AutoZone Park opened this Redbirds season with some new offerings for its hungry patrons.
In addition to a new carving station with roast beef and corned beef sandwiches, the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet package is back — this time with a regular schedule. The gut-busting special is available for Thursday games, begins when the gates open, and lasts for two hours.
"We did some last year where it was sort of one-off dates like a Father's Day buffet package, and we did one for the play-offs," says Adam Goldberg of Autozone. "We wanted to get some consistency this year. We're doing one on Father's Day and one on special days, but we wanted to have one day a week when people know all-you-can-eat packages are available."
With the purchase of an $18 package, attendees get an outfield box ticket and all-you-can-eat hot dogs, nachos, watermelon, ice cream, chips, and soft drinks. The package does not include beer, though full season ticket holders can get a 20-ounce mug for $2 refills on any beverage.
All-you-can-eat packages can be purchased in advance online, by phone, or on game day at the box office.
After only two Thursday games, Goldberg says they've already seen success with the special. "We had a lot of people who walked up and bought it. Once we got people here, they really enjoyed it. They can get two, three, four hot dogs and feed the kids. It's a really good price point."
AutoZone Park, 200 Union (721-6050)
If you went to any playoff games at FedExForum, you may have noticed some new menu options.
Levy Restaurant Group, the catering company responsible for restaurants and concessions at the Forum, has unveiled a number of new items, including a 16-inch funnel cake called the "Griz Cake," a Niman Ranch Italian sausage cart, and a gluten-free food cart.
"Celiac disease [gluten intolerance] is a huge deal these days," says Mark Mabry, executive chef with Levy Restaurants at the Forum. "We've had the beer and the gluten-free snacks, but now we've rolled out the cart."
The cart will serve all gluten-free fare, from hot dogs, chili cheese dogs, and nachos to gummy bears, sweet-potato chips, and Red Bridge beer. LARA bars, Nugo dark-chocolate bars, and pumpkin seeds will also be available. Mabry says they've ensured the items were not processed in a plant with any gluten products.
"It's been tough, but nationally our company has figured out all these purveyors," he says. "We've got it all set."
Other additions to the Forum food scene include a New York strip carvery cart on the club level where guests can build their own steak sandwiches. There's also the new Budweiser bottoms-up portable bar, which fills cups from the bottom and then uses a magnet to seal the bottom shut. A quicker pour and less foam make the counterintuitive system a small stroke of genius.
As for the Griz Cake, Mabry says, "We had a local metalsmith make us a mold that's the size of a large pizza. It's a funnel cake with eight slices, and I've brought in fresh local raspberries to make a raspberry sauce and topped it with powdered sugar."
The cake is served in a pizza box and is definitely more than enough to share with the whole family.
FedExForum, 191 Beale (205-1234)