Stadium Food Power Rankings: Arizona Cardinals vs. Seattle Seahawks
Today on The Daily Meal
- Stadium Food Power Rankings: Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals
- Stadium Food Power Rankings: Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints
- Stadium Food Power Rankings: Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
- Stadium Food Power Rankings: San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams
- Stadium Food Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 14 of the NFL season has us reeling. We are six and three, and have taken losses because of some rather unexpected wins — in football terms, not just in food. The Rams pulled out a win over San Francisco, Detroit beat the Vikings back in week 10, and the Patriots won over the Jets in week 12, although that one may not have been so shocking. This week, one of our matchups features the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks, two West Coast gems, whose last game in September resulted in a Cardinals win. However, we think Seattle just might have some delectable food. Let’s see who takes the win… gastronomically, of course.
University of Phoenix Stadium, home (or shall we say nest?) of the Arizona Cardinals, is located in Glendale, Ariz. Seating just fewer than 64,000 fans regularly, the stadium can be opened up for 73,000 spectators for Super Bowls and college bowl games. The stadium boasts 72 straight sellout crowds, a one-of-a-kind rollout field, and concessions by Rojo Hospitality Group, a newcomer to our stadium food rankings. Let’s see what they have in store.
Specialty items at the stadium include panini sandwiches, in ancho chile turkey, buffalo mozzarella and roasted tomato; roast beef and sharp Cheddar; and Southwest chicken and pepper jack options; carne asada, rojo pollo, and barbacoa street tacos; udon noodle bowls in beef, chicken, or vegetable; hand-carved prime rib sandwiches; prime rib nachos; beef brisket chili; bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers. All the stadium's smoked meats, including pork shoulder, prime rib, brisket, chicken, and turkey, are smoked in-house. The stadium also partners with Hebrew National Hot Dogs and Papa John's Pizza for more standard stadium fare.
Panini selection at University of Phoenix Stadium. Photo courtesy of Rojo Hospitality Group.
Deserts are also available, including dessert "tacos," cookie shells filled with white and dark chocolate mousses and topped with fresh berries, 7-ounce lemon and chocolate chunk cookies baked in-house, and individual seasonal cheesecakes.
The stadium’s healthy options include a lot of gluten-free dishes, such as gluten-free and vegetarian hummus platters with gluten-free crackers and crostini, vegetables, peppers, and olives; gluten-free chicken Caesar wraps, gluten-free Hebrew National Hot Dogs and buns, and gluten-free hamburgers and buns. Healthy items also include chopped salads, Cobb salads, and grilled vegetable salads.
University of Phoenix Stadium's barbacoa street tacos. Photo courtesy of Rojo Hospitality Group.
Sustainable efforts at the stadium include recycling all glass, plastic, paper, and aluminum products and working with local nonprofit groups for staffing on game days, with more than $600,000 of the stadium’s revenue each year put back into those groups and the community.
The Seattle Seahawks, the other contenders in this week’s matchup, call CenturyLink Field home. The stadium is located just south of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, and snow-capped mountains and the Puget Sound provide the field's stunning backdrop. With regular seating capacity at 67,000, the stadium is also expandable, and can reach 72,000 for bigger events. The general concessions are run by Levy Restaurants, a previous contender in our series and a matchup winner. Let’s see how they fare this time around.
CenturyLink's Zagat-rated salmon BLT. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
Fan-favorites and specialties of the stadium include the Zagat-rated salmon BLT, with locally caught salmon, lettuce, tomato, applewood-smoked bacon, Dijonnaise sauce, and a corn-dusted Kaiser bun; crisp garlic fries, tossed in garlic and sea salt; the Seahawk Hot Dog, a Kielbasa sausage topped with cream cheese and caramelized onions; and Beecher’s Mac and Cheese, featuring Pike Place Market style mac and cheese served with their Flagship tomato Soup.
CenturyLink's 12th Man Burger. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
The stadium also has a rotating home game menu, which changes monthly. Items on the menu can include the 12th Man Burger, a burger with Niman Ranch beef or turkey; the Loaded Dog of the Month, a Vienna all-beef hot dog topped with unique additions each month; the Catch Special Sandwich, featuring local, seasonal ingredients served on Fremont sourdough; and the Extreme Grilled Cheese of the Month, which adds a different topping each month and always uses local cheeses.
The Snout and Co. local food truck in the North Lot is new to the stadium this year, and is famous for its Seattle Cuban, a pressed sandwich with mojo pork, mango, chimichurri, onion relish, and smoked serrano mango sauce.
CenturyLink's Asian Taco. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
Eating local is a prominent theme at CenturyLink Field, as many of the options focus on natural products from the area. Some local vendors and products offered include Beecher’s Handmade Cheese; poultry, pork, and beef from Uli’s Famous Sausage, Niman Ranch, Interbay Meats, and Draper Valley Farms; seafood from Pacific Pride Seafood and Taylor Shellfish; produce from Charlie’s Produce, Northwest-grown Farmer’s Own, and Mama Lil’s Peppers; and pastries and deserts from Essential Baking Company, Franz Family Bakeries, Trophy Cupcakes, and Morfey’s Cakes.
CenturyLink's Extreme Grilled Cheese. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
In addition to compost and recycling programs implemented by the stadium, which uses 90 percent compostable materials in concessions and 100 percent compostable materials in suites, CenturyLink has a focus on giving back. Operation Sack Lunch donates close 6,000 pounds of food a year to Seattle’s homeless, which equates to approximately 5,000 meals. The stadium also participates in a cooperative farming program, incorporating organic and locally grown vegetables from small farmers and local vendors into the food offerings, and puts a large focus on using humanely raised animals for their meat dishes.
Close call, West Coasters, but this week’s win is going to Seattle. From the mouthwatering food to the emphasis on everything that's local and natural, we are awarding the Seahawks a food win (and hoping the game outcome reflects our predictions). Will we be right? Find out Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
Get up to date on our Stadium Food Power Rankings here.
Tune in next week for our matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins.
Tyler Sullivan is the Assistant Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @atylersullivan
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