual Brother Jimmy's restaurants and took the plunge. Terrible decision. Pictured above is what the Legends Hospitality Management concession stand workers think qualifies as serviceable Mac N' Cheese. It was dry, there were weird chunks of bread in it (breadcrumbs?) and it tasted like it had been sitting around for days (it probably had been). We regret not trusting our instincts and staying far, far away. This was "only" $8, but some who have seen this photo are even more appalled than the quality of the steak sandwich. The worst part? We actually tried this on the same night as that steak sandwich. $23 for two of the worst food items that we have ever purchased. It was enough to inspire a blog post.

Chicken Parmesan Hero (sold at Mike's Arthur Ave Italian Deli in the Field Level Food court at the new Yankee Stadium)

File this one in the "should have trusted our instincts" category. The small size of this $12 chicken parm hero wasn't the only thing that caused it to make this list - it also had no taste. As with most of the "different" food items at the new Yankee Stadium, this sandwich was warm, but it looked and tasted like it had been sitting under a heating lamp for a long, long time. The congealed cheese and dried up sauce was a dead giveaway. The chicken wasn't terrible, so the availability of some fresh sauce and some fresh Parmesan cheese might have made this edible. Unfortunately, the Legends Hospitality Management employees simply threw the wrapped up sandwich at us, without offering any options to spruce it up. Stay away from this hero unless you plan on sneaking some extra tomato sauce into the stadium.

Cuban Sandwich (Unnamed Latin Food Stand down the right field line)

This one was a real disappointment. It came highly recommended by someone on Twitter of Cuban descent who told us that a relative had tried it and vouched for its authenticity. Unfortunately, it was as bad as the other food items on this list. It was dry, the bread was stale, and like most other food items it seemed like it had been sitting around all day. Toss in some congealed cheese, and this Cuban sandwich was quite forgettable.

In all fairness, we have had some excellent food at the new Yankee Stadium, as well as some serviceable options. The Lobel's steak sandwich is $15, but is the best food option in the entire stadium and is absolutely worth the cost. The only location is on the field level - DON'T be fooled by the impostor steak sandwich like we were! Carl's Philly Cheese Steaks are pretty much a can't miss if you are in the mood for cheesy, greasy goodness. Mo's home wrecker burrito and Nachos Supreme are stuffed with ingredients. They are serviceable on a bad day and hit the spot on a good day (LHM got one thing right and decided to check the beans at the door - no need to subject fellow fans to the inevitable unpleasantness that would result from beans at the ballpark). Heck, we even had spicy tuna rolls one time and were surprised at the quality of the raw fish. We were also extremely happy with the food during our two trips to the upscale Audi Yankees Club. The food is supplied by Lobel's, and Lonn Trost enjoys his meals there - if the COO is eating there, you know you are in the right place.

We were able to speak with Joe Swanski, the Yankee Stadium concessions manager for Legends Hospitality Management. In a phone interview, we had the opportunity to discuss the food quality issues, as well as service complaints that we have heard from fellow fans. Swanski acknowledged that the company is going through some growing pains. "In the service sector, there are always some issues to work through, but we aware that we are in a unique position as a start up company running the concessions for a brand such as the Yankees." Some of these issues include finding the right balance between fresh and prepared foods to keep concession lines manageable, as well as deciding which "experimental" food items such as the impostor steak sandwich are going to remain on the menu. Swanski takes complaints about their employees the most serious. "Service is the core value of our company and we have a an extensive training program in place to make sure our employees are prepared."

From our experiences with the concessions at the stadium, things have gone from bad to worse as the season has progressed. We have even gone so far as to swear off anything other than hot dogs and Lobel's Steak sandwiches. Swanski was disappointed to hear the resignation in our voice and says that fan feedback is the only way that the company will know what issues need to be addressed in order to improve the fan experience going forward. He was genuinely happy to hear from us, and hopes that more fans will share their experiences. If you have had a bad experience with the concessions at Yankee Stadium, Legends Hospitality Management offers an online form to air your grievance. We'd recommend avoiding yelling matches with unmotivated employees at the stand, and simply submitting your complaint to Legends Hospitality Management. Perhaps we can make a difference.
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