Citizen's Bank Park was already heralded for it's food selection. With Bulls BBQ, Tony Luke's, The Schmitter, and the many other great choices, CBP (and it's vendor, Aramark) did not need to expand upon the selection. They did however, and what we are blessed with is three additional, fantastic choices.
On Opening Day, I had a chance to sample all three: (in related news, I might have a tapeworm)
South Philly Dog: This is the one I was most anxious to try. After a whopping (sarcastic font) 6,500 votes on Phillies.com, the South Philly Dog won the contest for newest hot dog at CBP. It is an all beef hot dog, topped with broccoli rabe, provolone cheese, and roasted peppers, housed inside a crusty Italian roll.
I'll get to the dog in a minute. First, the SPD can only be found behind home plate on the lower level. I'm not sure if this is just for the trial run or not, but I can't imagine it is much more difficult to put together than the Italian Sausage sandwiches that can be found all over the ballpark, so I would hope to see it in more locations. The line was short (surprising considering the pub it received), but moved rather slowly since the dogs were still cooking. I like my meat fresh, thank you very much. Notice the butterfly technique, perfectly crisping four planes as opposed to two (brilliant!).
The meat hardly filled the bun (no jokes, please) and the toppings looked a little scarce, but I was willing to let my taste buds judge this contest. Upon biting in, I was met with a soft roll and a battle royal of Italian Market heavyweights. Surprisingly, the proportions were perfect… any more rabe would have been too much. The cheese added just enough bite to compliment the peppers and fresh hot dog. The whole thing went down in about 2.5 minutes, unyielding to the cast of the Lion King's horrible rendition of our national anthem.
I ate the dog sans condiments. I couldn't decide if ketchup or mustard would go better, and quite frankly, I'm not sure either would play here. My only gripe is the price, $5.75 for a single dog. Do I hear "Dollar South Philly Dog Day?"
Alley Grill: Another new comer to the stadium is the expanded Alley Grill, located next to the scoreboard in left field. They beefed up the setup, and added a delicious chipotle Chicken sandwich to menu along with a double cheeseburger. Both seem like token BBQ items, but are extremely well executed. The chicken sandwich is tender and flavorful, while the double cheeseburger will remind you of a fresh version of a McDonald's .99 burger… delicious. It also has a Charlie's/Zac's feel to it for all you Delco residents.
The Alley Grill also seems to be a hidden gem, which is outstanding because it has one of the tastiest burgers you will find, complimented by the all important short line.
Well done Aramark.