The heat lamps, hot dog bins, and Shake Shack Miraclean grills are all in place, and the long-awaited Citi Field is a go. This weekend’s Mets vs. Red Sox exhibition games will be a trial-by-fire for every swanky new full service stadium club in the place, as well as every lowly hot dog kiosk, popcorn cart, and concession stand. In order to prepare for the crowds, hundreds of foodservice workers are literally stocking the shelves and cooking things around the clock. (Not all concession stands were open during Sunday's dress rehearsal.)
A press conference was held today at noon to unveil the new food concepts for the stadium. “I’m shaking right now,” said Shake Shack impresario Danny Meyer, “I’m so thrilled.” Meyer’s excitement was matched by Drew Nieporent’s unabashed love for the Mets, and also by Long Island native Dave Pasternack’s modest guarantee about the “Bayside Fries” he’ll sell at his seafood spot called Catch of the Day (they’re called “Crab Fries” on the placard menu). “They will become legendary in this building,” Pasternack said, noting that his special recipe involves Old Bay seasoning, smoked sea salt, and cheddar dipping sauce on the side. Danny Meyer countered that Union Square Hospitality Group’s Belgian fry concept Box Frites will “give Dave Pasternack’s Bayside Fries a run for their money.”
The crowd was infomed that the stadium food will retail for “6% less” than previous years and foodservice provider Aramark will endeavor to source sustainable food and provide eco-friendly packaging. But other questions linger: Will sushi and baseball mix? Do ballgame goers want chipotle chicken wings with their Jock Jams? Time will tell. Meanwhile, here is a first look at the Citi Field and its various food destinations.