“The most exciting thing is our Grub Tub this year,” said Chris Bloyer, Redskins vice president of operations and guest experience, who first saw the one-handed solution for holding a beverage and a snack while at an NBA game in California last year. “I said, ‘Man, we have to do this,’ but what we really needed to do that was cup holders, too. So now every seat has a cup holder.”
Welcome to 2017. Welcome to the future. The Grub Tub, designed by California-based RP & Associates, features a large cup with a bowl that fits neatly on top and a long straw through the center. Beer drinkers will be happy to know that the cup also fits over any bottle. The price for a Grub Tub at FedEx Field has yet to be announced, but when they debuted at Yankee Stadium in 2016, a large soda, chicken tenders and fries cost $18.50.
The Redskins expanded their partnership with Levy Restaurants during the offseason, putting the hospitality company, which previously handled food and beverage for the team’s luxury suites, in charge of concession operations for the entire stadium. In addition to expanding its suite and club level offerings, Levy developed several new concepts that are accessible to all fans.
D.C. Stir Fry (Sections 120, 138, 402 and 426) will feature a bulgogi rice bowl, a char siu chicken rice bowl, Asian nachos with crispy wontons, and the Hottodoggu, a beef hot dog topped with pickled cabbage, wasabi crema, nori, cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds.
The signature item at D.C. Que (Sections 102, 120 and 405) is a beef hot dog topped with barbecue pork, pickled cabbage and crispy fried jalapeños. (Good flavors, but I preferred the Hottodoggu, which was easier to eat and more fun to say.) The stand will also offer Hog Wings — pork from the shank tossed in a bourbon barbecue glaze and served with fries.
The menu at Nacho Nation (Sections 117, 138, 423 and 450) includes Hog-Chos, which are pork rinds topped with slow-roasted pork, cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapeños, cilantro and scallions. The 128-ounce Ultimate Nachos are served in a football-shaped bowl (because they won’t fit in a Grub Tub).
The Crab Shack (Sections 329, 336) will offer a crab sandwich with Old Bay aioli and lettuce on a potato roll, a grilled Mahi-mahi sandwich with lemon butter and “Boom Boom” crispy shrimp with fries. Other new concession items this season include pit beef and turkey sandwiches, beef empanadas and an expanded selection of healthier options, such as a vegetarian rice bowl with Asian vegetable salad, an Albacore tuna salad and a chopped Caprese salad.
Prices for the concessions have yet to be announced, but don’t expect $2 soda and $3 hot dogs like at the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium. As for craft beer, Bloyer said there will be the same number of craft beer stands throughout the stadium as last year. The Craft Haus bar on the club level will once again feature a rotating selection of taps, and while the beer list for 2017 hasn’t been finalized, the team hopes to provide more variety on all levels this season.
“We’re reaching out to local breweries and trying to get a more rotating inventory of craft beers,” Bloyer said. “If everything goes the way we’d like it to, you won’t see the same craft beer game over game. We’d like to change it out every other game, throughout the stadium.”
At Wednesday’s event, the beers sampled included Fordham & Dominion Brewing’s Oak Barrel Stout, Starr Hill’s Northern Lights IPA, Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA, Flying Dog’s Snake Dog IPA, Devils Backbone’s Vienna Lager and Atlas Brew Works’ 1500 Lager.
The Redskins also announced a non-food-related addition for this season that they hope will improve the overall game-day experience at FedEx Field. Walk-through metal detectors have been installed at all gates, an upgrade over the handheld wands that security personnel previously used. Bloyer said the team expects the metal detectors will make the screening process up to three times faster.