Pinstripe Stretch Marks: 2018 Yankee Stadium Food Tour
Expectations of greatness seem to follow the New York Yankees onto the field every year—and this season, those same expectations follow the culinary creative team running the stadium’s concession stands. And just like in years past, that team delivered a grand slam for stadium-goers looking for more than peanuts and Cracker Jacks at the ballgame.
Though the Yankees’ crosstown rivals offer amazing grub of their own, what sets the Bronx team apart is the sheer enormity of it all. The Yankees’ food braintrust makes eating stadium grub into an event all its own, with an attention to gluttonous detail that will leave you awestruck.
Here’s a lineup of some of the best in food at Yankee Stadium—with new additions and tried-and-true favorites.
Without a doubt the most highbrow taquito you are ever going to eat. The Yankees’ Hand-rolled Taquitos, available in section 127, are served in a plastic cup emblazoned with the Bronx Bombers’ logo and sit in a luxurious pool of chili con queso and pico de gallo for warm, cheesy, spicy dipping. You can order either black bean or chicken, but the best option is to go with both. The black bean is deep and flavorful, while the braised bird packs the extra protein punch needed for a long day at the ballpark.
Loaded Tater Kegs
Tater tots are a long-favored potato treat from the freezer. Tater Kegs are those same tots injected with a dose of food-driven insanity. Mammoth, crispy and served on a stick, Tater Kegs are what tater tots aspire to be when they grow up. These jumbo potato bombs are adorned with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon bits and scallions, with those same ingredients jammed inside for maximum flavor. You can’t get these unless you buy into the MasterPass Batter’s Eye Deck, a minor inconvenience, but the ballpark is not the place for food frugality.
Crispy Bacon Cheeseburger Dumplings
Sometimes a burger is just a burger—and other times a burger is a completely different kind of experience all together. The Noodle Bowl Stand, in section 127, delivers a wonton twist on the traditional cheeseburger with the utterly genius idea of ground beef, bacon and cheese wrapped in a dumpling and fried. Served with Thousand Island dressing and stadium-made pickle, the crispy dumplings are one of the Yankees’ best bites—and the perfect vehicle for elevating the reliable—but a bit overplayed—ballgame burger experience.
Adobo Bao Buns
Yankee Stadium’s Toyota Terrace pays much more attention to food than a reliable means of transportation and thankfully so, as it offers a selection of steamed buns with savory fillings. A new addition to the lineup this season is the Adobo Bao. A family recipe straight from one of the stadium’s chefs, the Adobo Bao features Filipino-style pulled chicken thigh meat and garlic aioli, topped with crispy pork cracklins. Without a doubt, this is a bite that food-focused baseball fans must seek out. The use of chicken thigh is a stroke of brilliance, as that cut packs in so much more flavor than others, while the steamed bun is pure comfort—like a warm hug for your belly. And cracklins prove to be a welcomed addition, bringing some texture along with a pork essence that, let’s be honest, should be a topping for a lot more of life’s bites.
Pork sausage, bursting with fat and a come-hither aroma, is as enticing as it is delicious—unfortunately the nutritional baggage causes many to skip the sausage for other options. But the Bareburger concession, in section 132, provides the missing link for those that crave the seductive succulence of pork. Beyond Sausage is a vegan sausage topped with pickled jalapeños and caramelized onions served on a pretzel bun. Before you scoff at the idea of a vegan sausage, understand that as a proponent of all things pork, I was highly skeptical of this food product—but it is the real deal. The sausage flavor comes through and I guarantee that if you were to put this item in the face of a sausage fanatic without telling them it was vegan, they would rip into it and scarf it down and quickly ask for another. It must be tried to be believed.
Sweet Pineapple BBQ Kalua Pork Sandwich
Those soft and sweet King’s Hawaiian buns can be found at countless supermarkets, but a King’s Hawaiian concession stand is only seen locally at Yankee Stadium. Along with a Lava Crispy Chicken sandwich, burnt ends and pork nachos, King’s Hawaiian, in sections 105 and 334, gifts stadium-goers with a pulled pork BBQ sandwich. Draped with Shoyu red cabbage slaw (shoyu is the fancy Japanese word for soy sauce), the pulled pork is pineapple-tinged, spicy and downright delightful. Of course, it sits on that pillowy soft King’s Hawaiian bun, that brings just enough sweetness to the savory party.
Rotisserie Chicken & Steak Stand
Wafting robust aromas throughout the various levels of the ballpark, the Rotisserie Chicken & Steak Stand, in section 105, is a meat-eaters haven and should be the first stop for any fan who wants a rib-sticking pre-game—or in-game—meal. The organic rotisserie chickens spin constantly, creating taut skin and juicy-beyond belief flesh—all served in halves over a bed of thin-cut shoestring fries. And the steak is a 10-ounce charbroiled flatiron steak, also served over those same fries. Getting steak of this quality in a ballpark is unheard of—but here it is, in all of it’s perfectly cooked glory. As you stand hunched over your chicken or steak meal, moaning with grease-covered ecstacy, expect plenty of gawking onlookers. But don’t fret, they are suffering from meat envy.
Stadium Grand Slam Shakes
After all of that savoriness, the only way to truly cap things off is with an enormous, ridiculously festooned shake. In section 125, this stand serves four varieties of shakes: Pinstripe, a vanilla shake with a caramel drizzle topped with Cracker Jacks, cotton candy and a churro; Chocolate All-Star, a chocolate shake with crushed Oreos, M&Ms, fudge brownie and a chocolate chip cookie; Celebration, a vanilla shake with birthday cake frosting and Funfetti vanilla cupcakes; and Smore’s, a chocolate shake with graham cracker dust, candy-coated pretzels and toasted marshmallows. Polishing off one of these nuclear desserts will most assuredly alter the remainder of the game. Best to find a quiet corridor in the stadium’s cavernous halls to sleep it off and allow time for your body to adjust to its new reality.
Other classic concessions include Jersey Mike’s, Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Lobel’s, Yankee Dingers burger sliders at the Frank’s RedHot Terrace, Papa John’s Pizza, Ben & Jerry’s, Nathan’s Famous, Bacon on a Stick and more.