Results tagged ‘ John DiMartini ’

What John and Cait Ate…Desserts, Candies and Floats, Oh My!

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”-John & Cait

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare.

Pastries at the Park

This season, Miller Park has a new pastry chef, Chef Brett and she’s making herself known with desserts such as Lemon Poppyseed Shortcake, the Miller Park Bar, Vegan and Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, and Triple Decker Chocolate Fudge Cake will be available all season long for just $8.

Take a look at our mouth-watering gallery here:

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The Candy Shop-$8.00

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Fill up the acrylic cup on the left with as much of your favorite candies as it will hold for just $8 and take home the souvenir cup as well! (The glass mug is for root beer, keep reading!)

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Is this talk of candy and desserts making you thirsty?

Root Beer Floats-$15-$25

float

New for 2013, Chef John, Chef Brett and their team are offering Root Beer Floats made with Sprecher Root Beer.  The floats are available starting with a child-size for just $15, or an adult size (served in the souvenir glass mug pictured above) for $20. Adults also have the option of purchasing the float made with Sprecher Hard Root Beer for $25.  A root beer float at a baseball game?!  Just as American as a hot dog at a baseball game!  You can’t go wrong.  In addition, it’s great to know that it is made with Milwaukee’s famous Sprecher root beer.

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: The dessert display is located near the Home Plate elevators on the Club Level at Miller Park (see photo below).  The dessert and root beer float carts also pay visits to the Suites.  Desserts are also available in the Johnson Controls Stadium Club.

IMG_6194

Rating (out of 5):

5 Sausages

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate…Ribbie’s Cafe

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”-John & Cait

Hello readers!

We’re really excited to bring back the food review series that we started in 2011: What John and Cait Ate.

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare.

Sportservice provides the food and drink concessions for 25 major league sports clients at 23 venues, including 10 Major League Baseball stadiums.  As the exclusive food, beverage and retail provider for Miller Park, Sportservice offers so many concession stands and such a wide variety of food options that fans dashing out of their seats for a quick snack between innings may be missing out on some of the best ballpark bites.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

We started the 2012 What John and Cait Ate series with a look at some of the new smoked meat products available at Miller Park. This year, that selection has expanded.  The beef brisket and smoked turkey are both back.  But we looked at some new items available this year.

Smokin’ Delicious!

Today, at our first meeting with Chef John, we were treated to an array of smoked products. Last year, Sportservice acquired a smoker and refine their classic smoked turkey and brisket plates.  This year, they plan on adding specials varying by homestand–it could be anything from Prime Rib, Mahi Mahi Tacos and Leg of Lamb to what we feasted on this time: a 10oz Smoked Pork Chop and the Beer Can Chicken (how appropriate for Miller Park!).

10oz Smoked Pork Chop-$10.00

10 ounce Pork Chops

10 ounce Pork Chops

Add two slices of white bread, some homemade BBQ sauce, a scoop of macaroni and cheese and a pickle and, my friends, you have a meal!

Finished product.

Finished product

John: A sizable portion at 10 ounces, the pork chop is marinated in apple cider brine and a special seasoning, smoked the day of the game. It’s then drizzled with Miller Park’s homemade barbecue sauce.  The meat was very tender and full of flavor.  Served over two slices of wheat bread, the pork chop could be eaten like a sandwich or cut up.  It was a smoked flavor in the meat combined with the tangy sauce that made this meal a good start to the 2013 season.  A healthy portion of delicious mac ‘n cheese on the side was also served.  It is a bit difficult to eat unless you have a table and it is likely that you will need a fork and knife to eat this.

The Beer Can Chicken-$10.00

Good old fashioned beer can chicken!

Good old fashioned beer can chicken!

A generous portion of macaroni and a pickle round out this ballpark meal!

Quite the feast!

Quite the feast!

Cait: With the chicken, you also get a generous portion. It’s marinated with Guinness and slow-roasted on a beer can for two days, seasoned with Old Bay. Like the pork chop,  the meat was very tender and full of flavor. Delicious mac ‘n cheese and a pickle make this into a meal. As John pointed out, the only drawback to this delicious fare is that it can be  difficult to eat unless you have a table as you will need a fork and knife to eat it. However, that’s just one more reason to get to the ballpark early, have your dinner and then get another snack/dessert somewhere around the 4th or 5th inning!

