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.