The gridiron may be stacked, but so are the food options. If you flounder (see what we did there?) your way up and down the aisles of vendors at Sun Life Stadium for a Miami Dolphins home game this season, expect a throng of new eats, from smoked wings to a popular steak sandwich.
OUR QUARTER-BY-QUARTER BREAKDOWN
First quarter: Sausage and peppers
(Price: $10, Location: Sections 118, 146, 418 and 446. Good for sharing? No.)
Maybe you skipped breakfast and missed the tailgate. Not to worry, this sausage and pepper collaboration will bring you up to speed. Besides the given, this baked in-house pocket is stuffed with sliced onions and diced potatoes, all done on the grill. The pocket holds more like a “manwich,” so do not plan on sharing.
Second quarter: Bru’s wings
(Price: $10, Location: Section 154. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
Former Miami Dolphins linebacker Bob “Bru” Brudzinski will have an outpost of his popular Broward County sports haven, Bru’s Room Sports Grill, come game day. Now, you do not have to wait for the upcoming Bird Road location, as Bru’s wings, tossed in either a tangy BBQ or spicy hot sauce, will be that much closer to sticking to your fingertips.
Third quarter: BurgerFi cheeseburger
(Price: $10, Location: Section 130. Good for sharing? No.)
Yes, you can get almost half a pound of all-natural, hormone-free meat, 6.6 ounces to be exact, slathered with two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and BurgerFi sauce on a potato roll for $10 in a stadium setting. Just describing it is more than a mouthful, plus it should leave your taste buds, and wallet, in relatively good shape.
Fourth quarter: Cuban Guys steak sandwich
(Price: $10, Location: Section 425. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
What’s Miami without a little Pan Con Bistec? This fixture is the deluxe version of the notable South Florida chain’s signature item. From the center, it starts with seasoned Palomilla steak topped with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes and a pile of shoe string fries that just signal “crunch time” – all held together with fresh Cuban bread.
Halftime/overtime: Cold Stone Creamery
(Price: $6, Location: Sections 115, 143, 213, 242, 414 and 443. Good for sharing? No.)
It is hot out there. Thankfully, the personal-sized Cold Stone container, lid and all, comes in three flavors. Dark chocolate devotion is chocolate ice cream wrought with chocolate chips, brownies and fudge; founder’s favorite has a sweet cream ice cream base plus pecans, brownies, fudge and caramel while cake batter is exactly what it says it is, plus cookie dough and brownie pieces.
OUR TOP RETURNING FAN FAVORITES
1. Everglades BBQ pulled pork nachos
(Price: $10, Location: Gate E plaza, Gate G plaza, sections 122, 156, 215, 243, 256, 410 and 443. Good for sharing? Yes, for two to three people.)
This one is a no-brainer. Mounds of BBQ pulled pork, smoked for nearly 14 hours, heaped onto tri-colored tortilla chips and garnished with red jalapeno slices? Sign us up. Plus, the multitude of buying locations and the resulting huge portion, not to mention being able to douse it in a BBQ sauce (sweet, spicy or tangy) of your choice, makes this a family (or one really hungry person) favorite.
2. Footlong New York hot dog
(Price: $10, Location: Sections 110, 125, 128, 131, 141, 153, 156, 210, 218, 227, 229, 238, 246, 404, 419, 432 and 451. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
Just do not yell at a New York Jets fan while eating this. It may seem hypocritical. Then, the New York to Miami transplant argument may start and, depending on which team is winning, will leave someone (the Jets fan) unhappy. Nonetheless, this footlong New Yorker has all the straightforward fixings, sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard on a 1/3 pound, all-beef frank.
3. Everglades BBQ pulled pork sandwich
(Price: $10, Location: Gate E plaza, Gate G plaza, sections 122, 156, 215, 243, 256, 410 and 443. Good for sharing? No.)
That same BBQ pulled pork we mentioned earlier is also available in sandwich form, with a side of coleslaw. What we did not mention is that all the BBQ is made on stadium premises with meat locally bought and smoked. So, the white aroma from the meat you see from the vendor booths, besides smelling good, is legitimate.
4. Grilled chicken ciabatta sandwich
(Price: $11.50, Location: Gate E Plaza, Gate G Plaza, sections 122, 156, 215, 243, 256, 410, and 443. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
For those looking for a relatively healthy option, this grilled chicken sandwich is it. While it is up there in price, the provolone cheese, roasted red peppers and ciabatta bun encompassing the grilled chicken will leave you satisfied. Plus, the side of waffle fries is a nice change of pace from the greasy type you will find elsewhere in the stadium.
SOME OTHER MUST-TRY FOODS
1. Michelle Bernstein’s crumb turkey sandwich
(Price: $12, Location: Section 213. Good for sharing? No.)
While only those with a pricier club level ticket can purchase food from the renowned chef’s Crumb on Parchment stadium set-up, the turkey sandwich is worth trying. Free-range turkey, cheddar, greens and mayo on a pretzel roll is simple, but effective. Outside of Bernstein’s kale and quinoa salad ($11), which is also on the menu, stadium food does not get any healthier.
2. Meatballs and ricotta
(Price: $12, Location: Section 217. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
Another club level option, this massive dish has two of everything – pork and beef meatballs and cheesy croustades – plus ricotta cheese and lettuce. The hearty portion gives off an Italian restaurant vibe. Heck, the only thing missing is probably a red table cloth, music and some actual silver wear.
3. Everglades BBQ smoked chicken wings
(Price: $12, Location: Section 443. Good for sharing? Yes, for two people.)
These wings may be two dollars more than Bru’s, but, they are smoked and feature the whole wing, as opposed to just drumettes. You can feel the weight of the meat when holding this basket, plus, this is the only wing joint in the 400 level. If Bru’s is out of reach, and you like whole wings, this is the next best (or even better) option.
4. Sushi Maki vegetable lo mein (with shrimp)
(Price: $14, Location: Section 241. Good for sharing? No.)
Sushi Maki is the last food vendor on the club level worth trying. Besides an array of 12- and 8-piece sushi rolls, their stir-fried vegetable lo mein with shrimp (or chicken) is a solid alternative in a sea of fried finger foods, or BBQ. Plus, their stadium venue, outside of market stations in grocery stores like Whole Foods, will be the furthest north “location” in Miami-Dade County.