This post is going to physically hurt me to write this. Not because of the sunburn I received while sitting in left field by the foul post, not because I stupidly forgot to take a photo of the outside of Yankee Stadium (although, to be honest, there didn’t seem to be a good angle at which to take the photo – Citi Field, as soon as you come off the train station, there it looms large in front of you and everyone takes this photo – besides, the new stadium looks almost exactly like the old one… all concrete…), but because I was at the June 14th game. Yes, the finale in the three-game-inaugural-Subway-Series-at-Yankee-Stadium.
After a shocking loss on Friday (I was at a bar with HB, watching, and I’m pretty sure the look on my face was just pure horror), a great win on Saturday, the series was split at one game apiece and I wanted the Mets to win, badly. I mean, I’m sure all Mets fans wanted the Mets to win, but BF & I were heading to the game with HB & her BF, who are both Yankees fans. In fact, I’ve gone to a Yankees game with HB every season since 2003 or 2002 – usually hitting up the Mariners vs. Yankees (for a little bit, I used to really like the Mariners, calling them my American League team, but it’s hard following a team that’s not in your city unless you want to shell out for those MLB Extra Innings channels, and at the time, I wasn’t as keen on watching all the games as I am now) because tickets were way easier to score than Subway Series tickets. HB & her BF have a similar ticket plan to BF & I (they got theirs a few years ago), though obviously for the Yankees, and theirs is on Saturdays.
(Total tangent related to these ticket plans: it STILL annoys me that last year, my Sunday ticket plan included all 13 Sunday games, but this year, our Sunday ticket plan is only 10 Sunday home games, and 5 weekday games. The Yankees also changed their ticket plans but the Saturday plan is all 13 Saturday games plus only 2 weekday games. So much more manageable! I would even take 5 weekday games if they’d give me all 13 Sunday games – as it is, we’re missing out on the Father’s Day game [picnic blanket day!], the last game of the year [!!!], and I’m not sure what the third game they took from us is. ALSO – while I’m at it – what the heck?! Mets ticket plan/season ticket holders are NOT given priority to purchase extra tickets to Subway Series games before the general public lottery, but Yankees ticket plan/season ticket holders are! That’s SO unfair!!!)
As I was saying, it physically hurts to write this post, because if you’re a baseball fan at all, you probably heard about the outcome. Because it was baaad. And I mean massacre. Massacre people. I don’t use that word lightly. WE WERE MASSACRED. Our STAR pitcher gave up NINE runs. Forget that! Doesn’t the final score speak for itself?! 15-0. FIFTEEN ZERO!!! Who plays like that?! WHO?!
Ahem, ahem, ahem. I should be over it by the time this post airs. Ahem. (I actually currently have a sore throat and have been actually clearing my throat a lot, but that’s a story for another day.)
HB & her BF were kind enough to invite BF & I to the game as their guests. I asked her ahead of time about the policy on bringing in your own drinks (I like to drink bottled green tea – Lipton Pure Leaf [no, I’m not obligated to say that!] or Arizona if Lipton isn’t available), and she said she always brings in her own bottle of water, no problem.
I was passing through security, holding a bottle of Arizona green tea that I’d literally JUST opened and taken a sip of when the security guard pointed at me and said I had to throw it away because it was open. I don’t bother arguing with people because to me, there’s no point (and it was $1; instead of causing a ruckus and being ejected from the game, come on… just go with it and move on). So I threw it away.
And later when I met up with HB, she was holding her bottle of water. I asked her if it was open before she came into the stadium and she said yes. I told her what happened and we decided it was because I was wearing a (pink) Mets hat and (pink) Mets jersey. Boo on you, Mr. Security Guard!!!
Now, onwards to the food, enough of my picture-less babbling 🙂
As soon as we walked into the stadium, I saw Brother Jimmy’s BBQ. I’ve never had Brother Jimmy’s (which I know is in various locations all over Manhattan), and I didn’t have interest in trying the BBQ there either – I don’t know, probably because I’ve never heard particular raves about the food there. Actually, I always likened it to Dallas BBQ because that’s how people talk about Brother Jimmy’s – like a chain that is good for what it is, but nothing to go out of your way to sample – although I also thought of it as a bar because someone told me it’s a frat boy hangout. I don’t know! But I DID want to try ONE THING there… that since the first time I heard of its existence, I WANT I WANT I WANT
Frickles, or fried pickles. Look how gloriously crunchy they look! I’d been worried about that since a few reviews had said they were soggy messes at Yankee Stadium, while others proclaimed the crispy sour tang glory that they were. Mmm.
…and it was good. Crunchy on the outside, crunch on the inside yielding with a slight burst of pickle juice sourness, mmm. The dipping sauce added a bit more flavor (I would sprinkle a little bit of salt on the frickles as they come out of the fryer, but that’s just me, perhaps?), but overall, these were pretty damn awesome. BF even tried one then kept eating them, which surprised me, because I hadn’t thought “fried pickle” as a dish name would appeal to him. That boy doesn’t cease to surprise me 🙂 Crunchy goodness for sure!
