The List: 13 Columbus eats that should be stadium foods
The food offerings at Columbus Crew SC home games at the newly redubbed Mapfre Stadium will feature some beloved local favorites this season. Hot Chicken Takeover, Jeni's, Schmidt's and a variety of local craft beers make the stadium experience more of a true Columbus experience. Here's my dream list for other local foods (and drinks) I want while watching sports (I'm looking at you, Blue Jackets).
Ray Ray's (duh!)
The Clippers' Huntington Park is already well-represented locally with City BBQ, but can you have too much of a good thing? Ray Ray's perfectly smoked meats make me crave sports and beer. It's a match made in heaven.
Jeni's Dippin' Dots
OK, so the texture of Jeni's ice cream is half of the point, but I'd love to see what sort of flavor combinations she could come up with in this stadium staple - the "Ice Cream of the Future" since 1987!
Land-Grant 1862 Ale
Land-Grant was announced among the local breweries featured at Mapfre - along with Columbus Brewing Company, Four String and Elevator - but actual beers haven't been specified yet. I'm rooting for the 1862, their American-ized take on a German Kölsch. It's crisp, clean and low-ABV for those long days.
UPDATE: The 1862 is confirmed as one of the Mapfre Stadium beers!
Little Palace fried cheese curds
Fresh, local and beyond addictive, I've been singing the praises of Little Palace's curds since they were introduced. They'd make a perfect finger food - or you could go the full poutine at Nationwide Arena for hockey?
Thurman Burger sliders
The most famous burger in Columbus can be a gastric monstrosity, but it would be perfect for slider treatment at a stadium. Portion size matters, and you don't want to need a nap in the bleachers.
I don't care if it's not local. I don't care if it's not here yet. I don't care if ramen makes for terrible stadium food. I just want Cleveland Chef Jonathon Sawyer's ramen shop to come to Columbus and GET IN MY BELLY.
Mikey's Late Night Slice Pizza in a Cup
Late Night Slice is already available in multiple music venues around town, but I want it in a sport setting. More specifically, I want Mikey's take on the "Pizza in a Cup" concept from the classic Steve Martin comedy "The Jerk." Please?!
Melt tofu "wings"
Sports stadiums can be a nightmare for vegetarians and vegans, but even an omnivore like me should want to munch down on these crispy tofu wedges from grilled-cheese purveyors Melt.
Popcorn is ballpark food, but longtime North Market resident Pam's Popcorn takes flavored popcorn up a notch. I could eat a blend of Pam's cheddar and caramel popcorns all day. Or at least all game.
Deep-fried Pistacia Vera macarons
There's no reason to mess with the perfection of these perfect little pastries, but sports fans aren't known for delicate eating, so let's throw 'em in the deep fryer and put 'em on a stick!
Seventh Son Oubliette
A high-alcohol imperial stout isn't your traditional sports guzzler, but the Oubliette is a great winter beer, so it would be great to imbibe during Blue Jackets games.
Condado walking tacos
I'm currently kind of obsessed with the Short North "build your own taco" spot, but their housemade chorizo would be great in a bag of Fritos for a less-messy snack on the run.
Marcella's meatball to-go
I love the whisper-light veal-based meatball at Marcella's so much I want to be able to just eat it with my hands. Like a peach, only … meat. That's the kind of thing you can only get away with at a stadium.