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MetLife Stadium food highlights include Nonna Fusco's

A rice ball from Nonna Fusco’s.

A rice ball from Nonna Fusco’s. Credit: AP

Start with about 20,000 meatballs.

Based on the recipe of chef Eric Borgia's grandmother, "Nonna Fusco's" meatballs will highlight the menu of what's served at MetLife Stadium during Super Bowl XLVIII. To go with them, add 500 gallons of marinara sauce.

"I grew up eating meatballs she would cook every Sunday," said Borgia, executive chef for Delaware North Companies Sportservice, which provides the food at MetLife.

The food selections at the game are meant to reflect the tastes and aromas of favorites in the five boroughs and northern New Jersey. "The bottom line is our fans know their food ... and are passionate about food," Borgia said.

So the options transcend the familiar menu of hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries. But Delaware North does expect to serve 21,500 hot dogs and 75,000 chicken tenders from start to finish to the 82,500-plus packing the stadium. Figure 20,000 sausages; 7,000 cheesesteak sandwiches; 12,000 pretzels; and more than 30,000 sodas, too.

Since this is going to be a cold-weather Super Bowl, club-level fans may order a variation on pho, the Vietnamese soup, from a pho bar, where they'll pick beef, chicken or tofu in the vegetarian broth. They also can choose a filet mignon-and-shrimp hoagie.

But wherever the fan is seated, the tastes are going to be "very similar," Borgia emphasized. "Comfort food."

Everyone at the game will have access to a roast pork-and-broccoli rabe combination that joins the Nonna Fusco repertoire; and a chicken-wing menu, with sauces Buffalo-style, Parmesan-garlic and a sweet-spicy one to remind you of what you'd find on General Tso's chicken. The Food Network's sloppy Joe and brisket sandwiches; and a "prime steak sandwich" from Lobel's butcher shop in Manhattan similarly will be available stadium-wide, along with pizza, chili, grilled cheese, dumplings, burritos, knishes and Asian noodles.

And then there's "bacon on a stick." Borgia describes it as "a five-ounce piece of bacon cooked on a flat top, and dipped in a maple-jalapeno-honey glaze ... it eats like a boneless spare rib."

All leftover food will be donated; all kitchen scraps, composted; waste kitchen oil, converted to biodiesel fuel; cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum and paper, recycled.

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