Game on! As you may or may not know by now, I am a huge baseball fan. HUGE. More specifically, I’m a hugehugeHUGE Mets fan, and yes, my heart has been broken and stomped on quite a few times now… but that’s besides the point. I fully support my team through the good times and the bad!
I’ve mentioned before that last season, as a gift to myself, I purchased the Sunday plan, which included tickets to every Sunday home game. This season, I am the proud owner of a similar package (although they changed it a bit and instead of 13 Sunday home games, it’s 10 Sunday home games + five weekday home games, grrr, if someone who can fix that reads this… FIX IT!)… But because we’re now in a new stadium (my in-depth preview here!), I intend to spend many games this season exploring the stadium and eating the food available to me… and you guys get to come along for the ride! Aren’t I nice 😉 Well, it doesn’t hurt that currently, I have yet to attend a game where my team wins… so a lot of wandering around the stadium is required in order to keep me from exploding expletives across my section.
At my first official game – April 16 against the Padres – I excitedly headed to Esca, I mean, Catch of the Day, to sample the New England clam chowder and a fish sandwich with housemade tartar sauce. It worried me that every time I pass by this place, the line is hands down the shortest of any concession stand, but I pressed on. WHY NOT? It’s from the same people who brought us Esca! (Where I’ve never been but I hear good things!)
I like my chowder creamy, thick, coating my throat and stomach and very comforting on a chilly night, as this night was. The chowder, however? not so much. Blegh. I could see and taste how much butter was there, and it coated my tongue in that gross, greasy way. Hey – I LOVE butter – but this was just ridiculous. Butter is not a flavor meant to stand alone as a soup, k? Add some roux to this and tighten it up, lower the butter content… the corn was the highlight of this dish, plump, sweet, tender, fresh. Everything else was gritty, blah, why is there seaweed in my soup? and I SEE the bacon, but I certainly don’t taste anything but boiled pork, if that. PASS. For the love of all good chowders, PASS ON THIS ONE.
The fish sandwich. I probably shouldn’t have ordered it, since I noticed there was no line, but tons of pre-made sandwiches lined up under heatlamps, just waiting for people to order and consume them. But I wanted to try it, and the lobster roll, well, it’s not quite lobster season yet, and I just didn’t feel like laying down $17 at that moment for a lobster roll. Especially if it was sitting, pre-made, under heatlamps. Not cool.
Mmm. Tartar sauce… not really. Looks just like mayo and tasted like nothing.
If I sound incredibly negative, it’s because this tasted like crap. Dry fish, sure there’s a lot of crisp breading in there, but flavor should also be in there and it wasn’t. Not even a limp lettuce leaf or a tomato or how about some FLAVOR?
The real kicker was that this meal put me out of commission for nearly 4 days. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t eat because I felt like I had rocks in my stomach (the butter/grease/oil really killed it for me), I felt no large amount of pain, just discomfort from being unable to eat, just this constantly full feeling like I’d just eaten. I stopped eating for 3 days until I said “I know I don’t FEEL hungry, but I know I MUST need food!” and started eating again. Horrible. (And yes, I lost 5 pounds easily from not eating, but I forced myself to gain it back because I didn’t feel right losing that much weight the unhealthy way – by not eating.)
FOR THE LOVE OF GOOD FOOD, DO NOT EAT AT CATCH OF THE DAY. It is horrible food, and I got sick. Maybe you won’t. And if you want to risk it, by all means, be my guest. I’m just relaying my personal experience.
BF, as anyone who reads this blog with regularity, doesn’t eat fish (yes, I’ve downgraded from saying he doesn’t like seafood!), and tried to wait on the Shake Shack line but got annoyed quickly, so he walked to Nonna Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza. I think that’s just what the sign says, pretty sure it’s Toscarino’s or whatever which has locations all over the park.
BF commented truthfully that though the pizza prices were a bit ridiculous, the pasta prices – and even the hero prices – weren’t that outrageous, considering to get penna alla vodka or lasagna at his favorite neighborhood places, the price would surely run you over $12 a plate. Though we didn’t order any this time, I’m curious to see how big the portions are and, more importantly, how it tastes. But let’s stick to pizza first; if they can get that right, well… (although to be honest, I’d feel more confident serving my penne alla not-vodka to people than any pizza I make…)
The pizza is sitting out under heatlamps as well.
BF was starving so he took a bite before I could take a photo.
And to get this photo, I received snarls. Anyway, he thought it was OK but nothing wonderful. Look how thick it is! I took a nibble and found the sauce oversweet, the crust way too thick, the cheese blah. This is the kind of pizza that makes me avoid pizza. Oh – this was one of the grandma style slices – not the regular slices since these looked a bit better. I don’t think BF will be returning for pizza anytime soon, though I have seen him eat pizza that we both knew wasn’t going to be good just because he felt like eating pizza. Yeah, I’m not like that – I’ll only eat something I know won’t be “good” if it’s something I like or something I crave because I remember it from eating it as a kid (like boxed mac & cheese, or some of the instant foods I still eat occasionally – it’s not like it’s wonderful but I like it, partially because it’s good to me, and partially because I ate it as a kid).
To end the night, as BF and I headed back to our seats in time to watch our entire team fail us big time, we stopped by the Mama’s of Corona stand directly behind our seats. I was surprised to see there was no line – and continue to be surprised that there hasn’t been much of a line at all at each game I’ve been to now – PEOPLE YOU HAVE TO GO TO MAMA’S OF CORONA SO THEY CAN CONTINUE TO EXIST THERE!!! PROMENADE!!! GO GO GO!!! – but of course this just meant that we could run up, order and get our cannoli and run to our seats. BF loves cannolis (take the cannoli. leave the gun – is something that he has hammered into my head so many times) and even more, loves chocolate covered ones. Quote: “Most places don’t do it right. They use the wrong kind of chocolate and the shell gets all soggy and it’s not crisp and just, not good.”
