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Pinstripe Alley v. Yankee Stadium Food: Baos

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With Yankee Stadium introducing intriguing new food options, it made sense to bring this series back.

Bao Menu

Before the 2016 season, the Yankees introduced new food offerings at Yankee Stadium. The new food options were certainly intriguing, some because they sounded good, some because of their name, and some because we were just downright scared by it. This prompted PSA’s Greg Kirkland and me to start reviewing some of the items available at the stadium.

So far, Greg has reviewed the Barnyard Wedding and G.O.A.T. Burger, both of which he says were good, but the Barnyard Wedding in a shameful way, whereas the latter was actually good. I jumped in on the action with the underwhelming journey that was the Cheesesteak Bowl. I also tried the chicken fingers options the Yankees offered last year with the intention of reviewing them, but was so disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to write about them.

Fast forward to 2017. The Yankees seemingly heard the complaints on the food and the stadium and decided to try and revamp the food options as well as the stadium. PSA’s Jason Cohen was invited on a media tour of the new amenities and given the opportunity to try the new food options available. If you haven’t already, go read his take on the new social areas built within the stadium, as well as the new food options. Obviously he couldn’t try everything on the menu, which brings us here today.

After reading his reviews, I was genuinely excited about almost all the new food options and I saw an opportunity to bring this series back and share my experiences. First up, I decided to try the new baos (Chinese buns) which are available in the new Toyota Terrace. Four types of baos were introduced:

  1. Bacon: Hoisin brushed bacon, pickled carrots, sliced cucumber, lime cilantro crema, hoisin, sesame seeds
  2. Beef: Marinated beef, cheddar cheese, sautéed onions and bell peppers, Flamin' Hot Cheetos
  3. Chicken: Charbroiled chicken, bbq sauce, sriracha ranch, crushed kettle chips
  4. Cauliflower: Buffalo cauliflower, blue cheese, Frank's RedHot, celery slaw

Since Jason previously tried the chicken bao during his tour, I decided to try the beef and bacon baos.

Bacon Beef Baos
Bacon on the left, beef on the right

Bacon Bao

Don’t be fooled, this isn’t the standard thin strip of bacon. It’s actually nice thick slab of bacon that’s brushed in hoisin sauce and comes with carrots, cucumbers, sesame seeds and extra sauce. I’ll start off by saying that this was delicious.

I visited Yankee Stadium on this past Saturday afternoon and before actually making it to the stadium, my game companions and I went to get our favorite pork buns in the city. Those pork buns were the last thing I ate before eating the bacon bao at Yankee Stadium, and though they didn’t live up to those, I still enjoyed this very much. That alone spoke volumes to me.

The hoisin sauce was very good, and they did a very good job of not putting too much sauce so it doesn’t take away from the other flavors. The pickled carrots mixed nicely with that and the sesame seeds were a nice touch. I don’t know if it was simply the one I had, but I couldn’t really taste the lime cilantro crema which was disappointing because I think it would’ve been a nice touch.

My only other gripe with the bacon bao was the cucumbers. I thought they were a bit out of place. I know where they were going with this though, as I’ve had pork buns with cucumbers before and cucumber generally mixes well with hoisin sauce. The problem here is that cucumbers have a very strong taste and in such a small bun it actually overpowers the taste. After one bite with the cucumber (which still wasn’t bad), I ended up taking the cucumber out to finish the rest of the bao. Much better that way.

Beef Bao

Next up was the beef bao. As seen in the main picture of this post, the beef bao at the stadium is described to have prime rib. But the Yankees website lists it simply as marinated beef. Honestly, it was really just the cheesesteak meat, cheese, onions, and peppers on a soft bun instead of a roll. You know what though? It was still really good!

It may sound upsetting to hear that they use the cheesesteak beef for this instead of something different, and while I’d probably prefer some different beef option, at the end of the day, I had the most Joey Tribbiani reaction to this. What’s not to like? Meat: good. Cheese: good. Flamin’ Hot Cheetos: GOOOOOOOOD.

It wasn’t anything extraordinary, and probably would’ve been average, but it had a saving grace. The Flamin’ Hot Cheetos were a really nice touch, and unlike the pain Jason felt with the chicken bao, the Cheetos were ground up very nicely to mix in a good crunch with the Cheeto flavor with nothing stabbing the inside of your mouth. The Cheeto flavor mixed really well to give this bao some life, some might call it a kick but I don’t think there were enough Cheetos to feel any actual spiciness. Either way, it was very good.

Final Verdict: The Yankees made a very good addition to their menu by offering these baos. They’re quite good, prepared as fresh as can be, and pretty affordable for ballpark food. Two for eight dollars isn’t too bad, but be warned they are quite small. They’re great for a snack, but if you want to make a meal out of this, a second order is probably necessary.

The other good news is that they do allow mixing and matching, which made trying them a better and easier experience. Next time I go, I’m likely going to try the chicken and cauliflower baos.