For Columbus Crew SC fans, this time of year is exciting as the Major League Soccer season kicks off and the home opener is just a few days away.
For me, I look forward to Crew SC’s media day, which occured on Thursday afternoon. Not because it’s an opportunity to speak with head coach Gregg Berhalter or the leaders of the team — I have the unique chance to do that most days of the week — but because we get to sample the many foods Levy Restaurants will serve at MAPFRE Stadium in the upcoming season.
As was the case in previous years, Erin Stevens and Levy Restaurants brought their A game to media day and will do the same throughout 2018 at MAPFRE.
While I am no food critic, I do love to eat. I also know how much food I can handle.
Although I did fill my plate with as much of the deliciousness as possible...
...I was not able to try everything that was available to media members on Thursday. For the stuff I did not try, I asked trusted sources for their thoughts.
The first thing I ate was the taco dog, cleverly named because it is a hotdog, on a bun, with all of the toppings one might put on a taco — ground beef, tomatoes, sour cream, lettuce, cheese, etc.
Now, I know not everyone is a big fan of hot dogs, I am, but I recommend giving this a try. It was a not only a good hot dog, but the toppings made it quite the Mexican delight.
Next up on my plate was the Brats Kraut, your bratwurst and sauerkraut. This is something we’ve had before at media day and is one of my favorite dishes. I’m not normally a sauerkraut fan, but I make an exception on these brats.
There were also Bahama mamas and sausage, which I did not get to, but I was told by multiple people that ate them that this was a good choice.
If there was one thing I was disappointed with at the media day luncheon, it was the gyro. I’m a big fan of gyros, but I’ve also had some very good gyros. I’m not the type to get them from a drive through place — I recommend the Gyro Shoppe on Henderson or Yanni’s on Cleveland Ave. in Westerville.
To me, these gyros were not great. I don’t know if they were sitting out for a while — they were a little cold — and that was the issue, but I was not a big fan, although I did eat nearly all of it. I also asked some other people what they thought and did not get a great response, so it apparently wasn’t just me. Maybe we caught the gyros on a bad day.
One of the biggest hits of the day were the empanadas. Again, not something I had personally, but nearly everyone else at media day did and I did not hear anything negative about them.
An interesting addition to media day — or at least I don’t remember it being served in prior years — was chicken and waffles. When I went through the line the first time, I did not have room on my plate for this dish and did not have space in my stomach to go up for seconds, but from what I understand, these were very good and “the spicy maple syrup was a nice addition.”
Perhaps my favorite thing, and it’s very simple, was the variety of candies. These were basic M&Ms, Skittles, Twizzlers, etc. Obviously there’s nothing special about these candies, but I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to sweets.
There were also giant pretzels that seemed to be popular. I am not a pretzel fan, but those that are liked them.
Finally for dessert, there was the return of the cream puffs. These things are huge and should probably be split with a friend — or seven — but they are so delicious I wish I could eat several of them.
While this is not all of the food that will be served at MAPFRE Stadium this year, it’s a good sampling of what to look for while at Crew SC matches over the next several months.
As I said previously, I’m not food critic but I do eat a good amount of food. What we had today was another example of the great work Levy Restaurant does in the kitchen and the food at MAPFRE Stadium is another reason fans should be excited to return for 2018.