If goals for the home team are as plentiful as the new food options at Audi Field, which plays host to its first match Saturday, D.C. United will be climbing the Eastern Conference table in no time. The concessions menu inside the 20,000-seat venue, developed in collaboration with Levy Restaurants and chef José Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup, features tastes from all over the world, locally sourced ingredients and a fan favorite holdover from RFK Stadium. Standard stadium fare, including french fries, hot dogs and chicken tenders, will also be available.
The team this week invited media members to sample several of the new, non-traditional offerings, including Hongos — an heirloom corn tortilla stuffed with portobello and Royal Trumpet mushrooms, salsa serrano and cilantro. Hongos will be the vegetarian option at the Butterfly Taco stand by Section 118, which will also offer Yucatan pork and shredded beef tacos for meat lovers, and mole-covered fries. Butterfly Taco, inspired by Mexico City’s street food, is one of the latest products of Andrés’s ThinkFoodLab incubator, and debuted as a pop-up restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue in May.
Fans of Gabriela Febres and Ali Arellano’s Arepa Zone, which opened on 14th St. NW in December, will be happy to know that the Venezuelan restaurant will have a stand by Section 125 offering shredded beef and shredded chicken arepas, as well as yuca fritters and sweet plantains with queso fresco. The family-operated Factoria Maria Pupuseria, which was among the most popular food options at RFK Stadium, will also have a presence at Audi Field. Cheese; pork and cheese; and bean and cheese pupusas will be available at stands by Sections 109, 116 and 135.
La Pepa, a spin-off of Andrés’s Pepe food truck, will offer a variety of specialty sandwiches in Sections 104 and 117, including the Pollo Frito, Chistora Dog (Spanish sausage with spicy tomato sauce and aioli), Bocata de Vegetables (eggplant, tomato, olive, avocado, piparra peppers) and the Bikini Quatro Quesos, a pressed grilled cheese featuring a blend of Manchego, goat cheese, Gorgonzola and quince paste on a flauta.
“Soccer and food are two things that are very close to my heart, so I am excited to be able to work with Levy and D.C. United to reinvent the soccer game experience,” Andrés said when his partnership with D.C. United was announced last year. “With Audi Field, together we can reimagine what it means to have a dining experience when you are watching a soccer match.”
A fried chicken sandwich topped with honey BBQ glaze and pickles on a black pepper biscuit is the headliner at Citizen Smoke in Section 115, which will also offer a pulled pork sandwich, loaded BBQ nachos and four-cheese mac and cheese.
The District Dog Co. stand in Sections 103 and 129 will offer both traditional and specialty hot dogs. The menu for Saturday’s match includes a “Cubano Dog” with roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle relish and mustard, and a “Buenos Aires Dog” topped with crumbled chorizo, chimichurri, pickled red onion and queso fresco.
Levy executive chef Adam Carter said the specialty hot dogs available at District Dog Co. will change match to match, as will the specialty pizza at the Upper 90 stands in Sections 116 and 135. On Thursday, Carter sampled the “Summer Breeze” pizza, a tasty mix of seasoned ricotta, caramelized onion jam, sweet Maryland corn, tomatoes and basil on a freshly made crust.
The Black-and-Red Grill in Sections 108 and 136 will feature two kinds of burgers, including the Double Smoked Burger, which lives up to its name with smoked cheddar cheese and smoked bacon jam. (This was my favorite among the items I sampled Thursday, followed closely by the Hongos and Summer Breeze.) The menu at the Black-and-Red Grill also features a pretzel topped with lump Maryland crab dip, cheddar cheese and Old Bay, and crab fries topped with smoked bacon and something called Old Bay “gravy.”
Beverage-wise, ThinkFoodGroup will offer draft specialty cocktails at four stands throughout the stadium. Wine will be available on tap and there will be self-serve refills for non-alcoholic beverages with the purchase of a souvenir cup. The Crossbar Beer Garden, located behind the supporters’ stand in Sections 135 and 136, will feature eight beers from four breweries, including three local breweries, on draft. A full list and a map of the concessions at Audi Field is available here.
This post has been updated.
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