Walking in and seeing the spread the Mets had set up for the New foe 2018 event at Citi Field on Thursday gave us a collective, “Is this heaven?” Field of Dreams-type of moment.
The best fans in baseball deserve the best food in baseball, and since moving into Citi Field, the Mets have knocked it out of the park in that regard. Whatever fans desire is available at the stadium, and it’s sure to be damn good.
Tim Reilly and Nick Giacone ranked their five favorites from the new items available:
5) Papa Rosso - Orange Creamsicle
This was easily the most refreshing thing I ate. I gotta say, it was a little weird staring out at a snow-covered Citi Field while eating an Italian ice. But this should be your go-to option on a hot summer night at the ballpark.
4) Nicoletta - Italian Cheese balls with pepperoni
Think of a pizza roll made with real, high-quality ingredients. My only complaint is that they aren’t available in the freezer section of my local grocery store. I need these snacks on hand at all times.
Nicoletta pepperoni balls are 👌 pic.twitter.com/9FfNbGXegu— Tim Reilly (@LifeOfaReilly) March 22, 2018
3) Pat LaFrieda’s - Chop House Burger
Shake Shack gets all the hype in terms of burgers at Citi Field, and I’m not saying it doesn't deserve praise. But why wait in that obnoxious line that has you missing half the game when Pat LaFrieda’s is available? The meat in this burger is second to none.
2) Arancini Bros - Chicken Parm Bites
These are served in an egg carton, which I actually enjoyed for the convenient storage it provides and ensures safe transportation back to a seat. The problem is they might not actually make it to my seat because they’re that good.
1) Fuku - Spicy Chicken Sandwich
This item technically isn't new, butI was sold from the first bite I took of one September. Thursday was just solidification that this spicy chicken sandwich is indeed my favorite food option available at Citi Field, and my favorite chicken sandwich period.
5) - Blue Smoke - Beer Braised Po’ Boy
This is the perfect beer-drinking food. The pulled chicken is braised in beer and then packed into sandwich bread that is brought in from New Orleans to give it that authentic po’ boy taste. Add american cheese and pickles and you’re ready to compliment your favorite ballpark beer. After a few of these, Darren might consider making a “Send the Po’ Boy” shirt.
4) Dō - 7th Inning Stretch (Cookie Dough)
The best dessert food I had today. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks are timeless ballpark snacks, but when you give them the cookie dough treatment, as Dō has here, you get something divine. Forget running to the beer guys before the 7th inning is over, you’re better off heading to Dō.
3) Arancini Bros - Chicken Parm Bites
Already a major staple in the Citi Field culinary scene, Arancini Bros adds another set of balls to its rotation. The Chicken Parm Bite features the classic fried rice ball fused with the ever so saucy chicken parmesan. I could probably take down a whole six pack of these, which is coincidentally how they are served.
2) Box Frites - Chicken Roll
When I saw Box Frites was on the menu, I assumed a new hot dog. Well, I was wrong, but I was not certainly disappointed. The Chicken Roll does come in a hot dog bun, but instead flashes crunchy fried chicken, succulent Parmesan ranch, and a mild pepper relish. Proving this sandwich’s deliciousness, Darren aggressively attacked it and almost spilled relish all over someone who was sitting on the floor nearby. Box Frites makes a major move here, showing Mets fans it’s more than just a hot dog stand.
1) Rao’s Specialty Foods - Steak Pizzaiola Hero
Far and away the best thing I ate all day. The short rib was remarkably tender, the bread had a fresh bake, and the cooking sauce was good enough to throw in a pint glass and drink alone. Too much? Too bad. I could have eaten five of these bad boys. Rao’s will be the first stop I make when I attend my first game at Citi this year.
Lil’ Sweet Chick - Chicken & Waffles/Chicken Sandwich
Rapper and Mets fan Nas has an ownership stake in this new chicken stand, and it is sure to be a fan favorite. The honey dipping sauce that comes with the waffles will have you looking like Winnie the Pooh by game’s end.
Baked Cheese Haus - The Alpine Brat
It’s a show in of itself to watch a block of cheese freshly melted onto a foot-long brat. Make no mistake this is more than a gimmick, it’s tastes top notch.
Not only did it seal the victory, Yoenis Céspedes' monster grand slam taught Mets fans a lesson worth remembering this season: Don't panic over a couple of losses. Not with this team.