Robb Report Vices

Best Grub: Mets vs. Yankees

As any baseball fan in New York City will tell you, it’s been tough rooting for the New York Mets. Since the franchise’s inception in 1962, the team has made it to four World Series (winning two of them) and has played for the National League Championship on seven occasions. The rest of the time, well . . . it hasn’t been pretty. The Mets have finished, on average, almost 19 games out of first place in their division or league over the course of the franchise’s history.

The Yankees, by contrast, have played in the World Series 14 times since 1962, winning eight championships. In fact, when the Mets made their franchise debut (and finished with a league-worst 120 losses) the Yankees were clubbing their way to the organization’s 20th World Series title. The Bronx Bombers also have the edge in interleague play, with a 52–41 record against the Mets over the course of 17 seasons.

But in the battle for New York City ballpark food supremacy, the on-field results don’t matter. Instead, we’re comparing the merits of Pat LaFrieda filet mignon steak sandwiches and baseball-sized Torrisi meatballs. As for which ballpark has the edge, it all comes down to the details.

Meals Fit for a King in Queens

Citi Field management clearly takes its food and drink seriously, as it just announced that all beef served throughout the stadium will be sourced exclusively from the gold-standard meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda. This season, the park will also debut Flushing Farm—a vegetable and herb garden that aims to inject some farm-to-table charm to the ballpark’s suite, club, and restaurant fare. Other notable standouts include:

  • As an extension of the Pat LaFrieda partnership, the Mets are now offering new Pat LaFrieda meatball sliders, which are inspired by Grandpa LaFrieda’s old recipe with whipped ricotta cheese. Served on light, locally baked rolls, these sliders might send hot dogs to the minors.
  • Bless the folks at Citi Field, who are bringing craft beers to the ballpark through Empire State Craft Beerstands. From Belgian ales to IPAs, and hard ciders to lagers, the selection at these stands will make a ballpark beer something to cherish.
  • Some things are worth the wait—even a multiple-inning wait—and the Shake Shack’s Shack Stack Burger is one of them. Pair that with the Strike Cone (a blend of vanilla frozen custard, chocolate-truffle cookie dough, “shattered” sugar-cone pieces, and chocolate sprinkles) and your day at the ballpark is complete.

Classic Pinstripe Concessions

Yankee Stadium boasts a few of New York’s most tried and true options, from Carl’s Steaks to Parm; but the stadium has also made strides in the off-season to enhance its quality of food. The ballpark now offers additional, enticing options:

  • What could possibly go better with an ice-cold beer and baseball than a slab of finger-licking-good ribs? We wonder the same thing. Starting this season, the Malibu Rooftop Deck on the 300 Level in right field will offer coconut rum–glazed smoked barbecue ribs. Yes, you may be fairly far from the action on the diamond, but you’re a lot closer to the ribs!
  • Throughout the concourse you’ll now find cheddar-stuffed bacon burgers. As the old adage says, it’s all about the details; and a burger stuffed with cheese is just the kind of detail we had in mind.
  • Not everyone enjoys a good beer, which is why Yankee Stadium now offers the Tommy Bahama bar. New cocktails on the bar menu this season include a classic citrus mojito, a hibiscus-lime cooler, and a Baja margarita.

The Final Score

We admit, the Yankees may still have the edge on the field (sorry Mets fans), but Citi Park is cleaning up in the concourse.