The Suite Life

A few weeks ago, Shaun and I had the very, very fortunate opportunity to attend the Giants game in style. With some (free!) tickets from his office, we got to watch the game from a luxury suite! Though Shaun is Jets/Mets fan, and my heart belongs to the Giants/Yankees, we try to support each others’ teams as much as possible. You know, as long as they aren’t playing each other. So when Shaun scored this rockin’, once in a lifetime tix, you know he couldn’t wait to go and cheer on the Giants with his Big Blue-lovin’ lady.

And since I have yet to get him into a Giants tee (I have been known to rock Shaun’s vintage Jets jersey...once. At a Jets game. When the Giants weren't playing.), he did at least wear the appropriate colors. Meanwhile, I broke out my red #44 Ahmad Bradshaw t-shirt, gifted to me by a one Shaun Humiston. Doesn’t it look super chic with my black blazer? Classy, no? Here's the inside of the suite (yep, that's a waiter walking down the stairs near the seats):

Our truly fab leather seats afforded us this amazing view. Not only were we able to lounge out with merely a few others in this private box, but unlimited food and drink was located just a few feet away. The view was uncompromised by the exclusion of rowdy, beer-drinking brutes and the lack of anyone needing to pass by you multiple times during the game for a potty break. Not bad, eh? It's really the only way to watch a football game in my opinion.

And you know I couldn't resist snapping just a few photos of a small sampling of the goods. The buffet consisted of Caesar salad, sub sandwiches, potato salad coated in cheese, tomatoes, chives and bacon bits, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and hot dogs.

For starters, I kicked off the game with some salad, chicken fingers and an oversized mozzarella stick. Yum.

And no football game (or any sporting event for that matter) could ever be complete without a hot dog, so that made it onto full plate #2. You know, along with another mozzarella stick and some of the aforementioned potato salad.

And just when we were in the midst of thanking our lucky stars for such good fortune (there may have been a happy dance involved), someone unexpected showed up in our suite.

Since I had to do about 100 takes to mentally confirm it was her - and was still unconvinced - Shaun suggested that I, in that moment, download U.N.I.T.Y. as my ring tone. You know, so he could proceed to call it and see what her reaction would be when she heard it. Like it was a totally normal coincidence. (Oh, my husband...) Luckily, it didn't come to that. Upon a closer look, we decided that it was in fact Queen Latifah. And when she didn't give me a 'you have two heads' look when I requested a photo with her (like the dork that I am), I was then fairly certain it was her. She just stopped by to catch some of the game. You know, in the suite we just so happened to take up residence in. Oh and did I mention that the back up quarterback's family also set up shop in the same suite? We so obviously belonged there.

So there you have it. The perfect way to watch a football game. Well, almost. The Giants suffered a terrible loss to the Titans...but I kinda forgot about that part in all the other awesomeness that ensued.

So what do you think? Are you a sports fan? Have you ever gone all out for a game? What's your favorite part? Dish it!

Psst...want to see more football fun? Check out last year's Giants game and all of its tailgating glory! And for even more game day eats, check out some fun recipe ideas!

Gray's Papaya dogs just can't be beat


Spring is a budding, and if there's one thing that I absolutely love about New York in the spring, it's the abundance of hot dogs (and some baseball too). And if you aren't doing the Dirty Water Dog (read: hot dogs from  street vendors which spend their days sitting in hot - and very highly likely dirty - water. Hey, I'm not judging...) or the ballpark dog, really the only other way to go is the Gray's Papaya dog.

A New York City staple, Gray's Papaya can be found in multiple locations around Manhattan and are open around the clock. Hot dogs are all they do and they do it well. If you know what's good, you'll get 'em fully loaded - saurkraut and relish with a little mustard.

And if you're going Gray's, you must be going Recession Special style - $3.25 for two dogs and a 14oz drink. Oh, and I should mention that really the only acceptable drink in this scenario is the papaya "drink". It's creamy and anything but of the diet variety, but when you're eating two hot dogs covered in salty saurkraut, relish and mustard, is a diet drink really necessary?

Grilled to perfection on a huge griddle, these dogs are juicy and wonderful. And I mean, really, can you beat this deal anywhere else in the city? Especially when they look good enough to eat, as they do pictured on the right.

Adding to the fun is that there are absolutely no seats at Gray's. Besides some super small silver countertops on which you can lean, you're pretty much forced to find the nearest park bench for your chowfest. And I'm not complaining. It's been the home of quick lunches, the best hot dog in New York, and even some movie sets (You've Got Mail) and in my opinion, fantastic New York City eats.

So there it is...a simple and delicious lunch in Manhattan for under $4.00. Can you beat it? But what I really want to know do you take your dog? At backyard barbeques only? Covered in ketchup? Boiled on a stovetop? Do tell!


Spring Date Series: Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

The two shiny new baseball stadiums are rejuvenating the ballpark experience for city dwellers. Our Date of the Week (DOW) is grabbing your hat and jerseys and heading out to the new Citifield for a Mets game. Leave behind your team prejudices in favor of having a fun night outdoors. After all, I always prefer Yanks over Mets, but I’m in a split team household and quite frankly I haven’t been to the new Yankee Stadium yet (and yes, that review will be coming next week).   This week, the Mets play at home from May 6 through May 13 against Philly, Pittsburgh and Atlanta and we recommend taking advantage of the long home stretch (I’ll be there May 6!). Hop on the 7 train out to Citifield, take a peek at the new stadium, and spend the evening yelling your head off and doing the wave (come on, you know you want to). About 1000% better than Shea Stadium, Citifield has an old, rustic baseball park aura, where I felt as though I was walking into a game from baseball’s past. Don’t skip out on exploring the stadium, especially the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.     

Of course, the new pricing scheme is that different quality games go for a different quality price. So, when the Mets play the Yanks (I mean, who DOESN’T want to go to that game?) even the ‘cheap’ seats could run up to $30 a ticket, and that’s if you can score them. However, this week the Mets play the Phillies (last year’s World Series Champs. Ack.), you can score $19 seats. Perhaps not the most glamorous seat in the house, don’t fret as the new stadium doesn’t really have a ‘bad’ seat. I was there in the 500 section on April 24th, and here’s the view from our seats:    
Going after work? Bring a couple of Red Bulls and bag o’chips to share for the ride out to Citifield. After all, you MUST get hot dogs once at the game. While there’s only one Shake Shack and Blue Smoke location, Nathan’s hot dogs and fries are available throughout the stadium, even from your seat! Hurrah! A word to the wise: ditch the uber long lines at Shake Shack and Blue Smoke for the real thing in back in Manhattan.   

Budget Breakdown: 
Approximate Ticket Cost: $35 total 
Subway Ride: $4 per person, roundtrip (but ‘free’ with a monthly Metrocard!) 
Bud or Bud Light Beer: $6 
Nathan’s Hot Dog: $4.75 
Nathan’s Fries (to share): $4.75 
Ice Cream in Helmet Cup (my personal favorite, also to share): $6 
Total Date cost: Under $100