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D.C. United set to serve meat pies at RFK for next Red Bulls tilt

D.C. United’s partnership with Sunderland AFC hasn’t produced many significant tangible experiences for fans on this side of the ocean, but Saturday, that will change. Centerplate, the hospitality partner for the MLS and Barclay’s Premier League side is launching what they’re calling a “transatlantic food exchange” between the two clubs, which will debut this weekend at RFK Stadium for the Red Bulls tilt.

“This cross-pond exchange program with D.C. United and Sunderland AFC is a great example of promoting and sharing hospitality through the strength of our global network,” said Chris Verros, CEO of Centerplate. “Our executive leadership and venue partners continually work together to provide unique, one-of-a-kind experiences, such as this, making it better to be there at events and connecting communities for guests and fans worldwide.”

So, if you’ve ever wanted to feel like you were dining at the Stadium of Light, this is your chance. The team will be offering up the Steak & Ale Pie, which is a “a signature staple of British cuisine, entails 7 ounces of ground brisket, seasoned with tomato paste, garlic, lightly browned onions, scallions, garnished with a few peas and accompanied by ‘chips’ with beef gravy” according to a release. There’s also a side of arugula, which is more fun to call “rocket,” as the Brits do. The pies are $10, made from scratch locally. And the Sunderland-style fries are $5.

Over in Tyne and Wear, fans of the Black Cats will get to experience the Torn Beef Baguette, which is “topped with hot cheese, grilled peppers and onions comes with a side of D.C.-inspired Old Bay shoestring fries and a cheese dipping sauce,” an apparent twist on a cheesesteak.

For Sunderland, however, there is a community component to this event. The team’s charity, “Foundation of Light,” in conjunction with Centerplate, is holding a competition Friday for kids to make their best cheesesteak with the winner being picked by members of the SAFC Ladies’ WLS 1 team in the UK. As for the Black and Red, there will be prize packages for the fans on April 11 which will include swag from both teams.

In addition, the company put out an infographic sheet comparing the two fan experiences.

As it stands now, the menu swap is the most significant development to come from this partnership so far. The two “sister squads” have done a fair amount of cross-promotion, and there was some talk that Sunderland would have some level on input into any potential stadium plans, but that’s about it.

New food options, however? That’s a collaboration we can all get behind.