Yankees open home spring training slate in Tampa with new menu items

Among the offerings at Steinbrenner Field are a house-made pastrami sandwich and a Tampa Cuban sandwich
Published February 25
Updated February 25

TAMPA — As the Yankees open their home spring-training schedule today, Steinbrenner Field will introduce some new dynamic menu items that will extend beyond traditional ballpark fare.

Classics like hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken tenders and fries remain, but down the right-field line the 750-pound smoker will produce an in-house-made pastrami sandwich that the team believes will rival any New York deli’s pastrami. And along the concourse, new healthy food options bowls — cleverly named Bomber Bowls — will be introduced.

“We want to make sure every fan who walks into the stadium has the ability to enjoy themselves,” said Yankees senior executive chef Matt Gibson. “There’s a lot of fans that want the chicken fingers, hot dogs and french fries and we’ll do those to the best of our abilities. But, in addition to that, in this day and age there are a lot of foodies who are coming to stadiums, and as chefs we’re having a lot of fun with it.”

New options include a Tampa Cuban sandwich, loaded kettle chips and a crispy chicken sandwich.

Three types of Bomber Bowls will be sold — chicken, shrimp and tofu.

“One thing I’m proud of is that we’re introducing a healthy bowl concept that our fans have asked for and that we feel is responsive to today’s trend in eating,” said Tony Bruno, the CFO of Yankees Global Enterprises. "So this way, when you come to the ballpark, not

only do you have the opportunity to have the traditional fare — the hot dog and the hamburger — but also have the opportunity to enjoy a good healthy alternative.

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Here's a look at some of new items fans can expect to see at Steinbrenner Field this spring.

The new pastrami sandwich served at Yankees spring training games this year. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]The new pastrami sandwich served at Yankees spring training games this year. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

The new house-smoked pastrami sandwich is cooked in the facility’s smoker for 18 hours and sliced extremely thin and served on marble rye bread with New York deli mustard. Gibson is most proud of this menu item, and he has reason to be. The meat is tender and so thinly sliced that it almost melts in your mouth. This is the real deal.

This might be just the beginning of how the smoker is used. Gibson said he hopes to continue to add items from the smoker, like Reuben sandwiches, in the future.

The smoked chicken wings that will be served during Yankees home spring training games at Steinbrenner Field are smoked in-house. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA |TImes]The smoked chicken wings that will be served during Yankees home spring training games at Steinbrenner Field are smoked in-house. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA |TImes]

Also from the smoker, there are smoked chicken wings with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese. These wings are meaty, larger than any I’ve seen at a ballpark before. The hot sauce is a nice touch, but it sort of overwhelms the smoky taste of the chicken, which is what makes the item unique. But if you like chicken wings, go for it.

Among the healthy food options the Yankees are introducing for spring training games at Steinbrenner Field this season is the blackened chicken bomber bowl, which also has roasted sweet potatoes, kohlrabi slaw, mango pineapple salsa and chipotle crema. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]Among the healthy food options the Yankees are introducing for spring training games at Steinbrenner Field this season is the blackened chicken bomber bowl, which also has roasted sweet potatoes, kohlrabi slaw, mango pineapple salsa and chipotle crema. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

The chicken Bomber Bowl is made of blackened chicken with roasted sweet potatoes, kohlrabi slaw, mango pineapple salsa and chipotle crema.

Among the healthy food options the Yankees are introducing for spring training games at Steinbrenner Field this season is the mojo shrimp bomber bowl. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]Among the healthy food options the Yankees are introducing for spring training games at Steinbrenner Field this season is the mojo shrimp bomber bowl. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

The shrimp bowl contains mojo shrimp, cilantro-lime rice, mango pineapple salsa, street corn and avocado ranch.

The chicken is definitely flavorful and mixing it with sweet potatoes is a nice combination, but the shrimp bowl feels right when trying to eat something light under the Florida sun. The ingredients all seem to go well together, especially the street corn and the avocado ranch dressing.

The Yankees are offering their take on a cuban sandwich for the first time at home spring-training games at Steinbrenner Field. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]The Yankees are offering their take on a cuban sandwich for the first time at home spring-training games at Steinbrenner Field. [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

The ballpark Cuban sandwich had roasted pork, honey-baked ham, salami, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on pressed Cuban bread.

The Yankees should be applauded for making their own Cuban, because the title of best Cuban locally might be one of the most divisive topics in the region. But all in all, this does the trick. The ingredients are key, and this has them all arranged well. To me, the bread is what makes a Cuban, and this sandwich is pressed well to give the bread that necessary crispness.

Each year, the team has a different take on the crispy chicken sandwich, and this year it is topped with the delicious ranch avocado sauce and Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun. This is definitely not your average ballpark chicken sandwich.

Loaded kettle chips will be served this spring at Steinbrenner Field [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]Loaded kettle chips will be served this spring at Steinbrenner Field [EDUARDO A. ENCINA | Times]

And finally, the loaded kettle chips tops pulled pork, barbecue sauce and spicy white cheddar cheese sauce over fresh kettle potato chips. Lots of places do this item, but the sweetness of the barbecue sauce and the kick of the cheese is a nice mix with the chips. Get extra napkins, though.

Most of these options are slated to be served at Steinbrenner Field as the Yankees’ Florida State League Class-A affiliate Tampa Tarpons play throughout the summer.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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