Unveiling new Buffalo Sabres concessions - PHOTOS
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • September 18, 2013 @ 11:11am
Rumors are swirling that the calories you consume during a Buffalo Sabres game actually don’t count toward your daily intake. I know, it’s strange.
Okay—we’re kidding—but attending a Sabres game is a perfect “splurge” night, as that 20 oz. beer gliding down your throat as Christian Ehrhoff hums a slap-shot from the point often sparks thoughts like, “Hm, what can I get to fulfill my sudden hankering for food?”
Well, Delaware North and the Buffalo Sabres have continued their partnership through Sportservice Concessions at the First Niagara Center, and on Tuesday unveiled a slew of new menu items for regular concessions, the Lexus Club and the private suites.
Sportservice executive chef Scott Green (pictured speaking below), Sabres president Ted Black and others spoke to the media about the overall changes in the press preview.
While we’re moderately envious of Buffalonians who don tailored suits and following the action from reserved suites or the classy club level, we know that many of our readers are fairly thrifty, younger fans who just don’t want to eat plain nachos or Dippin’ Dots night after night.
We chatted with Rose Radecki (pictured center in photo above right), concessions chef for Sabres games, about the new food items available for the typical Sabres fan who perches in the 100s or 300s, and we were treated to a detailed explanations of each, and we included prices when available:
**The Big Puck: The brainchild of Sportservice operations manager Jeff Shanor (pictured in above photo, right), The Big Puck is a 16-oz. steak burger with a pound of toppings and a pound of French fries.
Intended to be shared by two or three people—a novel concept since burgers are typically enjoyed by a single individual—the touted newcomer runs for $20. (Ryan Swan, the concessions manager, is pictured above left).
Judging from the photo below, The Big Puck (also pictured in the header) is not a misnomer—the 85/15 circular steak patty is monstrous, and it’s topped with a few slices of cheddar cheese. Lettuce, pickles, tomatoes and red onions sit on the opposite side of a seemingly endless mound of fries. And, for $20, you deserve a generous pile of food.
“We wanted something with a ‘wow’ factor,” Radecki explained, “and we wanted to raise the bar with a steak patty instead of the usual 80/20 beef.”
**Fried pickles: Another comfort food, Radecki noted, but it’s one that’s not as common as soft pretzels, nachos or French fries. As someone who’s fought through several disastrous breaded pickles in his life—you know, the ones where the breading falls off and you’re left with a wilted pickle—I asked Radecki to relay how she keeps them firmly in one piece.
“You dunk the pickles in oil when they’re still a little frozen,” Radecki divulged, adding how the pickle doesn’t become overcooked, maintains its crunch and manages not to fall apart.
**Sabre Sandwich: Radecki sees this tiered BBQ pulled pork and steak burger combo as preferable to McDonald’s Big Mac—it’s another atypical flavor merger, but texturally it’s a little enlightening—unless you commonly plop shredded pork atop your burgers.
If you want to get bolder with the Sabre Sandwich, ask for jalapenos added to the top, as the pulled pork wasn’t as spicy as I anticipated.
**Chicken philly hoagie: Gasp! A healthier alternative? Kind of. Radecki understands the sensitivity of customers to red meat, so the chicken philly is 100% white meat chicken—even if it’s generously lathered in white cheddar cheese as you can see from the photo. Expect the chicken philly to be the go-to choice for those pesky, boisterous Flyer fans.
**Shrimp tacos: As Green said before the tasting, an emphasis has been placed on seafood this year—walleye and sesame-seared tuna join the Lexus Club level fray, while shrimp tacos have been added to concessions. While stadium fare is obviously expensive—$6.50 for two tacos, which draw additional flavor from a scampi coating, house-made jalapeno coleslaw and a chili-lime aioli. The shrimp tacos are definitely not boring.
While we don’t have photos of the following, Radecki mentioned a bunch of other menu additions:
**Six new themed hot dogs, all of which run for $6 (4 oz. hot dog, generous toppings)
—Mexican (lathered in salsa, wrapped in a flour tortilla), Northside (BBQ pork laid on top of the dog), Elmwood (chopped onion, tomato, banana pepper rings), Coney Island and Buffalo-style (shredded Buffalo chicken, shaved celery, bleu cheese)
“We’re trying to get ourselves out of the ‘concession’ mentality, where all fans expect are nachos, burgers and fries,” Radecki concluded. “It’s our goal to raise the bar.”
Below are the new menu items for the Lexus Club and the suites with a couple photos of each:
(Roast Pibil pork tacos)
(Juicy Lucy trio)
(Bubbling crab dip)