Baseball may be known as America’s national pastime, but while you are watching your favorite players in outfield, it can get tiresome. One thing we will never tire of is some good grub, and that, MLB stadiums are known to have a plethora of.
Stadiums around the world have been upping their food game exponentially, and the greatest display of said prowess is MLB’s Annual Foodfest. The event is still young in its inception, but has already garnered major following. Enough so that it has popped up in London (October 5th-6th this year), LA and NYC, three huge experiential hubs. Last year, it sold out in only 2 days, and this year in just 5.
This year’s fest took place in midtown Manhattan’s Center 415, and housed a dish from every single MLB team and their stadium, if you can believe that! With experiential elements at every turn, it was a feast for all the senses.
-Washington National’s “See You Tater” Backyard BBQ Tots (crispy tater tots, house-pulled pork shoulder (which you could opt to leave out) creamy mac & cheese, crispy onions, BBQ sauce and scallions)
-Chicago White Sox Elote Nuggets (a playful twist on the cheesy Mexican street corn)
-Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pulled Pork Pierogie Hoagie (literally a potato and cheese pierogie with pulled pork and toppings in sandwich form)
-Houston Astros Frito Pie Corndog (a frito battered hot dog with queso, texas chili, bun, pickled jalapeno and fritos). Needless to say, the rest of the food was equally as good (full list below).
For dessert, guests had the option of going with a team treat- Arizona Diamondback’s Churro Dog (Churros, Vanilla Yogurt, Chocolate, Caramel and whipped cream in a Long John Donut) or the Tornoto Blue Jays’ Jane Dough Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. If you wanted to go mainstream though, you also had the option of a ballpark classic: soft serve. Soft serve was DIY and unlimited with the iconic plastic cap in place of cups, and plenty of toppings to choose from.
In addition to these outrageous eats, Budweiser served up a full bar of their various brand-sakes, including spiked seltzer (the drink of the summer), even curating a Meet the Maker stand where you could learn about their newest brew “Copper”.
The event was incredibly well-planned with guests receiving scannable bracelets to use at each booth so they’d receive one sample from each (and so the MLB team could see which were fan favorite booths). The booth labels also included a suggested pairing so you knew which drinks went best with each dish.
They also arranged for some great Instagram-worthy moments throughout the room, for when you needed a quick break between bites. Most noteworthy was the giant French Fry ball pit, filled with giant “fries” and plastic balls colored represent ketchup. They also had a larger-than-life hot dog seesaw, VR baseball games, TV screens for baseball fans to watch their teams while they indulged, and a voting booth to finally try to settle the question of which hot dog topping reigns supreme, mustard or ketchup?
On the way out, guests had the chance to buy some fan swag, including team merchandise as well as merch exclusive to Foodfest. They truly thought of everything, and I’d be interested in hearing what ended up being the fan favorite of the festival, and what else these innovative stadiums have to offer. Until next year!
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