D.C. United invited local media out to try some items on the menu at Audi Field, which in case you have forgotten opens tomorrow. This is not a food blog, and none of us have any real experience as a restaurant critic, but we are willing to pretend for a day, because this is the internet and no one is around to tell us not to.
As such, Steven Streff and yours truly ventured to Buzzard Point, joining other media types to take in the stadium, get a quick locker room tour, and eat some food. We did not get to try the pupusas (which will be supplied by Maria’s Pupuseria, the same folks who made them at RFK), but we did sample each of the eight new items being provided by a partnership between Jose Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup and Levy Restaurants. Here’s a list of all of the food options and locations.
(mushroom taco with salsa serrano and cilantro on a corn tortilla)
Steven Streff: I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms, but this trumpet and portobello mushroom taco was my favorite dish available. The salsa and cilantro were perfect complements to the mushrooms, making for a great light bite.
Jason Anderson: This had a pretty respectable spiciness to it, and I regret not having a second one. Also, vital part of any good taco: the tortillas are the right mix of sturdy enough to not fall apart while avoiding being too thick and chewy.
Double smoked burger
(cheeseburger with smoked bacon jam, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and herb aioli)
Steven: Not sure if I would be able to tell the difference between a single smoked or double smoked burger, but this burger hit all the right spots. The herb aioli added the perfect touch.
Jason: The smokiness and the aioli made for a good pairing, and the tomato was a really good-quality tomato, which can’t be underestimated on something rich like this. If my local burger joint had this burger on the menu, I would probably be eating too many cheeseburgers for my health.
(pizza with fresh-made dough, seasoned ricotta, caramelized onion jam, sweet corn from Maryland, cherry tomatoes, and micro basil)
Steven: Hard to go wrong with a slice of pizza, though maybe there was a bit too much “trying” on this. The variety of pizza will vary from week to week, and I thought the corn on top was a good pick.
Jason: It’s a well-made pizza, and like Steven I liked the corn (this is not an MD bias thing, it worked). I thought the onion jam was too prominent, but if I had a slice with like 40% of the onion jam and 1-2 more tomatoes, I’d have been happy.
The Chicken Biscuit
(fried chicken, hot honey BBQ sauce, bread & butter pickles, herb mayo, black pepper biscuit)
Steven: The hot honey BBQ sauce added a nice kick to this sandwich. The biscuit and chicken were great, as were the pickles, which I usually wouldn’t go for on a chicken sandwich.
Jason: The biscuit was maybe a little bit dense, but it was still flavorful, and the mix of the sauce and pickles were the right compliment for the chicken. The chicken was good too, with just enough batter to add some crunch without being too much fried matter.
Bikini Quatro Quesos
(pressed grilled cheese sandwich with manchego, drunken goat, gorgonzola, and quince paste)
Steven: A bit thicker than a normal quesadilla, but you can’t go wrong with bread and cheese. This wasn’t too heavy either, though it wasn’t one of the more exciting options either.
Jason: I really like gorgonzola, but I could have done without it on this, and would have liked more of the manchego. Still, it’s a pretty solid grilled cheese that I could see ordering during a game when the weather is cooler.
Fresh Mozzarella and Heirloom Tomatoes
(fresh mozzarella and Heirloom tomatoes tossed in cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper, basil, aged balsamic glaze)
Steven: This was a tasty little dish. It obviously requires a fork to eat, which isn’t the easy thing to manage while cheering a team on, but the flavoring of the tomatoes and mozzarella made this a great option.
Jason: This was my favorite of the eight options. I love a good Caprese salad, and the tomatoes were great (if you’re sensing a theme: yes, I am into tomatoes). Steven makes a good point about having to eat with a fork, but I’d make time to arrive a few minutes early and snack on this, especially on a hot day.
Gambas al ajillo
(tapas-style shrimp sauteed in garlic)
Steven: I can eat shrimp any day of the week, and these shrimp were perfect. The garlic added a nice taste to an already well-seasoned shrimp.
Jason: These were just right: perfectly cooked, and big. These were well above chain restaurant-quality shrimp. I only had 2, and now I regret it.
Maryland style crab cakes
(bite-sized crab cakes with lemon aioli and tartar sauce)
Steven: I’ll can always put my disdain for Maryland aside [ed. note: this was a requirement for this piece] when it comes to crab cakes. It can be tough to get them right, but these were spot on, with the zesty lemon aioli a wonderful added touch to a classic bite.
Jason: Normally my status as a Marylander includes refusing all crab cakes made beyond state lines. I’d prefer to drop the tartar sauce and add a touch more Old Bay, but you could serve these on any Maryland dinner table with pride.