Yankee Stadium – 27 Victories, 5 Burgers, 3 Steak sandwichs and 2 Opening Days

Yankee Stadium
Johnny Rockets

44 E 161st St
Bronx, NY 10451

Something amazing happened in 2009. The New York Yankees went on to win their 27th World Series Championship and we celebrated with burgers. Prior to that victory, I went on a conquest to find the best burger in the new stadium. 4 burgers later and the season had come to end. Thinking I had come to the end of my journey, I returned for the 2010 season home opening game NOT expecting to eat burgers.

Sonny, Omar, Eddie, Hector, Maggie, Cara, Dawn, Paul and I began our visit to The Bronx started with a couple of beers at the world famous Stan’s Sports Bar. A mainstay of the Yankee’s fan, Stan’s is located just across the street from the stadium and is guaranteed to be jammed to the rafters on game day. Not for the rainy day fan or weak of heart, chants like “Red Sox Suck” will erupt out of nowhere at Stan’s. While at Stan’s on game day, remember, New Yorkers may be aggressive but we’re also polite so be sure you are too!

We hurried into the stadium as this being the Yankee’s home opening game, the team was going to hold their championship ring ceremony before the first pitch. Assisted by baseball legends Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford, Yankee’s manager Joe Girardi handed out a 2009 championship ring to each member of the team. The last man to receive a ring, Hideki Matsui who was the World Series MVP but now was a member of the games visiting team, the Anaheim Angels. Despite no longer being a part of the club, Matsui was cheered on by the fans in what was an amazing standing ovation. It was an amazing event to be a part of and truthfully, I did get a little teary eyed.

Once the ceremony was over, it was on to my favorite part…THE FOOD!! As I said earlier, I had assumed my burger conquesting of Yankee stadium as over but I was incorrect.
When it comes to burgers, I love it when I am wrong. Right behind out section there was a Johnny Rockets. More commonly known as 1950s Americana throwback burger diner, Johnny Rockets has locations all over the world, including Yankee Stadium. Now Johnny Rockets claims that all burgers are fresh and hand pressed although that seems like a pretty difficult notion for a baseball stand, we’ll grant them the benefit of the doubt for now.

The burgers served at the Johnny Rockets’ locations in Yankee stadium are not made to order, like they are at the regular locations. Something I had to keep in mind while eating and then reviewing my burger. With such high volume dealing, burgers are made, wrapped in foil paper and placed under a heat lamp where they wait to be ordered. They don’t sit for long due to high attendance of hungry baseball fans. After waiting in line for my burger, I unwrapped it and ate right away, finishing almost the whole thing before getting back to my seat. Sad to say, the burger was room temperature at best. The beef was juicy and had a good taste but it was well done. It’s hard to do anything less with such a thin patty and high volume dealing so I won’t hold that against the hamburger. The sesame seed covered white bun was soft, squishy and a decent option to hold it all together. While the bun to patty ratio was really good, the onion to burger ratio was way off. I felt like I was eating an onion burger with a beef topping! As much as I do love onions, it was way over board. The shining beacon of the burger was the slice of American cheese. I know that sounds funny but it was a full flavored, thicker than average slice and added some serious taste to the sandwich. If they can figure out how to serve them hot, I would most certainly eat another.

6 out of 10 ounces

Kosher Potato Knish – 7 out of 10
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog – 7 out of 10
Carl’s Cheese steak wit, extra whiz – 8 out of 10
Nathan’s Famous Cheese Fries – 8 out of 10

Passing in front of us to get to his seat was a man with a fistful of sauce. There was a serious debate between us and some others in our section as to what was this mystery condiment. I held steady that it was not liquid cheese and that it was mustard. Once the guy pulled out both celery and turkey slices to dip into it, I knew I was right. Some still stood in disbelief so I pulled out the camera and took some close ups.

The Yankee’s un-official mascot, Freddy Sez has been on a mission to keep up the cheering by walking around with a sign and a frying pan you can bang with a spoon. Freddy’s spirits have been uplifting the team for years now. More info on who he is and how to find him at a game, check out his official website – http://www.freddysez.com

I asked. They wouldn’t sell it to me.

We were paid a visit by the world renowned traveler known as Flat Stanley. A proponent of education, Flat Stanley brings the discovery of world culture by visiting different places around the world and bringing his story to people. Looks like Stanley got a taste of the Burger Conquest official “Left Hand Grab!”

I woke up the next day feeling a little bloated and hungover but with a ton of great memories. I went into my office, stared up my computer and began my work day. Shortly thereafter my buddy Jim sends an email asking if anybody wanted his company tickets for today’s game…

NYY Steak
1 East 161st Street
Bronx, NY 10451-2100

…I of course said yes, gathered up with Adam and Rob and headed up to the Bronx. What better way to bathe in my baseball season excitement then go to the first 2 home games of the season? besides, the weather was warmer, sunnier and there was more food I need to try. For those of you that read often or are acquaintances of mine, you know I am also a big fan of steak. As a founding member of the world’s #1 Steak Club; Steak Club 7, I am always on the look out for a great cut of beef. Yankee stadium has several options for steak eating fans in both Carl’s and Lobel’s steak sandwiches as well as their very own signature steak house, NYY Steak. Click here for the Steak Club 7 review on all 3. But the new season brings a new steak sandwich to the stadium from NYY Steak with an “express stand.”

Gods honest beef-eating truth, there isn’t a bad steak option in the stadium. The original 3 are great and if you haven’t had the Lobel’s Prime Rib sandwich, it’s well worth the trip to the stadium. NYY Steak obviosuly realizing the popularity, opened up a steak sandwich location of their own.

The NYY Steak Express sandwich is served on on Kummelweck bun (more commonly known as a “weck”” that is topped with salt and caraway seeds. I can’t tell you how much value I place on a good bun. In fact, I might say my desire for a good piece of bread is directly disproportionate with the amount of restaurants who really put the energy and focus on a gourmet bun. As for this sandwich, I would order it based on the bread alone! It really, really adds some awesome distinct flavors to the sandwich and holds up throughout the feasting. The beef itself is cut into thin strips and pulled onto the bun. It’s flavorful, succulent and delicious!! Add on the horseradish dijon dressing and really give it a taste boost. I used nearly the whole serving and still the beef was so tasty that the dressing could not over power it.

As for the best steak sandwich in the stadium…I LOVE Lobel’s!! It was an awesome move on behalf of the stadium to bring in a small New York city based butcher to server up a specialty item. It should also be stated that in general, I’m a fan of local and fresh food based eateries. I try to veer away from chains if it’s possible. Having said that, I have to be honest and let you know I would eat a Carl’s cheese steak first. Its the one item I get on every trip to Yankee stadium.

BUT – in closing, after eating the NYY Steak sandwich yesterday, I think Carl’s make have to step aside!!

8 out of 10 ounces

Chorizo sausage – 6 out of 10
Garlic fries – 8 out of 10 (the stand is next to NYY Steak Express. I heavily suggest the combo)

On our way back into Manhattan, Rich, Mike, Rob, Adam and I were able to have a moment of silence over looking the demolished old Yankee Stadium.


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2 Responses to Yankee Stadium – 27 Victories, 5 Burgers, 3 Steak sandwichs and 2 Opening Days

  1. Anonymous says:

    Did they change the bun on the Lobel Steak sandwiches???? I read somewhere that they moved to a different, crappy bun last Fall. Say it aint so!

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