scoreboardgourmetSara Pepitone, a freelance writer better known as the mastermind behind Scoreboard Gourmet (“What did YOU eat at the game?”) as well as 30 to Midnight visited Citi Field yesterday to preview the new food offerings for 2010. We like Sara, despite her team affiliation (she has Mets fans in her family, they must have rubbed off on her). We sat down with her to get her thoughts on the new grub.

MetsGrrl: What were the big surprises for you at Citi on Wednesday?
Scoreboard Gourmet: The new rum bar – frozen drinks made with Puerto Rican rums.

MetsGrrl: Is that available to everyone?
Scoreboard Gourmet Yes! Near section 104.

MetsGrrl: What was your favorite new item?
Scoreboard Gourmet: The crab cake sandwich which will be available at Catch of the Day. It’s on a potato roll with a lemony tarter sauce.

MetsGrrl: You mentioned a new love for the Shack burger. There was no love previously?!
Scoreboard Gourmet: Well…I’m not exactly a Shack Burger hater but you’re right that I don’t usually have any love. Standing in line in Madison Square Park or Citi Field makes me angry, which means whatever I eat better knock my socks off. That doesn’t usually happen. To be completely fair I should also say that I love burgers with a bit of char, something you can’t get from a griddle.

MetsGrrl: Everyone is very excited about the Korean fried chicken. I know you’re a fan, so how did the Citi version measure up to its more storied counterparts?
Scoreboard Gourmet: It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out. K-style FC is a multi-step, lengthy process. I have to guess this means they will not have a continuous supply throughout the game. Because I was stuffing myself with countless other food items, I was late to the chicken and only tasted the soy sauce option (not the hot sauce). It was fine. Will be good with a beer on a sunny afternoon. People who sampled it earlier in the day (fresher, hotter) were quite impressed.

MetsGrrl: Was there any discussion of the various clubs being open to more ticketholders this year? Can normal folks now get into the Acela Club without paying $300 for a baseball ticket first?
Scoreboard Gourmet: Yes. Access to the Caesar’s and Promenade Clubs has been greatly expanded. Unless you’re sitting in seats that cost less than $24 (depending on the game), you’re in. I explain more on my site. But those two clubs will now have sit-down service too. And, everyone NOT in a Baseline Box, LF or RF Reserved, LF Landing/Gold, Pepsi Porch/Gold, Promenade Reserved/Infield or Promenade Box can now get into the Acela Club.

Delta Sky360 Lounge remains limited to Delta Club Platinum and Gold ticketholders, but the Delta Sky360 Club is not open to ticketholders in the more expensive Metropolitan Boxes (Platinum, Gold, Silver), Field Boxes (Platinum, Gold), Caesar’s Club Platinum, and the Club formerly known as Ebbets, this year called Champions, in honor of the other NYC team.

MetsGrrl: *glaring*
Scoreboard Gourmet: I’m kidding.

MetsGrrl: I know you’ve eaten at the Acela Club, are we missing something or is it worth the hype? Both from a food and watching-the-game perspective.:
Scoreboard Gourmet: If you can get a table outside or directly at the windows, it’s pretty dang cool. The food is good, the service is great, and you can get adult-beverages after the 7th inning.

MetsGrrl: From a marathon-running reader: Aside from the salads, what kinds of low calorie items will be available this season?
Scoreboard Gourmet: There will be grilled chicken sandwiches at the regular food concessions stands. You can request anything sans-bun if you don’t mind waiting an extra minute.

MetsGrrl: Did you get to have any of the gluten-free or vegetarian items?
Scoreboard Gourmet: Nathan’s hot dogs and Brooklyn burgers are gluten-free. They’re as good as they ever were. Same goes for Kozy Shack. I had a dark chocolate pudding that I enjoyed, though someone else said it was grainy.

I like soy (tofu) and like hot dogs but do not like it when something tastes like something else so did not try the soy hot dogs. If you want a hot dog taste, eat a hot dog. The veggie burgers were decent, especially with condiments.

MetsGrrl: Anything you didn’t get to try?
Scoreboard Gourmet: I did not try the new Strawberry Shake that will be at Shake Shack (didn’t see it) or the Cascarino’s Pizzas, or the Chinese food (chicken dumplings, pork puff), or the Prosciutto & Manchego Panini that will be in the Acela Club. Guess that was popular because I never saw one on the plate. Oh, I also didn’t have the Strawberry Short Cake that will be in the Empire Suites because I was distracted by the cocktails.

MetsGrrl: You are a big advocate of the corn and clam chowder, which as you know I have been less than impressed with. What’s your frontrunner for this year?
Scoreboard Gourmet: Apparently I am a gigantic fan of Dave Pasternack. I’ll still fight for the chowder, but know the crab cake sandwich will give it a run for its money. The Garlic Parmesean Frites from Box Frites were also a bit hit with the crowd.

MetsGrrl: You’re a Yankees fan. Which of the Citi Field food items do you wish you had available in the Bronx?
Scoreboard Gourmet: At this point I think you can guess – Catch of the Day. And I also wish the Yankees were as forthcoming with their menus as are the Mets. But we have better peanuts!

MetsGrrl: What were some other favorites?
Scoreboard Gourmet: I enjoyed the new Cascarino’s grandma slices with vodka sauce, and everybody is talking about the Disco Frites.

MetsGrrl: Anything else we shouldn’t miss?
Scoreboard Gourmet: I am much more a beer drinker than a cocktail drinker but there are some good cocktails to be had at Citi Field – sweet tea vodka lemonade (available in the Clubs and Suites), Makers Mark & Ginger (at Blue Smoke), Patron Margaritas (El Verano Taqueria).

Thanks to Sara for taking the time to speak with me, and be sure to visit her throughout the rest of the season over at Scoreboard Gourmet.

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