Taste Testing the New Food Choices at Dodger Stadium
It's such an amazing feeling to go to an actual Dodgers Game instead of watching it on TV. There's just something about physically being there and hearing all the fans chanting and screaming right next to you that brings on the LA Pride! So imagine how excited I was to be one of the handful of foodies invited to the Dodger Food Blogger Event. Taste test the new and improved Dodgers food offerings? Oh man... you know I was early to that event!
Food Extraordinarie Jay (Jayeats.com) and I got there early to walk around and get a feel for all the new renovations to the stadium. Okay, Hello Kitty and LA Dodgers? You know I lost it when I saw that booth! Official Hello Kitty Dodger Hats!
The new baseball season has brought $100 million dollars worth of upgrades to Dodger Stadium. Thankfully for food lovers, many of those upgrades have gone to turning Dodgers Stadium into a food haven.
One of the latest foodie draws has been the brand new Tommy Lasorda’s Italian Trattoria Restaurant. The legendary Hall of Famer was there himself to talk to crowd and get feedback from patrons. Tommy Lasorda and Dodger Stadium Executive Chef Jason Tingley worked together on all of the dishes. Lasorda made it clear that the food had his stamp of approval. "I would never ever in my life put my name on something that wasn't properly done," he said. "If you don't like these meatballs you don't like Christmas or Easter."
"So you love my food blog too, Tommy?"Tommy was hilarious and so personable. It was actually hilarious how many cameras were there following him as well as the food bloggers. I felt like I was a Kardashian. Mics were lowered onto our table as we tried the food so they could record our reactions. Jumbo Italian Pizza by the slice: The pizza was very tasty. The crust was a bit on the doughy side, but the proportion of marinara sauce to toppings was very good. The slice of pizza could barely fit on the plate. Be prepared, it gets a little messy.
A little mess never hurt anybody. Get down and dirty with your food. It's the way of life! The penne pasta with heaps of meatballs: Tommy was right—this was my favorite dish from Trattoria. The pasta felt like I was in a true Italian eatery and not eating stadium food. The meatballs were soft, moist, and juicy. I would go back just for the meatballs.The spicy Italian sausage sandwich topped with peppers and onions: The spicy Italian sausage along with the peppers and onions were truly a stand out, however I wasn’t too crazy about the hot dog bun bread.
Chicken Parmesan sub covered in marinara sauce: The chicken was delectably marinated. I also loved the marinara sauce. For me, I felt that there was a bit too much bread in this dish. If you want to get full, this would be a great option. If you’re a food snob, I say get the penne meatball pasta.
Traditional Italian cannolis and gelatos are also available for dessert. Prices are reasonable ranging from $5-10. At this point, you may imagine how full we were. I mean, they didn't give us small, dinky Costco size samples to try. These were the actual size dishes. I should have weighed myself before and after the game. We proceeded to walk a few steps and eat even more! Other new food additions include the hot-off-the-grill stand Think Blue BBQ, which serves succulent house-smoked creations.
BBQ Brisket Sandwich: The BBQ Brisket, along with the penne meatball pasta, were my favorite dishes I sampled at Dodger Stadium. The brisket is smoked for a minimum of 12 hours (most are smoked about 17 hours). Chef Jason’s secret, tangy cider BBQ sauce is then added on top along with Bermuda onion and sour pickle slices on a potato roll. This is a must-try!
Mexican Corn on the Cob: Also known as Elote, this is a deliciously grilled on a stick and covered in cheese and a mix of seasonings. The corn had a rich, nutty flavor, but the mayonnaise, garlic, and powdered chili put it over the top. I could have eaten these all day.Do you see that smile on my face? I love Elote! I'm originally from the San Fernando Valley where good Mexican food is abundant. Who would have thought there would be good Elote at Dodger Stadium?Here's Jay digging into his elote! The grilled corn was definitely a crowd pleaser!Philly Cheesesteak with heaping amounts of beef, grilled peppers, and onions and slices of Provolone cheese on a roll: Think Blue BBQ did not skimp out on ingredients when they created their Philly Cheesesteak. A good cheesesteak must have a solid roll. The bread was soft, chewy, and fluffy. The beef was diced thinly and incredibly well marinated with fried onions and sweet peppers.Here's a pic of me with Chef Jason. He was so friendly answering any and everything question we had about his food. You could tell he was passionate about his food. No wonder why we got along!
At this point, we were pretty much so full that we couldn't move anymore. But of course, a food blogger's work is never done. It was time for the game to start so we were taken to the United Club Event Suite to watch the game and... eat even more!This was such a nice treat. Watching the game from these seats really made the experience that much more memorable!Of course there were more finger foods in the suite. I also loved the handful of flat screen TVs inside.Of course when we looked closely, there was even more food! When would this madness stop? Well, I mean this tasting was all in the name of science. We had to keep on keeping on! How beautiful was the weather? Perfect night for a game! And that's when this gigantic object was handed to us! The Major League Nachos Helmet: This was the most picture-worthy, Instagramable dish I had all day. It’s a toy and a food all in one! This souvenir 64-ounce helmet filled to the brim with crispy tortilla chips and topped with creamy refried beans, nacho cheese, carne asada, sour cream, and pico de gallo had to be split among 3-4 people. Good luck finishing this baby.Doyer Dog: For those who want to spice up their iconic Dodger Dog, the Doyer Dog is essentially a Dodger Dog reinvented and topped with nacho cheese, chili, jalapeños, chopped tomatoes and pico de gallo. Named for the Spanish-language pronunciation of the Dodgers ("Los Doyers"), the Doyer Dog weighs twice as much as the iconic Dodger Dog. If you want a hot dog with a spicy, flavorful kick in it, it may be time to bid your plain Dodger Dog adieu.Here's a snap of me with my fellow food bloggers: Jay from (Jay Eats) and Tammy from (TammyLa)! I'm surprised we were still able to stand with the amount of food we ingested! Just when I thought things had finally calmed down a bit and could enjoy the game, I heard someone say 'Dessert Cart'! At that point, I think we all darted outside. Chef Jason himself explained all the dessert cart choices. Are you drooling yet? Candied apples, cakes, pastries, and more!Lemonade cake! This was amazing! At first I thought a lemonade cake would taste very strange, but I can assure you it delectable! It was my favorite dessert of the night. *Swoon*The Chocolate Paradis' Cake was another stand out.Blueberry Cobbler... nom, nom.
Other New Food Offerings:
Chicken and Shrimp Skewers, Grilled Turkey Leg, Home Stand Hot Dogs, LA Extreme Bacon Wrapped Dog, Sunset Sandwich with Tavern ham on Hawaiian roll, Southwest Tostada Salad, and more. Other additions include full bars that serve new cocktail beverages inspired by Dodgers history and healthier choices like homemade sushi and salads.
To read my coverage on LAist click here! There's even a video I took of Tommy Lasorda that's quite entertaining!
I'd like to thank Steve Brener, Janet Marie Smith, Chef Jason, Tommy Lasorda, and everyone at the Dodgers for graciously inviting me. Also, big thank you to Jay and Tammy for being great company!