Thursday, September 20, 2012

Yankee Stadium Eats

For years in Pasadena, my morning computer routine was the same: check email, check, check my blog, then check the sky is big in pasadena, Ben Wideman's daily photoblog of the Crown City. I don't believe there was a day in three years that I was in town and failed to check it. But I never actually met Ben. Then he graduated from Fuller last year, got a job in Pennsylvania, and moved away. 

Last month Ben sent me an email that he would be in New York City last night: it was his 30th birthday and he wanted to go see his beloved Blue Jays take on the Yankees. He asked if I wanted to go and I said sure. I had been to the old Yankee Stadium years ago, but had yet to visit the new one.

Before we get to the food, here are some photos I took from the game:

I took the subway to the stadium. $2.50. Ben and his aunt drove.

"Our four tickets cost forty bucks combined," he said. "And I just paid $35 for parking."

I showed up more than an hour before game time to walk around and take photos. I'm in my 30s and I've been to hundreds of games in more than a dozen states, and I still get a thrill every time I see a Major League field. So beautiful.

I guess there wasn't room for "of Anaheim" on the flag.

Wait a second... I thought The Beast destroyed that ball.

They were showing the sepia-tone clip of Lou Gehrig on the big screen, so I thought I'd make the whole picture sepia.

 Not too shabby.

 "Hey, guys! It's me, Tracy, the black guy from work!"

The Yankees won the game, but ARod struck out three times and grounded into a double play. The boos rained down like thunder and I laughed.

Now on to some pictures of the food options:

(I'm not sure what my favorite is: either the nine-dollar PBR "retro beer" tall cans or the farmers market stand.)

Now here's what I actually ate:

Many years ago I ate at Brother Jimmy's BBQ in Manhattan and thought it was pretty good. So I decided to get some pulled pork sliders with fries ($12) and a bottle of water ($5). 

I realize a stand at a ballpark can't take several minutes to carve up a customer's barbecue, so it's completely unfair to hold the stand to any standards close to what you would expect from a restaurant. Still, this pulled pork was awful. Just dreadful. Possibly the worst I have ever had, and without question the most dried-out. It was closer to jerky than barbecue. If you left a plate of pulled pork uncovered on a counter all night, it might taste like this.

And the fries were cold.

The one positive here was the vinegar sauce, and it was delicious. But the plastic container was only filled about one-third of the way. So I took that small amount, as well as the three small pickle slices that were buried under the fries, and put it all on one of the sliders. It made it... well, it barely did anything, the pork was that bad. But I guess it made it slightly better.  

So I got myself a footlong hot dog ($6.75) and covered it with French's spicy brown mustard. This was a very good ballpark dog, miles ahead of a Dodger Dog. I wish I'd bought this to start. 

When I left the game I bought a bag of cotton candy ($4.50) for Elizabeth, as that might be her favorite thing in the entire world. She loved it.

And so did Hawkeye.

It was fun seeing the new Yankee Stadium, though I liked the old one better. The new one certainly has a lot more food options, but I'm not sure if that's really a good thing. (Ben had regular sliders and he said they were pretty bad, too.) I don't know if I'll ever return but if I do I will be getting a couple of slices of pizza somewhere instead of eating at the stadium.


ben wideman said...

Great to finally meet. And thanks for sharing in my birthday!

Adam said...

Have you ever been to Camden Yards? We have a great, authentic Pit Beef stand called Boog's BBQ, after Oriole great Boog Powell. Good stuff.

BTW, we're coming for you.

Buck and the Birds

JustinM said...

Yep, it's probably my favorite stadium I have been to. Saw the Os and Angels there a decade ago. I had Boog's pork sandwich and it was damn good.

The Os aren't really "coming for" the Angels... they're way ahead of the Angels right now. The way they keep winning games is ridiculous. It wouldn't surprise me if this is their year, and that blows me away to say.

Mike N. said...

I have yet to be to the "new" Busch Stadium, but I hear they have lots of good food. But at the same time, I also hear it's pretty much a carnival atmosphere with the 'fan zone', batting cages, sports bar, etc.

BUT, just across the river in Sauget, Illinois, the minor league Gateway Grizzlies have a really fun ball park with great (and relatively cheap!) food. Especially if you like things like a bacon cheese burger on a Krispy Kreme donut...

Oh, and by the way, you'll pay $25 for a parking spot close to Busch, so $35 doesn't sound so bad for NYC!

JustinM said...

Yankees Stadium is nice, there is no doubt about that... but it's not really special; the old one definitely was. Yankee Stadium now feels like a lot of other ballparks I have been to. The old one was unique.

SuperLarge said...

I loved Ben's Pasadena blog! It looks like a lovely evening, food excepted.

BT said...

1. I feel like watching The Sandlot now. Love that movie.

2. All this time I thought Ben was a friend of yours from high school.

Anonymous said...

5 bucks for a 20oz bottle of soda, they can go fiddle themselves.

You can see on the employees faces that they know they are screwing people.

JustinM said...

SuperLarge: You should pick up the reigns. What Ben was to City Hall you can be to cats and knitting.

BT: Great movie. The Sandlot 2? Much less so. My only friends in high school were the foreign exchange students, and that's just because they didn't understand how offensive my jokes were.

Anon: I agree the prices are ridiculous, but it doesn't really bother me all that much because 1) you know going in that stadium prices are almost always a joke (ergo a 3-year-old stadium in New York City is going to be even more so), and 2) they allow you to bring in outside food as long as it's in a clear bag and outside water as long as the bottle is sealed. (I saw quite a few people with Subway sandwiches.)

Rodzilla said...

I would see just how far I could take that outside food in the clear bag.

entire pizza..pasta?

Fritos and Foie Gras said...

Wow, that photo of the sunset is totally incredible!

Liz said...

Hawkeye and I thank you for the cotton candy! I still have yet to see the new stadium. Haha.

Owner.AsTheWorldChanges said...

HAWKEYE! So cute!

dustygator said...

Yeah that pulled park looks horrendous. And you'd be surprised at the "can't take several minutes to carve up a customer's barbecue" . I went to a Chelsea-AC Milan game at Sun Life Stadium and got BBQ pork nachos that were hand pulled off a whole pork shoulder, right in front of me. It was pretty damn good, not just for ballpark fare. And this is a dump of a stadium, compared to the shiny billion dollar "House that Steinbrenner" built.

JustinM said...

That's good to hear. I've had great barbecue at minor league games, but nothing good at big stadiums.