April 21, 2024

Banos Online

Traveling Around the World

The new food at Rogers Centre in Toronto ranked from best to worst

There’s new food at Rogers Centre and it was all unveiled when the Toronto Blue Jays showed off the first phase of renovations at the Rogers Centre last week.

There was plenty to eat and drink during the preview, but very little time to do so. Luckily, I was able to sample a handful of the new items offered at the ballpark this year for a quick ranking.

Here’s the food and drinks I tried ranked from best to worst.

5-4-3 Lemonade

You can wash down all of this new ballpark food with a new line of beverages offered at the Rogers Centre, and while I was only prepared to sample so much at 11 a.m. on a weekday, one drink definitely stood out.

Named after a ‘5-4-3’ double play call, this refreshing drink — sold exclusively at The Catch Bar — is absolutely worth doubling up on. It scores a solid 9 out of 10 and the only reason I can’t give it a perfect score is that this drink should really be offered stadium-wide.

Three Cheese Grilled Cheese

I know, a grilled cheese is something you can make at home for a fraction of stadium prices and is far from a culinary adventure, but please just hear me out.

This sandwich, found in the new Park Social space on the 500 level, is greater than the sum of its parts, forming a perfect balance of crunch and gooey heart-stopping cheese.

An easy 8.5 out of 10 whether a refined adult or a fussy picky-eater kid. So good that these sandwiches disappeared before I was able to wipe the grease from my hands and double back for a photo.

Park Social also sells a bacon-pepper grilled cheese, which sounds delightful, but wasn’t among the options sampled at the media preview.

Specialty Popcorn

Specialty popcorn proved a tough item to rank, as there are several flavours to choose from, including some really creative and colourful options like blueberry.

rogers centre food

I reached for what looked like a classic movie theatre butter flavour, in what turned out to be a bizarre but surprisingly enjoyable honey mustard flavour.

rogers centre food

I’d give it a 5.5 out of 10 on its own, but since there is a whole variety of flavours to choose from and I only had time to sample one, the popcorn gets a benefit-of-the-doubt bonus point, upping its score to a 6.5 out of 10.

Poutine Hot Dog

The poutine dog is probably one of the most talked-about new food items going into the 2023 season. Served at the new Schneider’s Porch space, this item had some good and some not-so-good qualities that we were somewhat divided on.

I felt the hot dog itself was the weakest link in this otherwise decent cholesterol delivery vehicle. The cheese curd had some squeak and the mini french fry cubes added a nice crunch, but the gravy was average at best.

rogers centre food

My colleague Anton Wong was more forgiving of the poutine dog, saying, “is it advisable? No. But should you try it? I’d say so. What an abomination, a slightly okay abomination.”

Based on our shared lacklustre reactions, I’m going to give this intriguing but messy snack a score of 6 out of 10.

OK Blue Jays Rum Punch

This new specialty drink, named for our seventh-inning stretch song and served up in a Jays glass, tasted like what I’d imagine would happen if a blue freezie had a rough night in Vegas.

rogers centre food

“The ‘OK’ is pretty apt,” joked Anton of the sugary, boozy drink found at The Stop, The Catch Bar, WestJet Flight Deck, and the Corona Rooftop Patio.

I’ll score this guaranteed hangover a 5 out of 10, and I have a headache just thinking about it, so let’s change the subject.

Chicken Banh Mi

This proved to be easily the most disappointing item of those sampled, entirely missing the mark in terms of quality and accuracy of ingredients.

Anton described it somewhat generously as “technically” a banh mi, but watching the anticipation on his face melt away into disappointment tells you all you need to know.

The baguette did not seem like one you’d serve up a banh mi on, and the chicken was outrageously bland.

The chicken banh mi from The Stop on level 100 is the lowest-ranked item from our Rogers Centre taste test, scoring a disappointing 4 out of 10.

But there is so much more to choose from this year, with a menu that includes Latin fare like tacos and churros, barbecue sandwiches, fun treats like candy and shaved ice, and more new alcoholic beverages than it would be safe to try in a single game.