I’ll be on ESPN 710 in LA at 1:12 pm PDT today, and on Mike & Mike tomorrow morning at 9:25 am EDT. I posted a piece on five interesting prospects recalled on Tuesday. I also appeared on AllNight on ESPN Radio last night.
I am not impressed by the food at Yankee Stadium. You build a $1 billion ballpark in the greatest eating city in the country – at taxpayer expense, of course – and you put in Johnny Rockets and Nathan’s and Famiglia Pizza? There’s virtually nothing local. The breadth of cuisines represented in the city where you can find food from any country where they eat food is dismal. And I only found one item there there I’d actually recommend*, the steamed dumplings at the noodle bar in the third base food court. They were superb, not heavy, not over-gingered (I like ginger, but a lot of restaurants go a little berserk in the dumplings), and steamed perfectly. You get four for $6, which wasn’t quite enough for lunch, but two servings would have been overkill.
*Okay, I lied, they have Carvel, which, for those of you outside the northeast, is frozen custard that rivals anything I’ve had in Wisconsin. It’s overpriced, and you can get it just as easily outside the Stadium, but yes, I had some, and you probably should too.
I went to the Lobel’s stand for a $15 steak sandwich, which seems to be the consensus “best food item in Yankee Stadium.” I don’t really have a problem with paying $15 for good beef; beef is expensive, and it should be, because cheap beef is nasty to eat, bad for the environment, and really bad for the cows*. But this sandwich was boring as hell – the steak had absolutely no flavor of its own, it was drowned in some undefined sauce, and, worst of all, it was tough. I’m no aficionado of steak, but one thing I know is that good steak should not be tough. Either it wasn’t cooked right, or it wasn’t carved right, not that I could tell under the tsunami of brown stuff on top.
* Okay, beef production in general is bad for cows. Just go with it.
That’s the good and the bad; here’s the ugly. Zeppole are the Italian version of fried dough – thick blobs of yeast-raised dough deep-fried until crispy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside, and then doused with powdered sugar. If you grew up in New York and ever went to an Italian feast, you probably love them as I do. What they serve at Yankee Stadium and call zeppole should get the concessions people arrested. They’re tiny, tasteless, and, worst of all, fried before the game. It’s a ballpark. You have deep fryers at full blast all around the place. You can’t fry a few zeppole to order? If they’re not going to do it right, they should just take it off the menu entirely.
I did have one meal in Manhattan on this trip, breakfast at Good Enough to Eat at 83rd and Amsterdam, recommended by a few readers, including a couple of NYC sportswriters. I asked the girl behind the bar what I should get, and she suggested the four-grain blueberry pancakes, which sounded good since 1) I like pancakes 2) I like blueberries 3) “four grain” makes it sound all healthy-like. They were fine, nothing special, and including a few stray blackberries, which I’m assuming was an accident rather than a gift from a Keith Law fanboy in the kitchen. The pancakes themselves had a faint cardboard-y taste of whole wheat – common, but avoidable – and they were a little overdone and dry, and probably shouldn’t have left the kitchen like that, although it takes a lot more to get me to send a dish back and waste the food.