Stadium Food Power Rankings: Eagles vs. Giants

This week, Stadium Food Power Rankings covers the clash between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants to find out which team's stadium has the best food
Week 10 of our Stadium Food Power Rankings takes a look at MetLife Stadium (pictured) and Lincoln Financial Field.

This week marks the final week in the NFL regular season, and our coverage spans three final matchups: the Oakland Raiders' O.co Coliseum versus the San Diego Chargers' Qualcomm Stadiumthe Washington RedskinsFedEx Field versus the Dallas CowboysCowboys Stadium, and the matchup featured here, the Philadelphia EaglesLincoln Financial Field versus the New York GiantsMetLife Stadium. With our record at nine wins and four losses, we are anxious to see how we’re looking as we head into the playoffs, and creep ever-closer to the Super Bowl finale in New Orleans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

 

The Philadelphia Eagles hosted their first game at Lincoln Financial Field in the fall of 2003, just a few months after the stadium's completion. The new stadium, thought up in 1994 upon Jeffrey Lurie’s purchase of the Eagles, was put in place for the ultimate goal of "winning the Super Bowl." Winning, according to Lurie, is very much dependent on stadium and training facilities, prompting the state-of-the-art new building. Let’s see what’s happening with the food.
 


Lincoln Financial Field's Italian Market Nachos. Photo courtesy of Aramark.
 

Unique items / Variety / Presentation 
Unique and popular stadium items include the Sloppy José, a short rib chorizo sandwich topped with Chihuahua cheese and slaw and served with homemade chips, an invention from Top Chef winner Kevin Sbraga; the slow-roasted pork gyro with homemade cucumber yogurt, fresh dill, tomatoes, and onions, on a toasted pita, also from Sbraga; the Pass Interference sandwich, a South Philadelphia-style roasted pork sandwich with arugula, fontina cheese, and garlic jus on a seeded Italian roll; the Italian Market Nacho with homemade sausage Bolognese, mozzarella cheese sauce, house-made ricotta, and fresh jalapeños; The Fat Darrell sandwich with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, lettuce, tomato, and marinara sauce, all on a single sub roll; and the Chop Block, chopped brisket with a jalapeño slaw and Linc barbecue sauce, served on a corn-dusted kaiser roll.
 


The Sloppy Jose at Lincoln Financial Field. Photo courtesy of Aramark.
 

Notable partnerships also produce much of the stadium’s popular fare, including cheesesteaks from Tony Luke’s and Rick’s Steaks; crab fries (dusted with a secret blend of spices and served with white creamy cheese sauce) and Buffalo chicken tenders from Chickie’s & Pete’s; The Schmitter, sliced beef with extra cheese, fried onions, tomato, grilled salami, and Schmitter sauce, on a flash-broiled kaiser roll from McNally’s Tavern; hoagies from Planet Hoagie; cheesesteak pretzels from Philly Pretzel Factory; barbecue from Bassett’s Original Memphis BBQ; twisted soft pretzels from Federal Pretzel; and assorted popcorn flavors from Johnson’s Popcorn.

New, local additions to this season’s menu include assorted grilled cheese sandwiches from Melt Down Grilled Cheese and the Dietz & Watson Spinach Chicken Parmigiana sandwich on an Italian roll with tomatoes and Dietz & Watson sharp provolone.
 


The Pass Interference at Lincoln Financial Center. Photo courtesy of Aramark.
 

Healthy / Organic / Allergy-Minded Options
Lincoln Financial Field was named the most vegetarian-friendly NFL stadium by PETA for the past three seasons (2012, 2011, 2010), noted for its menu of vegetable wraps, veggie steak sandwiches, vegetarian hot dogs, black bean burgers, garden burgers, and hummus with carrot and celery sticks. Gluten-free options include hot dogs and rolls, juices and beer, and gluten-free baked goods from Sweet Christine's.  There is also a kosher food stand, featuring kosher hot dogs, chili brisket, and pastrami rolls.

Sustainability Efforts
Lincoln Financial Field is a zero landfill facility. Most service ware is compostable, and through recycling efforts, the stadium has collected 365 tons of glass, aluminum, plastic, and cardboard; and 409 tons of compost material in 2012. Cleaning products and practices are also in an effort to be “green,” with eco-friendly, green seal cleaning materials, and technologies employing electrically charged water.

MetLife Stadium, home to both New York teams, the New York Jets (our Thanksgiving matchup) and the New York Giants (featured here), is a part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, situated in East Rutherford, N.J.  As we mentioned previously, the stadium seats just more than 80,000 fans, making it the largest stadium in the NFL in terms of permanent seating capacity, with front row seating the shortest distance from the sideline than all other NFL stadiums. While we searched for Giants-specific dishes offered for the games, our friends at Sportservice had to reiterate the homemade meatballs, 5,000 of which are sold per game. Let’s rehash some of that MetLife info, in case you hadn’t tuned in with us on Thanksgiving.
 


MetLife's Pretzel Braid. Photo courtesy of Sportservice.
 

Unique/Popular Items
Food at the stadium ranges from standard fare to more inventive items. Executive chef Eric Borgia, a native of the area, uses his own grandmother’s recipe for the stadium’s Nonna Fusco’s Meatballs, a popular and hometown-feel item. "It’s been meatball fever over here," he says. "We go through almost 1,000 just feeding the stadium staff and for catering." Other unique items include the Italian Roast Pork Sandwich, the Pepper and Egg, pork rolls, the Food Network Sloppy Joe Sandwich, the NY Pub Brisket Sandwich, and the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese. Most popular items stick to regulars such as chicken tenders and fries, Thumann's hot dogs, and J&J pretzel braids. MetLife partners with Food Network, Papa John's, Nathan’s Crinkle Cut French Fries, Thumann's Hot Dogs and Deli Meats, and Lobel's Prime Meats in their food and drink offerings at the stadium.
 


MetLife's Pepper and Egg Sandwich. Photo courtesy of Sportservice.
 

Healthy/Allergy-Friendly Options
The stadium hosts "Good to Go Organic" trailers and portable food locations offering a range of healthier choices for fans. All-natural barbecue chicken melts, organic  beef hot dogs, vegie hot dogs and Naked juice are among the healthy and vegetarian options.
 


The Pork Roll at MetLife. Photo courtesy of Sportsrvice.
 

Sustainability Efforts
Don’t forget the stadium’s environmental efforts, as they've recently been kicking up their focus on green initiatives, energy and water conservation, and natural resource protection, in working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the efforts employed by the stadium was creating a porous pavement, using crushed granite stone material to allow rain water to recharge groundwater, thereby reducing stormwater flow into the sensitive surrounding environmental area.
 

THE WINNER

Tough love, MetLife, but you may not take the win this time around (all food considering). While we can’t knock the genuine nature and recipe of those New York meatballs, Philly did us in with their variety and inventiveness, so we're naming the Eagles the winner of this week’s food matchup. Will New York prove us wrong? Find out Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

 

Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on twitter @atylersullivan. 

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