Since it was my first visit to Citi Field, we arrived early for the 7:10 game against the Phillies, as I wanted time to walk around the stadium, and I also wanted to make sure we got the promotional sports bags that were offered that night. Unfortunately, it had been raining on off all day, and was drizzling steadily when we got to the stadium. I checked online before I left work but they hadn’t made any announcements about the game being cancelled or delayed, so when we arrived at 6, we already had plenty of time to kill. After making a loop to see all the concession stand offerings, it was finally announced that the game would be delayed until 8:30. Bummer. Luckily, our seats were high enough that they were under the overhang in the top deck so we decided to grab some food and sit out the delay.
As I did with our visit to Yankee Stadium, I checked online for reviews of all the offerings at Citi Field (I keep wanting to call it Shea Stadium still!). While the Shake Shack and Blue Smoke had obvious appeal, I figured that this would probably be my first and last visit to Citi Field this season, so I wanted to try something that I haven’t had before and couldn’t easily access in Manhattan. I remembered reading a lot about the special sandwich Mama’s of Corona on the Feisty Foodie and that’s where we ended up.
I don’t know if it was because we were early or because of the weather, but the World Market where Mama’s of Corona is located was completely empty. Josh and I weren’t that hungry yet so we decided to split the special sandwich. There were a bunch of them already pre-made and stacked behind the counter so all we had to do was wait for it to be boxed up and we were on our way. We stopped by the Catch of the Day stand to pick up some Blue Point Toasted Lager (I love the range of beer offerings at Citi Field – much better than Yankee Stadium!) and headed up to our seats.
The special sandwich has fresh mozzarella, genoa salami, and black pepper ham on it. Looking at the sandwich, I was disappointed by the thin layer of meat it had. Basically there was only one layer of salami, and one layer of ham. It definitely was not a hearty Italian sandwich that we’re used to.
The sandwich came with a small container of roasted pepper and a container of marinated mushrooms. We added on both to provide some extra heft and flavor. Even though the sandwich was pre-made, the bread was still pretty fresh and had a nice soft chew to it. Out of the fillings, the black pepper ham really stood out, but it’s not for you if you don’t like the taste of the black pepper. I did take a bite without the extra condiments and it wasn’t as tasty. The roasted peppers and the mushrooms added a nice zing and complemented the mozzarella cheese.
Overall I wasn’t the hugest fan of this sandwich, though it wasn’t bad. I definitely thought the bread-to-filling ratio was off, and the only thing I could really taste from the meats was the black pepper on the ham. At $9.75, it’s a pricey sandwich for what you get, but not so pricey considering the venue. Stadium food is always overpriced, and this was a nice change from the usual hot dogs and hamburgers. I’d probably try out some other foods before I would order this sandwich again though.
The rain eventually did stop, and the game started around 8:30 as promised. It was a pretty exciting game, with the Phillies taking the early lead but then the Mets pulling ahead. After that it was a nail biter to hold onto the lead, as the Phillies were presented with lots of scoring opportunities. Midway through the game we started to feel a bit puckish, so Josh headed down and picked up a large order of fries from Box Frites.
Since it was later in the game, the stand had run out of most dipping sauces, which was a bit disappointing. We ended up with the olive and pepperocini sauce, which is mayo based. It didn’t have a strong olive flavor but there was a nice tangy kick from the pepperocini. Josh preferred this sauce (haha bet he didn’t know there was mayo in it) while I stuck mostly with ketchup. The fries were really good though, thick cut, hot, and crispy. I preferred these fries to the skinny Garlic Fries at Yankee Stadium, though the garlic sauce on top of those fries were much better than the olive and pepperocini dipping sauce. The perfect combination would be the Box Frites fries with the Garlic Fries sauce. Mmmm.
Overall I thought the food options at Citi Field were much better than the ones at Yankee Stadium. I also prefer the openness of Citi Field to that of Yankee Stadium. While both stadiums offer field views from the concession areas, Citi Field just seemed much airier and more welcoming to me. And the Taste of the City area is really a great idea. It’s a nice wide open space with lots of food choices, making it a good place to hang out before the game. And the beer options are also better at Citi Field, making it a complete overall experience for me. Too bad the Mets haven’t lived up to their new stadium this season!