Take a bow, Aaron Judge: Nothing wimpy about '99 Burger' at Stadium
Burger-naming rights presumably were not included in Aaron Judge’s new nine-year, $360-million contract with the Yankees. But feel free to draw your own conclusion about the “99 Burger” that will be served at the Stadium this season.
“I think there was definitely some inspiration,” senior executive chef Matt Gibson told Newsday on Wednesday at an event to introduce the new offering. “He hits home runs, and I think this burger is a home run, to be honest with you.”
Fans will decide that, but only 99 burgers’ worth per game. As part of the marketing of the Judge-inspired meal, the Yankees will severely limit the number available, complete with a deli-style counter that will start at 99 and tick down from there.
“Maybe there’s going to be the 100th fan in line and they’re not going to get one, and potentially they might be first in line the next game,” Gibson said. “We just wanted to see how it worked and we thought it would be fun.”
The “99 Burger” will be priced at $19.99, in keeping with the theme.
The “99” features two smashed 4-oz. American Wagyu beef patties, “New School Quality American” cheese – which does not resemble your childhood Kraft patties – “secret sauce,” caramelized onions and pickles on a brioche bun.
“You’re going to eat this and you’re going to walk away happy,” Gibson said. “But you should be able to eat dinner or your next meal. You’re not going to get a bumper sticker or a free T-shirt for finishing this. We’re excited for it.”
Gibson takes burgers seriously. So much so that he has a tattoo on his arm of an “In-N-Out Burger” cheeseburger, an homage to the famed West Coast chain that he grew up with.
“We’re only making 99 so we can make sure we keep them fresh,” he said. “As soon as you order, we make the burger, so it’s not sitting in a window. It cooks very quick because it’s a smash patty. We’re hoping to make a splash with it.”
The Judge-ian burger is one of a number of new food items this season, including cheesy garlic bread from Christian Petroni, a Food Network star who takes his Bronx roots so seriously he has “The Bronx” tattooed inside his lower lip.
Petroni said he has been “crying for three weeks straight” simply driving to the Stadium to train the food preparation team.
“I can’t believe this is even real life,” he said.
Adding to Petroni’s pinch-me vibe was that he was standing next to celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, whose “Streetbird” is a returning provider of Stadium food.
Said Petroni, “To even be in the same room as someone like Chef [Samuelsson] is a big deal for me.”
The “99 Burger” and everything else sampled at Wednesday’s media event will be available for purchase to any Yankee Stadium ticketholder.