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: Both of these sandwiches are available at the patio outside the right-field corner on the Field Level & Ribbie’s Cafe outside Section 221 on the Loge Level (pictured below).

Rating (out of 5):

4 Sausages

 

 

Well, that concludes our first food critique of 2013. We hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as we enjoyed tasting these new items. We also hope we’ve inspired you to step outside of your brat and beer routine (not that there’s anything wrong with that) next time you’re at Miller Park to check out the wide variety of concession offerings.

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate: New Food Network Favorites for 2012 & Rivalry Fare

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

Hello readers!

We’re really excited to bring back the food review series that we started in 2011: What John and Cait Ate.

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare.

Sportservice provides the food and drink concessions for 25 major league sports clients at 23 venues, including 10 Major League Baseball stadiums.  As the exclusive food, beverage and retail provider for Miller Park, Sportservice offers so many concession stands and such a wide variety of food options that fans dashing out of their seats for a quick snack between innings may be missing out on some of the best ballpark bites.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

When most fans think of ballpark fare, the first things that come to mind are—thanks to the song—peanuts and Crackerjack, as well as hot dogs, brats, maybe popcorn, etc.

Well no offense to the classics, but while baseball is still America’s favorite pastime, America’s palette has evolved.

“Our taste buds have evolved,” Chef John told us “With Food Network and things like that, people see unique foods and want to try them. The ballpark is not just a hot dog place anymore.”

Don't worry, Hot Dog, you'll still be a top-seller. Fans just appreciate more options!

Indeed. What John and Cait Ate will continue to prove that, so read on and feel free to chime in with comments of your own or questions you may have!

New Food Network Favorites for 2012

This year, Food Network is introducing at least two new items into each of the DNC Sportservice stadiums-the Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese and the Bacon Sloppy Joes. Intrigued? Read on.

Buffalo Chicken Mac N’ Cheese- $7.50

A new twist on an old favorite, the Food Network’s buffalo chicken mac n’ cheese is a baked macaroni and cheese tossed with spicy buffalo chicken and topped with bleu cheese bread crumbs.

John: I felt very American when eating this.  Baseball game.  Mac n’ cheese.  Buffalo chicken.  It was great.  I have been wanting to try this ever since I first saw it on Opening Day.  I didn’t feel cheated on the amount of chicken mixed in, I thought it was the perfect amount.  Very easy to eat and a portion that left me satisfied, but able to enjoy some other snacks throughout the game.

Cait: The is not the mac n’ cheese that your mom used to make. Even if hers was pretty good, this is better, guaranteed. The buffalo chicken has just the right amount of “kick” to it; that, combined with its texture, meshes very well with the cheese and the bleu cheese bread crumbs.

Rating (out of 5):

Bacon Sloppy Joes-$7.50

Starting with a Fritos base, lay down a potato roll, slather it with ground beef and bacon that has been slow-cooked with tomatoes. Top that with pepperjack cheese and jerky fried onions and you’ve got Food Network’s Bacon Sloppy Joe.

John: Again, another true American meal with a twist.  Who doesn’t love bacon?!  And bacon mixed with Sloppy Joe?!  I’m in.  The cheese and fried onions added to the taste while the chips completed the meal.  The only problem I had with this is that it was, well, kind of sloppy.  Make sure to grab a fork when enjoying this ballpark snack.

Cait: The Bacon Sloppy Joe was very good, but since we tasted it at the same time as the Buffalo Mac N’ Cheese, I’m afraid it didn’t get a fair shake. I’d say the Buffalo Mac just about blows a lot of food choices out of the water, hence the somewhat average rating here.  However, the addition of the bacon, pepperjack cheese and fried onions definitely take this from a summer camp lunch to a gourmet sandwich–and a filling one at that!

Rating (out of 5):

 

 

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: You can find both of these items at the Food Network stand, located on the Loge Level, just down the third-base line.

Chef’s Table

When we met with Chef John, we learned that this season, DNC Sportservice is trying something new for each series by featuring a menu item inspired by the opposing team’s city available at the Chef’s Table stand.  Chef John seemed pretty excited about this area and it was definitely intriguing to us as well. We didn’t get to try tonight’s L.A.-style sliders, inspired by the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, but they sure look great!  Rumor has it that Bison Burger sliders would be on the menu for the weekend series against the Colorado Rockies.