However, he was really delighted with this cannoli, though he did say, “Enough with the blue & orange, we get it, we’re Mets fans, ok,” but he’s also not a fan of extraneous anything (he doesn’t like toppings on his burgers, srsly!). He scarfed this down and liked it so much that he’s been back for another cannoli every game that we’ve been so far.
Next game – April 19 v. the Brewers, BF really wanted Shake Shack. But practical me said, “You should probably eat something before the game and we can go to Shake Shack around the 4th or 5th inning. I want to be at our seats for first pitch, and to take a picture of DW’s first at bat of the game (granted, he’s been doing poorly lately… and I refuse to cheer for him when he comes to the plate until he stops SUCKING… but I still want my picture).” So BF decided to grab food from the stand behind our seats, even though I was making horrid faces at him. Hey, I eat breakfast in the mornings, there’s no way I can wait until 1pm to eat when I’m usually up around 8 or 9 (to go to the gym).
And look how boring all the food is. AND the calories are listed. I don’t want to know. The calorie counts forced my hand and I wound up requesting just a simple hot dog. Yes, I was still not feeling well from a few days prior, the fish sandwich and chowder, but I still need to eat.
BF got his flat, plain burger. He said it was okay, and there’s no bisection shot because he was super hungry and grumpy that I even wanted this picture. He doesn’t think there’s a market of people who want to see what I’ve eaten and what can be eaten at Citi Field. PROVE HIM WRONG, PEOPLE! I know you care, because that recent post about Citi Field was one of my most popular posts in the past 2 months! 🙂
However, later that night, he got really, really, really sick – worse than I did, violently ill and I’ll spare you the details, but GROSS! and he blamed the burger. He had to, because that was the only thing that only he ate.
The fries; very standard Nathan’s fries, but nice that it was Nathan’s quality, not ballpark crap that they slapped Nathan’s name on. Crisp, freshly fried, hot, and perfectly Nathan-standard.
Onion rings were also very good, crispy, standard Nathan’s fare, in a good way.
And my naked, sad looking hot dog. Okay, it was a suitable hot dog, and I was fine with my choice (and amused that my boyfriend apparently thinks I eat my hot dogs plain, when the truth could not be further – I like relish, mustard and ketchup…), but it didn’t wow me. The snap was fine, the juice and salt were all… fine. Not fabulous and not horrible. (I took some of the ketchup from his fries and put it on my hot dog.)
BF went to grab another chocolate covered cannoli from Mama’s, but they had run out so he grabbed a tiramisu for me and a chocolate pudding for him. We wound up sharing the chocolate pudding, which was actually surprisingly fantastic. I’m not a dessert person, but it wasn’t too sweet for me nor too bitter for him, and the creaminess was cut by bits of chocolate cake within that had been soaked in something (chocolate liqueur maybe?). It was good.
And… knowing how damn picky I am about tiramisu, this was, hands down, one of the best tiramisus I’ve ever had. I could only eat 2-3 bites before I felt sick (remember, my stomach wasn’t quite fully recovered at this point), but it was damn good. Sigh.
The most recent game at Citi Field we attended, April 26 vs. the Nationals (HUMILIATING DEFEAT ZOMG), BF decided to not even attempt Shake Shack – though we WILL go this season, OBVIOUSLY! – and got himself a bagel from a place near my apartment instead. But I opted to troop on and get more ballpark food – yes, my wallet is hating me right now, but I do it in the name of the blog! – and went for something I could compare to its previous incarnation: the Mama’s special sandwich.
They were pre-made so the ordering & payment process was very quick, even with 3 or 4 people ahead of us on line. I quickly received my sandwich and headed to our seats. It looks even bigger than I remember! In fact, it must be. You’ll see why.
Fresh mozzarella, salami, I don’t remember what’s on it. I just remember it’s good.
And seriously, it was huge. Just one half didn’t fit in my hand, and – I am ashamed to admit this, because it hasn’t happened to me in a long time, and considering this was probably my first meal that day – well, I couldn’t finish it. I think I hate half, then half of the other half, and I was done. With the roasted red peppers and the mushrooms, completely transcendent, I love Mama’s and will go to the original store location soon (now that I have BF on board, it’ll be even easier, I’m sure).
(And yes, BF had a cannoli, but he said – and I agree – “You took a picture already, do you need another one of the same thing? Can’t you just tell them I had another one?” as he inhaled it. lol.)
Yvo says: Some misses, some hits, still finding my bearing around the stadium. I really want to try the taqueria and Blue Smoke, and of course Shake Shack, but the lines have been just impossible to wait that long, it’s windy, and I’m grumpy from being hungry or BF is grumpy from being hungry… we need to get there an hour early this coming Sunday I think. I will report back with more food news, but here’s the basic gist so far:
Catch of the Day: keep walking! there’s a reason there’s no line
Toscarino’s/pizza (various locations around the stadium): meh pizza, maybe the pastas are good – anyone?
Burgers & Fries (various locations around the stadium): if you want standard ballpark fare, this is where you want to go
Mama’s of Corona: was there a doubt? not really, but so far, not one miss here… everything’s been good, yum! take the cannoli! (leave the gun)
Citi Field, all over