Citi Field – Keith’s Grill
As I mentioned last time, I’ve eaten most of the food at the park that I deem interesting. However, new things do pop up from time to time, and since I’ve been hearing about Keith’s Grill – named after Keith Hernandez – said to offer burgers the way Keith himself likes them – I knew what I had to do.
So one gorgeous afternoon when the Mets were playing the Angels - these are not my normal seats, no, my darling mother-in-law’s friend offered BF and I tickets to these seats, and I took this picture to show how close I was to 3rd base… sadly, David Wright was already on the DL, and I’m not sure when I’ll again sit so close to his position, wahhh. And they lost terribly that day… plus Howie Kendrick lost control of his bat, and it went flying into the stands heading straight for me. It hit a little girl a few rows ahead of me, but we were on TV briefly because of it. She was fine, and got to keep the bat – and a Mets representative in a suit showed up moments later to ask her for her contact info, presumably to offer her consolation items later. Maybe tickets to another game later.
In between innings, I walked over to Keith’s Grill.
There are only two things on the menu – the Gold Glove Burger and the Mex Burger. Both are $10. There are no fries, no hot dogs, nothing else on the menu. And please note that BF wanted to try this stand almost as much as I did, but when I said “Isn’t there too much stuff on the burger for you?” he agreed, then said he’d give it a try… but then decided against it when he saw his friend was ordering a plain burger. Boo – if he’d gotten the Gold Glove, I’d have gotten the Mex Burger and gotten to try both! Instead, they both opted just for bacon cheeseburgers, which costs the same as the Gold Glove or Mex Burger – $10. Granted, this is a specialty stand, and you should go here for specialty burgers, or walk down three stands to the Brooklyn Burger stand… but still! $10?! Ridiculous.
Because they only make two types of burgers, it’s pretty assembly line – one guy makes up the buns and stacks on the toppings for whatever burger you ordered, and then plops them in a tray for the guy to slide your cooked patty on top.
While I was taking these pictures, the guy manning the grill kept telling me that “That’s without the burgers!” I guess he was worried I would pick up the tray and walk off without my meat? It was funny.
Also, note that my burger has bacon on it, even though the Gold Glove doesn’t normally have bacon on it. There was a mix up and when the guy asked if we wanted bacon, I just told him to put it on all of them. Oh well.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to eat the burger until about 45 minutes later, so while I enjoyed the burger and thought it was tasty enough – just not $10 tasty – I thought it could have been better. I decided I had to try again… to give it a fair shake.
The next time I went was easily the busiest I’ve ever seen the stadium this season. I’m not entirely sure if it was because it was Jose Reyes’ return to the Mets off the DL, or if it was because it was BOBBLEHEAD DAY – or BOTH! – but the stadium was somewhat packed. I went early for a bobblehead and then dutifully waited on line for my burgers.
As I waited, I noticed these gorgeous wall decorations above the stand, to the left.
A really nice gift for me would be a huge poster of David Wright with his tongue out, hitting the ball… ahem…
See the bobblehead? Beer Boor wound up wanting to try the burger as well, so we decided to split both. Unfortunately, due to some mishap behind the stand, the Golden Glove burger was ready first and we spent time waiting for the second one to come out.
The Mex burger, with jalapenos, guacamole, bacon, pepperjack cheese AND cheddar…
and the Gold Glove burger, again. Oh yeah – both burgers come with some potato chips and a Tootsie Roll pop.
I started with the Mex burger. Please note that somehow, I managed to get two tops for my burger, no bottom bun. Fluffy, but too much bread for me. The flavor of everything was lost – I barely had any heat from the cheese (I moved the fresh jalapenos off my side of the burger), and while the bread was soft, just too much of it. Maybe because I got two tops?
On the other hand, the Gold Glove burger had lots going on in terms of flavor, but the bread was stale. Rock hard and difficult to bite through easily. It’s the same bread (technically), but was the lag time while I waited enough to make it stale? No, I’d gather this bread was prepped too far in advance (they prep trays of grilled buns, chips and lollipops ahead of time, and then dress them with the appropriate toppings as needed; the prepped trays are stacked up in the back), and became super stale and hard. Should have been thrown away.
Oddly, Beer Boor had the opposite opinion, much preferring the soft, fluffy bread and taste of the Mex burger to the Gold Glove. I gather that consistency is the biggest issue here: our burgers may have been topped unevenly, leading to me having more topping on my side of the Gold Glove, and vice versa for him. Obviously, having two top buns (or bottoms, as someone must’ve had) is a (small) problem as well… but the stale bun is one of the more egregious mistakes here. That is something that really needs to be QC checked for… it can totally ruin an entire burger!
I’m hoping that as time goes on and the stand becomes more popular (it hasn’t been particularly busy the few times I’ve been, though this time there grew a line behind us – partially because it moves slow, and partially because people walking by actually commented “this line is long, it must be good!”), they work out all the kinks and figure out how to deliver this product the way it’s intended to be eaten. I think it has a lot of potential that just isn’t being realized for now.
Just… like… the… Mets…
This was our view this time around. Not bad – fair territory. An interesting angle to watch the game from.
And as we exited, I was still surprised by how busy it was – a sea of red brake lights! – that I had to snap a photo that didn’t really capture that point. Ah well.
Let’s go Mets!!!
Final conclusion: the burger is good, but I don’t know if it’s $10 good.