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Citi Field has baseball, and great food as well

Kidsday reporters, from left, Emiline Biggin, Rita Masiello,

Kidsday reporters, from left, Emiline Biggin, Rita Masiello, Robert Imperiale and Max Buck take a food tour of Citi Field. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

Citi Field is usually known as the home of the N.Y. Mets, or as a good place for concerts. But what you may not realize about Citi Field is all the delicious food that is offered there. We got a chance to tour some of the food venues there. Some of the best food made around Citi Field is right in Union Square behind the big Jumbotron in the outfield. The range of delicious food is unlimited. Just as we were about to start our eating tour, we met with Patrick Schaeffer, the senior executive chef for Aramark. He told us all about the work that goes into preparing the food and all the different food court areas.

He told us his day starts at 7 a.m., and we asked him approximately how many meals are made each day. Patrick said, “Citi Field is a very large ballpark and, with a sold-out crowd, we have 45,000 people here at any given day. So we serve a lot of meals. There’s a lot of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken tenders, pizza, Shake Shack burgers. You name it, we serve a lot of them.”

We also wanted to know if rain delays had a big effect on things. Patrick said, “Yeah, it makes it tough because people don’t come to the game right away, they wait for the rain to settle down or the weather to clear. So that proposes a big challenge for us. When a lot of people come to the ballpark, we project how many people are going to come through the gates at a time and through those projections is how I get my guys to start cooking. So every time you walk up to a stand there’s always something for you to eat.”

Now, let’s get to the food! As most fans know, there is a big food court in the outfield area at Citi Field, but everywhere you turn you can get almost any type of dish you want besides hot dogs and hamburgers. The choices are amazing.

The first place we visited was Papa Rossa, and it is a new pizza place found exclusively in Citi Field. In the words of the chefs at Papa Rossa, “It brings a metropolitan flavor to classic Italian pizza.” Their menu consists of three types of pizzas: mushroom, pepperoni and the classic Margherita pizza. They are all made with fresh tomatoes, cheese and are baked in a 700-degree oven. Along with a great selection of beverages they also have a stupendous selection of Italian ices. We couldn’t decide if it was the thin crust or just the delicious sauce that made it so good.

Another highlight was trying the Mac ’n Cheese with pulled pork and jalapeños which you can find at Blue Smoke on the Road in Union Square, also found in the outfield. It was mac ’n cheese with pulled pork layering it, and a few jalapeños layering the pulled pork. When they made this meal, they were looking to put a twist on original mac ’n cheese and also give it a new flavor. When we tried it, we all thought it was one of the best meals we had the whole trip.

The Milk Bar is one of the most famous bakeries in NYC. The owner and founder is Christina Tosi, and they make a snack that was delicious. We had a huge cookie consisting of cornflakes, chocolate chips and marshmallow. The cookie was delicious but was very hard.

One of the other treats that we ate at Citi Field were the deep-fried Oreos. They put the Oreos in a deep fryer and gave the Oreos an excellent taste. You have not lived until you have tried this treat. They are covered in a sugary powder after being deep fried and the powder gave the Oreos an extra something that made them really good. You can usually find this snack at carnivals and fairs, but Citi Field can now be called one of the best places to get this treat.

Do you like bacon? Have you ever had bacon on a stick? We think everybody enjoys food on a stick! You have to visit The Pig Guy NYC by the World’s Fare Market in section 104. Just wait until you have this. It is huge slab of bacon dipped in a maple and spicy glaze. You could also try bacon dipped in semisweet chocolate and covered in graham crackers and marshmallows, and as if it ascended from the heavens you have a bacon delight and wait for it . . . on a stick! Who knew? In all seriousness, you should go give it a try along with some other selections!

Momofuku is located in section 102 on the field level and they make a spicy chicken sandwich, which was delicious but was a little too spicy for us. The sandwich was a 4 out of 5.

We also visited the Kids Stand. There are many food options that you will enjoy. They have hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, etc. We tried the Mr. Softee ice cream. You can get it in a cup or Mets hat and the flavor choices are chocolate, vanilla or twist. As for toppings, they have Mets-colored sprinkles. The ice cream was very refreshing and the sprinkles added a great touch. At this stand, you definitely get what you paid for.

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