No matter where it’s held, the annual Major League Baseball All-Star game is almost as much of a culinary event as it is a sporting event. Each year, vendors at the home field does their best to woo attendees with specialty dining options.
This year the game will be held on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field, and the Mets franchise is eager to impress fans with their food.
We attended an exclusive media tasting hosted by the Mets and their food and beverage partner ARAMARK to sample this year’s All-Star Game menu. With dishes from Pat LaFrieda of the famed LaFrieda Meat Purveyors and Dave Pasternack, head chef at Esca and culinary partner of Mario Batali, it’s a sure bet that game-goers will leave satisfied no matter who wins.
Chef Robert Flowers, executive chef for ARAMARK at Citi Field, spent the off-season crafting a meatball hero just for the All-Star Game. His delicious take on the ballpark classic features his family's 300-year-old Italian gravy recipe from Sicily.
I got up close and personal with the hero, which is made with a blend of LaFrieda Meats' ground beef, pork and veal and is served on one of the best sesame rolls I've ever tasted. It's topped with fresh buffalo mozzarella and fried basil.
Mama's of Corona crafted special Mets-themed cannolis just for the All-Star game. They taste even better than they look.
The 80-year-old Queens deli and bakery is family-run, and these amazing ladies live in an apartment right above it.
But there's more to the menu than pizza and heroes. I tried a shrimp-topped roll from Daruma Sushi. The rice wasn't too mushy or too firm, and the fish eggs added just the right amount of flavour.
The Delta Sky360 Lounge, one of Citi Field's many clubs, topped Nathan's Classic Hot Dogs with spicy mustard and pastrami to create culinary magic.
The Citi Field Promenade Club offered loaded tater tots, which come topped with bacon, melted cheddar and chives.
Finally, I made my way to Pat LaFrieda's Chop House stand to get my hands on some famous LaFrieda meat. The Colorado Frenched lamb chops were beautifully presented...
Pat LaFrieda Jr., CEO of LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, told me that his personal favourite is his Grandfather's Sweet Italian Sausage Sandwich.
Mets fans will be able to get Pat LaFrieda's Original Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich, a sizable and savory sandwich, at every game this season, not just at the All-Star game.
For suite ticketholders, Chef Flowers created the thyme-seared Long Island striped bass garnished with lemon and a delicate vinaigrette.
They can also enjoy this steaming hot, pancetta-topped macaroni and cheese dish (pancetta is Italian bacon).
Citi Field Chef Terrence Cave created a gourmet selection of miniature cupcakes for Citi Field, including this lavender-blueberry confection.
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