HOWEVER. That first pic above was my entire serving, and it cost $8. I’m sorry, but $8 for 8-10 slices of deep fried pickle is SO NOT WORTH it. I will totally be trying to make these at home (I know, be careful of spatter because liquid + hot oil = disaster). But it won’t cost me no damn $8!!! Come ON!
Oh, right next to that particular BBQ stand we went to was the Lobel’s window, where you can watch a guy trimming and cutting steaks. Some of these go to the expensive steakhouse somewhere in the stadium (I don’t know why we got to the stadium an hour early and didn’t wander around more?), and some go to the Lobel’s Sandwich Stands. You’ll hear more about that later 🙂
My next stop was GARLIC FRIES!!! Now, I’ve been to San Francisco (though not to the stadium there) and eaten garlic fries before. The really good kind. The kind San Francisco is known for, so I’m not really sure why they decided to put them in Yankee Stadium, but, y’know, whatever, right?
The picture above is of the large size, $9, and we were able to split it among four people. The first fry I snagged was crispy, garlicky, delicious.
It went downhill from there. The center fries were totally soggy and bogged down with a wet garlic/butter mixture, which overwhelmed the palate. I mean – yum for the garlic and the concept – but the actual practice just didn’t work. HB (or was is SpB?) pointed out to me that because they have regular fries at the same stand, the fries probably are all ‘naked’ and then garlic/butter mixture dumped on top when you order the fries. Not a good combination! (I’m pretty sure the garlic fries in SF are deep fried with whole cloves of garlic or something, or tossed with garlic butter then toasted? refried? I don’t know, but they are crispy AND garlicky, and DELICIOUS!) BF actually said, “They’re ok, but COLD, what’s up with that?” which disappointed both of us (we’ve both been to SF countless times now and have had many renditions of garlic fries, separately and together). Boo FAIL.
As the slaughter began – the Yankees hitting and the Mets hitting – right into gloves! – HB and I wandered downstairs for a steak sandwich from the cart right next to the Lobel’s window. Look at the guy slicing it up right there, then dumping it into a vat of au jus (directly to his left) so the next person in the assembly line could scoop it onto waiting onion rolls.
A well oiled assembly line – the line moved very quickly. Good thing, too.
Don’t forget your condiments – horseradish and chopped up olives!
These sandwiches run $15 a piece. You read that right: I paid $15 for the above sandwich. I haven’t even gotten the $17 lobster roll from Citi Field yet (and probably will not…)! Whatever, I don’t plan on going back to Yankee Stadium this season in all likelihood, and this was one of the things people kept saying was AWESOME at the stadium.
After I took this photo, I had to put my camera away, because the sandwich was super messy and drippy. But. I have to admit, that was damn good steak in between the slices of onion roll. As a sandwich – ehhh, I could do without the bread and be happy eating the steak by itself (which I did with half of the sandwich I bought BF, because he was full and didn’t want it and I wasn’t leaving half of a $15 sandwich underneath our seats, nuh-uh!). As it was, though, it was pretty damn tasty and delicious, and adding a bit of horseradish and olive puree gave the sandwich that bit more oomph it needed. I was really happy with the sandwich, although I did think the price was a little ridiculous for ballpark fare. I have to say it was pretty damn good though. (I later took the steak slices out from the half sandwich and slapped them on top of some lettuce for a steak salad. Was good, though the steak by itself needed a little more seasoning. Guess they ease up on the salt a bit?)
To finish off my 3,000 calorie day (I ate breakfast before we went, and I had a large Miller Lite and a small one later – do they have a specialty beer at Yankee Stadium? just wondering!), and to ease the pain and suffering of a 15-0 loss, HB bought me ice cream… so I could add to my little hat collection (though you can’t exactly tell, that cup is navy blue with the Yankees logo on the front… if you flip it over, it’s a Yankees hat!). Ummm, where are my sprinkles? Why did I not get as many sprinkles as Blondie did?! Whatever… it soothed me. A little bit. (Also, they appear to be VERY generous with the ice cream here… at Citi Field I got like half as much ice cream! Good for my waist, but at the same price, my wallet is angry!)
Then BF & I went home to nap. Sitting in the sun is draining. Watching your team lose 15-0 is exhausting. (Actually, I went to the gym while he napped, because I’m kind of crazy like that.)
Hey, look! It’s Mr. Met!
Yvo says: I’m refraining from comparing Yankee Stadium to Citi Field for a myriad of reasons – some include “it’s been done before” “I don’t need to say it” “home field advantage, obviously” etc. etc. etc. – but also because they’re two very different ballparks. Having said that, I am not a fan of the giant concrete exterior – it seems so cold and forbidding, but I suppose that’s part & parcel of the team’s image as well. It looks much like the old stadium, with interior differences of course. As for the food, while there are definitely some delicious offerings here, the prices really make me cringe. Hard. It’s nice that they’ve expanded their food base – there’s a Johnny Rockets, Boar’s Head “Deli” and more, and of course your regular hot dogs, burgers, fries, etc. – but nothing really stands out as a “eattttttt meeeeeee” beyond what I tried.
Hey, if you’re a Yankees fan, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the additional food places. If not, I wouldn’t say you should definitely go out of your way to try these things, though they are definitely worth a try.