Here we are in week 11 of the NFL season, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans are facing off. The stadiums, EverBank Field and Reliant Stadium, respectively, run concessions through Levy Restaurants (winner of last week’s matchup between Detroit and Minnesota), and Aramark (previously featured in Stadium Food Power Rankings: Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals). This week’s matchup lets us explore Jacksonville, Fla., and Houston for their culinary treasures.
EverBank Field, home of the Jaguars, is located in downtown Jacksonville, Fla. Built in 1995, the stadium was erected on top of, and included parts of, what used to be the Gator Bowl stadium. The stadium still hosts the Gator Bowl each year, is one of the venues used by the U.S. national men’s soccer team, and also hosted the 2005 Super Bowl. The stadium seats just less than 70,000 but can be expanded to hold more than 80,000 fans.
Concessions items at EverBank Field are not lacking in creativity. Unique and popular items include the Mayport Shrimp Burger, made with Mayport Fisheries’ freshly harvested shrimp, is served on a toasted Telera roll with Key lime aioli; the Steak and Wedge Sandwich, composed of tenderloin steak, bacon, lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, and secret sauce; and the Jags Dog, a foot-long hot dog served with mango-infused coleslaw. Toasted flatbread sandwiches are also available, served with pot roast, turkey breast, or corn beef.
EverBank Field's The Steak and Wedge Sandwich. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
Another popular item, the Two Point Conversion Burger, is a 1-pound hamburger topped with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, and secret sauce, pressed between two grilled cheese sandwiches. The burger is the star of EverBank’s Fan vs. Food Competition, a battle of strong stomachs held in the hour and a half before each game, where 20 fans are invited to test their luck at finishing off the infamous burger, and if successful, can win a piece of autographed Jaguars memorabilia.
Grilled Shrimp at EverBank Field. Photo courtesy of Levy Restaurants.
Levy Restaurants and EverBank Field locally source dairy, citrus juice, and freshly caught shrimp and fish on game days, keeping in mind the lack of fresh ingredients and healthy alternatives in most traditional stadium dining. "On the Run" stands and the Bud Light Party Zone also feature gluten-free items, including hot dogs (both plain and loaded with cheese, chili, and fresh jalapeños), loaded nachos, deserts such as carrot cake muffins and chia double chocolate chip muffins, snacks such as Taste Good Tortilla Chips, Skittles, and gummy bears, and healthy vegetable and fruit cups. The stadium also offers a small selection of gluten-free beer from Bard’s Beer, Redbridge, and Angry Orchard.