We’re going to do our best to keep you posted about this new rivalry-inspired fare during each homestand at Miller Park, so make sure you check back here often.

Rating:

Not Yet Rated

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: The Chef’s Table stand is located on the Loge Level, down the first-base line, at the top of the stairs  next to the press box.

Well, that concludes our first food critique of 2012. We hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as we enjoyed tasting these new items. We also hope we’ve inspired you to step outside of your brat and beer routine (not that there’s anything wrong with that) next time you’re at Miller Park to check out the wide variety of concession offerings.

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate in May, during the Reds-Cubs homestand, May 7-13.

In the meantime, whet your appetite by reading some of last year’s food reviews (please note, some menu items and prices may have changed for 2012):

Smoked Turkey, Beef Brisket and the Famous BBQ Pulled Pork Parfait

Salads and More

Food Network Sandwiches

NYCE Stadium Club

Desserts

Grilled Cheese

French Fries

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

What John and Cait Ate…Say Cheese!

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

This week in What John and Cait Ate:

Say Cheese!

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare and review it here, for you.

New this year, Sportservice has opened a grilled cheese stand with several options that are sure to please any cheesehead!

Ironically, on the same day we set out on our concession stand grilled cheese taste test, Brewers Clubhouse Assistant Matt Smith was preparing grilled cheese sandwiches for the players and staff in the clubhouse kitchen. Smith said he makes his grilled cheese with “good old American cheese and Texas Toast.”

Matt Smith Grilled Cheese

Matt Smith prepares grilled cheeses in the Brewers clubhouse kitchen last week.

Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

The Classic Grilled Cheese-$4

This classic grilled cheese consists of American cheese on sourdough bread with guaranteed oo-ey, goo-ey goodness in every bite!

John: I was a hard grader when it came to the “classic” grilled cheese as I would put my mom’s “classic” grilled cheese against any other.  Not a bad sandwich for a simple ballpark snack.

Cait:  Although all of the sandwiches that we tried were very good; the classic was my favorite. True comfort food, it took me back to when I was little, sitting in mom’s kitchen; I remember thinking that the sandwiches were called “girl cheeses” and I even asked, “Why don’t they have boy cheese sandwiches?”

Now I’m rating the sandwiches as part of my job. Ah, I’ve come a long way.  Anyway, it was no so surprise to me to learn that this was the number one seller as far as grilled cheeses go at Miller Park.  Now if only I could get a good bowl of tomato soup to dip it in!

Rating:

    (out of 5)

Bacon Grilled Cheese- $6

The bacon grilled cheese consists of dijonaisse, tomato, bacon and Wisconsin cheddar.

John: The Wisconsin cheddar on this sandwich put it over the top for me.  I love cheddar cheese and it complemented the bacon and tomato.

Cait: This sandwich was right up there with the classic grilled cheese for me; the dijonaisse, bacon, tomato added some interesting textures and flavors while the cheddar cheese had just tinge of sharpness to it. A nice, warm sandwich to enjoy on a cool, crisp fall day at the ballpark.

Rating:

(out of 5)

Southwest Grilled Cheese- $6

A new twist on an old favorite, this grilled cheese sandwich consists of southwestern chicken salad, avocado aioli, pico de gallo and cheddar cheese on spicy jalapeno bread.

John: This sandwich was amazing.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but the flavor was great.  Beware, it was kind of messy and might require a fork, but this was hands down the best sandwich at the stand. Delicious flavor in the chicken salad and a little bit of spice to it as well.

Cait: Of the three sandwiches, this was my least favorite, but I think because John liked it so much, our rating averaged out to the same as the others. Don’t get me wrong-the sandwich was definitely not bad; my rating was based mostly on a personal aversion to mayo and chicken salad.

Rating:

 (out of 5)

The Cheesy Grillwurst-$4.50

While not a grilled cheese, this offering definitely belongs at the Hot Cheese stand. What is it, you ask? Why, it’s the cheesy grillwurst! The cheesy grillwurst is a cross between a brat and a hot dog, with cheddar cheese bursts in every bite.

