THINGS WILL BE particularly cheesy this weekend at Citizens Bank Park, and it will have nothing to do with the boring Banker Blue gear worn by those misguided Yankees fans who dare show up at our house.
With a nod to the autumnal weather that is as much a part of postseason baseball in the Northeast as big games from various Phillies, CBP concessionaire Aramark will be serving up stick-to-the-ribs comfort food along with such ballpark staples as hot dogs and hoagies.
Anchoring the new culinary lineup - which will be found only at the "Hot Corner" stand located in the left-field concourse between The Schmitter and Alley Grill stands - are the traditional grilled-cheese sandwich and another that consists of cheddar, tomato and Virginia ham (both $6).
Also on the "Hot Corner" bill of fare are such belly-warmers as chili, chicken-and-wild-rice soup and tomato bisque ($6 each). For three bucks you can wash these down with coffee, tea or warm apple cider.
"We wanted to focus on fun fall favorites," said David Lippman, Aramark's director of concessions. "Just the basics, done well. Who doesn't love a grilled cheese and hot cup of soup in the fall? Why not bring them to the ballpark?"
The "Hot Corner" menu was introduced during the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to Lippman, it was a big hit, thanks to the wintry conditions the evenings of the first two home games.
The stand itself is highlighted by a faux brick facade that, Lippman offered, "ties into the whole theme of the ballpark." The cheese sandwiches are made fresh on the spot using a panini press.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup might not sound like much of a culinary challenge, but Glenn Richmond, the Bank's executive chef, sounded more proud of those dishes than if he were offering duck l'orange or Kobe beef filet.
"I personally take more satisfaction doing this than anything else," he said. "To do something simple like this, you have to do it right. Otherwise it's just a piece of bread with cheese."