Between Chickie’s & Pete’s crab fries, Tony Luke’s cheesesteaks, Dollar Dogs and the rest of the tried-and-true ballpark fare, many Phillies fans are happy to check their diets at the entrance to Citizens Bank Park. However, there are quite a few ticket holders that are a little more interested in having Chase Utley abs than Phillie Fanatic flab. “Since the ballpark opened, fans have consistently asked for healthier options to be a part of the overall diversity of the menu,” says Chrissy Flanigan, Aramark general manager at Citizens Bank Park.
To appease health-minded guests, Citizens Bank Park has offered healthier options like grilled chicken sandwiches and salads for quite some time, as well as vegetarian selections like veggie dogs, meatless cheesesteaks and black-bean burgers. “Fans loved these foods and have asked us to provide even more healthy options,” says Aramark’s Dan Smith. Which is why the Ballpark is stepping up its health food game this season with two new endeavors: A healthy sandwich face-off and the opening of Philly Fresh, a new concession stand located behind section 139.
On April 1, 2011, the Ballpark will unveil two new healthy sandwiches that will vie for fans’ votes throughout the season: The Grilled Chipotle Chicken Wrap, a whole-wheat wrap packed with grilled chicken, sliced avocado, tomato, romaine lettuce, cilantro and low-fat yogurt; and the Char-grilled Turkey Burger, a seasoned turkey patty with sliced avocado and house-made tomato salsa on a multi-grain whole-wheat roll. Fans will be able to purchase both sandwiches at the Philly Fresh stand and vote for their favorite throughout the 2011 season. The winning sandwich will be announced after this year’s All-Star game, and will become a permanent offering at the Ballpark. “We’ve earned a reputation over many seasons for offering a diverse menu that appeals to all types of fans,” said Flanigan. “Showcasing two new healthier sandwiches and asking fans to choose their favorite gets them involved in the menu development process, and gives us great insight about what healthy means to them.”
The Philly Fresh menu will include grab-and-go options like trail mix, whole-grain pretzels, hummus dip with pita crisps, sugar-free Tastykakes snacks, and carrots and celery with low-fat ranch dressing. Strawberry-banana and mango smoothies, low-fat yogurt and berry parfaits, and Go-Gurt yogurt will offer ice-cream lovers lower-fat alternatives. There will also be two new salads to tempt fans’ taste buds: the Hall of Fame—think mixed greens, red grapes, pistachios, dried cranberries and blue cheese tossed with balsamic vinaigrette—and the Shanghai Chicken, which will include mixed greens, grilled chicken breast, crispy Asian-style noodles, carrots, and scallions, all tossed with a low-fat, ginger-soy dressing. “Everyone has a different idea of what’s ‘healthy’, so we really wanted to give fans a lot of different options,” says Glenn Richmond, Aramark’s senior executive chef at Citizen’s Bank Park.
Of course, Dollar Dog lovers need not worry. “The traditional ballpark fares will certainly never go away,” assures Richmond.