John: When you are in Wisconsin, why not mix sausage and cheese?  Sounds like a great idea. The Klement’s cheesy grillwurst was pretty good.  My favorite part about this particular stand is that they keep the Secret Stadium Sauce hot on the grill.  Ask to have the grillwurst dipped in the sauce, it is fantastic. I’m told more and more stands are getting the option to “dip” in the Secret Stadium Sauce.  I remember when going to games when I was younger at County Stadium having my hot dog dipped in the hot Secret Stadium Sauce. It is the best.

Cait:  Personally, I had never heard of the cheesy grillwurst; however… our graphic designer and my good friend, Jeff Harding, sits next to me at work and he sure has. Now, there are only a couple of times that I can recall when Jeff has shown a lot of emotion on the job. One was when we clinched the Wild Card in 2008; the other was when I mentioned the cheesy grillwurst. [Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but the guy was pretty pumped.]

Apparently, this is one of Jeff’s favorite foods and he carries many good memories associated with it as he says this product used to be served up at Lambeau Field. Jeff noted that in recent years, he has been disappointed that he could no longer find the cheesy grillwurst on the menu there. Well, little did he know that this year it’s been cooked and served on the same floor as our offices at Miller Park! This news made that cheese ball’s day and he’s made it clear that he’s going to seek one out this weekend.

As for my opinion: As you know from reading past reviews, I am not a meatlover, however I do think the cheesy grillwurst is pretty good and definitely worth trying.

Rating:

(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: All of these items can be found at Hot Cheese, located behind Section 208 on the Loge Level, along with beverages and the ever-popular helmet cheese fries.

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? Want to dispute our reviews? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during the next homestand and until then, stay cool and…Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

Introducing…What John and Cait Ate

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

-Yogi Berra

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it…and try these concessions!”

-John & Cait

Hello readers!

We’re really excited to introduce a new series to you: What John and Cait Ate.

During each homestand, we will be meeting with John DiMartini, Executive Chef at Delaware North Sportservice/Miller Park to sample some of the latest and greatest Miller Park fare.

Sportservice provides the food and drink concessions for 25 major league sports clients at 23 venues, including 10 Major League Baseball stadiums.  As the exclusive food, beverage and retail provider for Miller Park, Sportservice offers so many concession stands and such a wide variety of food options that fans dashing out of their seats for a quick snack between innings may be missing out on some of the best ballpark bites.

Don’t worry. We’re here to help.

When most fans think of ballpark fare, the first things that come to mind are—thanks to the song—peanuts and Crackerjack, as well as hot dogs, brats, maybe popcorn, etc.

Well no offense to the classics, but while baseball is still America’s favorite pastime, America’s palette has evolved.

“Our taste buds have evolved,” Chef John said. “With Food Network and things like that, people see unique foods and want to try them. The ballpark is not just a hot dog place anymore.”

Don't worry, Hot Dog, you'll still be a top-seller. Fans just appreciate more options!

Indeed. What John and Cait Ate will prove that. So, read on for our first food review and feel free to chime in with comments of your own or questions you may have!

Holy Smoke!

Today, at our first meeting with Chef John, we were treated to an array of smoked products. This past offseason, Sportservice acquired a smoker and now, beef brisket, pork and turkey are all smoked in-house, or rather, in-park.

We sampled the hand-carved smoked turkey breast and BBQ beef brisket sandwiches, as well as the pulled pork parfait and the smoked beef brisket parfait–all new this year. Each item is generous in portion and costs just $7. Read on for a description, photos and reviews!

Hand-Carved Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich- $7

The turkey on this sandwich is smoked fresh with brown sugar and herbs for four hours day-of-game. Then, the tender, juicy meat is topped with a roasted red pepper chili sauce that perfectly complements the turkey’s smoky taste.

John:  The turkey was fresh and tender and the flavor from the roasted red pepper chili sauce gave it just the right amount of “kick.”  The sauce didn’t overpower the natural smoked flavor of the turkey.  It was a healthy portion and I found it easy to eat.

Cait: The hand-carved smoked turkey breast sandwich puts my brown-bag lunch turkey sandwich to shame. The turkey absolutely melted in my mouth. I haven’t had any smoked foods recently, so this was a wake-up call for my taste buds!

