April 2010

Citi McFadden’s review: Initial thoughts

P1100015.JPGFirst it was opening day. And it was glorious.

The field and fans were sun-drenched, and with D-Wright giving us a lead right off the bat, the energy was electric. Even when Johan passed the ball to Fernando Nieve, the path remained free and clear. A great game. A great day. Great Mets fans. Everything we hoped for.

Then the game ended. The wind picked up. And I headed to McFaddens. It was the opposite of glorious.

P1100093.JPGRight after the game, the McFadden’s line was so bad that I hung out with friends at their continuing tailgate for half an hour, thinking it would die down. Then I gave it a second go.

But no. While other friends were already inside, having left the ballpark in the 8th inning to watch the rest of the game at the bar, I was on line outside the makeshift entrance. Oh my God, that line. Worse than the most annoying NYC clubs. I even told the head security guy that I was here to review the establishment for my Mlblog. And when I asked politely, “Is there a manager I can talk to?” he literally said to me, “Who do you know?”

Half an hour later, I made it into McFaddens at Citi. Let me show you how empty most of the bar was–just so you know what it looked like while people were waiting for ages outside.

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Meanwhile clustered around a raised bar were pretty much the fans I tend to avoid at the game. The obnoxious super drunk douchey ones. My heart sank. This was our new Citi watering hole? The homey Mets-loving spot I had anticipated with excitement? Ugh. Boo.

As my friend texted me while I was on the interminable line, “It’s coyote very ugly.”

I did get a kick out of this guy, though. Here he is about to be thrown out. His friend had been on top of him moments earlier. Alas my camera wasn’t quick enough for that.

P1100100.JPGI’ll give the place another try perhaps when it’s not opening day. And I may call earlier and talk to a PR person who might ease the way a bit. But oy, first impressions were NG No Good.

So let me leave you with these, the pics from earlier, when all was still bliss. In that last pic you’ll see a sea of raised hands waiting to congratulate our David Wright, who’s buried somewhere within the happy Mets welcome wagon.

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And there are always Mets friends to see at the ballpark. Matt Cerrone, Dana Brand, and Jason Fry, and from far away gal pal Julie Alexandria posing for a pic with Matt on the field, and Michael Baron, whom I’d briefly meet later. Always a joy to see familiar faces at Citi!

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New Citi menus, drinks, and prices

Before I post about the wonderful, sun-drenched opening day we Mets fans got today, let’s first cover the gastronomic bases. Ownership seems to know we’re coming to the ball park in part for the food, and perhaps for that reason they have made our goodies rather pricier. But there are some great new options, especially for non-beer drinkers like me!

New Shake Shack prices are up from last year, as you can see. Old prices at left, new at right. A single shack burger is up $.50, double $.50, and the fries are even more, up $.75 for regular and $1.00 for the cheese.

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The tacos are up a dollar per individual and $1.50 for the combo platter. And I will have to try the new addition: “Perfect Patron Margarita!”

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For Blue Smoke, prices are up a dollar for the pulled pork, 2 bucks for the ribs, and $.75 for the fries. And it seems that the wings have been replaced by a bologna sandwich, for $1.50 more. (See ’09 menu at left, ’10 at right).

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Also at Blue Smoke (left) we have new dessert options and a Makers Mark and Ginger cocktail. At right, see the Box Frites menu, with the new Disco Frites option and the “Absolute Lemonade” cocktail.

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Changes too at the Catch of the Day stand. Gone is the shrimp cocktail salad (’09, left), and now there is a crab cake sandwich (’10, right). You can also get the Absolut Lemonade cocktail at the Catch of the Day.

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Here’s my new favorite: The Rum Bar by the World’s Fare market. I’ve bee wanting frozen drinks forever! Options include Frozen Bacardi Mango and Frozen Don Q Pina Colada. The mango was delicious (they were out of pina colada, alas!). These drinks are unfortunately pretty pricey: $12 for alcohol, $8 virgin.

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For gluten-free folks, there’s a new, much talked about Kozy Shack stand also by the World’s Fare. I saw some yummy onions and peppers being grilled up, likely for sausages. I also noticed bags of gluten free bread buns. And, of course, tons of pudding.

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I LOVE fruit. But I ain’t eating fruit at the ballpark. Still, here it is, a healthy option that’s good to have. Also, beer. Apparently this stand popped up for the first time last year. It’s still there in the halls of field level.

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Also new? Cinnabon. Not having grown up with malls, I am not that fami
liar with the Cinnabon, but I hear they’re very yummy.

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Here’s the Carvel/Cinnabon menu and also the outfield food court Mama’s menu–notice the new buffalo chicken and chicken parm pizzas.

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And finally, a refreshing yum, Sno Cones! Ah, brings back memories of that amazing Snoopy Snow Cone Machine…

P1000949.JPGStill to come: Opening day post, along with a review of the new McFadden’s!

The Mets are BACK!

P.S. Okay, yes, I also took a picture of the new Korean fried chicken at the World’s Fare Market. I hear it’s supposed to be spicy, which sounds good to me!

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New Metsiness at Citi!

Finally, no one puts Apple in a corner!

P1000915.JPGA gleaming, bright day has left me sun-drunk and woozy, but for those who missed the pre-season workout at Citi today, I’m pleased to tell you there are Metsy goodies there waiting just for you!

For pics of Work Out Day and many of the Metsy new changes to Citi Field, check out the full album here.

What a joy it was to marvel at the new Hall of Fame Museum. Some of the best goodies you can imagine are now displayed for all to see. Gil Hodges contract, Casey Stengel’s own informative notes, 60s memorabilia, Tommy Agee’s 1969 World Series Game 3 glove, the famous 1969 shoe polish ball, Tom Seaver’s 1966 minor league contract, Daryl Strawberry’s scouting report, Gary Carter’s first game, home run game-winning bat, one of Keith Hernandez’a Gold Gloves, the original Mr. Met, the World Series Championship trophies and rings, rows of commemorative plaques, and more. Please don’t miss it!

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Also notice the lineup cards now positioned exactly where they should be, prominently over the escalators at the top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
P1000807.JPG And oh, there were players too! Our actual Mets, working out on the field. Jeff Francoeur is officially one of my favorite Mets now, if not my very favorite in 2010. Not only does he play all out, but he’s just so joyful! He’s a joy to watch, to have around (it seems), and just the best addition to that clubhouse since Johan Santana. He threw ball caps to the fans, and he was one of the few to make eye contact with us.

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