Rating:

    (out of 5)

Next up…

Hand-Carved Smoked BBQ Beef Brisket Sandwich- $7

The hand-carved smoked BBQ beef brisket sandwich is made up of tender beef that has been smoked for 12 hours, topped with a special BBQ sauce that is made in-house, along with a special horseradish sauce.

John:  Ever since the Brewers “Create a Concession” contest in December, Chef John was telling me how excited he was to get his new smoker at Miller Park. After tasting this sandwich, I can see why. I have always been a fan of meat cooked in a smoker and this sandwich is great. I found it easier to eat with a fork and the flavor was like something from a Texas BBQ. I have never really been a fan of  horseradish sauce, but this was different. It complemented the homemade BBQ sauce for a unique taste.  Without a doubt, I would recommend this to anyone.

Cait: I tend to steer away from red meat and usually only choose chicken or turkey, so I will admit that I don’t have the most educated palette when it comes to judging beef. I will also admit that I came to this tasting with preconceived notions of brisket: I have relatives down South and that’s the only time I’ve ever encountered the meat. Based on that experience, part of me wanted to try this sandwich while pinching my nose just to get it over with—you know, like little kids do when they have to eat their vegetables—but I didn’t think that would be very professional. Well, let me tell you…the hand-carved smoked beef brisket sandwich is like one of my favorite 1980s sitcoms: Out of This World. It was nothing like the tough, jerky-like substance I ingested down in Georgia. I was also a little frightened by Chef John’s description of “horseradish sauce,” but I found the sauce to be surprisingly sweet with a unique, tangy flavor. That, combined with the BBQ sauce made for one tasty sandwich.

Rating:

(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: Both of these sandwiches are available at the patio outside the right-field corner on the Field Level & Ribbie’s Cafe outside Section 221 on the Loge Level (pictured below).  The sandwiches are also served on the Club Level at the bar in the Home Plate Lounge and the Brewery Hill Deli next to the Home Plate Lounge; there, the sandwiches come with fresh cut potato chips and a pickle for $8.75.

Now, on to “dessert”…

Smoked Beef Brisket or Pulled Pork Parfaits- $7

When the guy in the row in front of you comes back to his seat, your first thought is “Mmmm… I could really go for some ice cream right about now.” But then you do a double-take and you realize that that’s no ice cream sundae.  Before you know it, you find yourself tapping him on the shoulder. “Excuse me, sir, but what is that?” As he explains to you that it is a smoked beef brisket parfait, a combination of  the aforementioned delectable smoked meat and creamy mashed potatoes drizzled with the special BBQ sauce and topped with chives-oh, and it is also available with pulled pork-your mouth begins to water. He stops you before you have a chance to ask your next question. He already knows what it will be. “Section 127,” he says. And, like the Famous Racing Sausages at the starting line, you’re off.

John: I have heard about this and seen this, but I have never been able to try one. The same smoked beef brisket from the sandwich mixed with mashed potatoes makes for a delicious meal served in a ballpark-friendly style. It was great.  Having it all mixed together allowed the flavors to blend perfectly. Priced at $7, this was a great deal and definitely a complete, filling meal. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to other MLB ballparks and often roam the concourses. I have never seen anything like this.  Bravo to Chef John and his crew for this unique and delicious item.

Cait: Genius. As Chef John told us, “It’s comfort food. It’s easy to eat. You can grab it with a beer and go back to your seat.” Anyone can put meat and potatoes on a plate, but this is a new twist on old dietary staples, both in look and in taste. And it fits in a cupholder!

Rating:

(out of 5)

Where To Satisfy Your Craving: These parfaits are available on the Field Level behind Section 127 (Tripleplay Sliders, shown below), on the Loge Level behind Section 214, on the Club Level outside Suite 64, and on the Terrace Level, behind Section 417.

Well, that concludes our first food critique. We hope you enjoyed reading it half as much as we enjoyed tasting these new items. We also hope we’ve inspired you to step outside of your brat and beer routine (not that there’s anything wrong with that) next time you’re at Miller Park to check out the wide variety of concession offerings.

We’ll be back with another edition of What John and Cait Ate during Green Week at Miller Park, June 20-26!

What about you? Do you have a favorite ballpark snack? A question about concessions? Something you’d like to see featured here? Post your comments below!

Bon Appetit!

-John and Cait

johnandcait@brewers.com

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