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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

NYTimes: Abuela, Chef, Boss: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s Grandmother Feeds the Majors

The brown sugar bubbled in the pan. The marinated goat meat sizzled when added. Spoonfuls of olives and capers were heaped into the mixture. Then Altagracia Alvino, who can make this dish with her eyes closed, froze.

“Did I put spice in here?” she whispered to herself in Spanish.

Alvino, 66, was careful to make as little noise as possible because it was 7:22 a.m., and her husband and her 20-year-old grandson, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., one of baseball’s brightest young stars, were asleep in their rooms of the family’s Toronto apartment. The familiar scent of cooking meat was unavoidable, though.

Silver hair in a net, Alvino leaned in to inspect the meat, decided it indeed lacked kick and reached for a package of crushed red pepper. She had plenty of time to perfect the feast of white rice, stewed beans and goat before Guerrero awakened at 11 a.m. and quickly departed for Rogers Centre, carrying bags of the food to share with both his Blue Jays teammates and their opponents.

Alvino may be the most popular and powerful grandmother in baseball. For about two decades, she has filled the bellies of hundreds of players, most of them Latin Americans far from home. Eating her comfort food is a tradition that has become especially popular among players from the family’s homeland, the Dominican Republic.

A few have come to call Alvino “abuela,” or Grandma, yet most have never met her. She was there for every step in the career of her son Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame last year, and now she oversees his son’s.

I knew that Vlad Sr. had lived with his mom for a long while in Montreal, but I had no clue she cooked for so much of the major leagues!


Friday, August 23, 2019

If you want to try the best food from all 30 MLB ballparks, this event is for you

Major League Baseball is giving you another opportunity to taste the most unique ballpark foods from all 30 stadiums in one place. Yep, MLB FoodFest is back and this time it’s returning to New York City.

First launched last year, MLB FoodFest is built for the Instagram generation and is meant to capitalize on all the mouth-watering (but sometimes wacky) foods that are available in modern MLB stadiums.

That means everything from Toasted Grasshoppers (that’s the Mariners’ entry) and Rocky Mountain Oysters (Thanks, Rockies) to more common fare like the Boston Red Sox’s Hot Lobster Roll or the Marlins’ Chicken & Bubble Waffle.

It’s happening Sept. 21 and 22 on Fifth Avenue near Bryant Park. Last year, the NYC event sold out in just 48 hours, which suggests this will be a hot ticket again. Since then, MLB launched a L.A. edition of FoodFest and plans to have another in London.

So, do you see anything you want to eat?

 

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:02 AM | 187 comment(s)
  Beats: food, foodfest

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Jennifer Lopez Surprised Alex Rodriguez With A Birthday Cake, But He Didn’t Eat It

Alex Rodriguez was in his usual spot in the Sunday Night Baseball booth for Yankees-Red Sox when he was surprised by fiancée Jennifer Lopez and his two daughters. Saturday was his 44th birthday, and they had brought him a cake. The baked good itself was ... understated.

Perhaps A-Rod had been all caked out from earlier in the weekend. During her concert on Friday, J-Lo had brought out a big-ass fancy cake, with Rodriguez’s first name spelled out in crystals, and had everyone sing “Happy Birthday” to him. The big-ass fancy cake made a second appearance at an afterparty, this time with sparklers. It would’ve been tough for ESPN’s production crew to compete with that custom dessert, but the sheet cake they got for his on-air surprise didn’t even have his name on it. It seems that someone made a last-minute run to Market Basket.

As told from the chain of tweets from baseball writers who were at Sunday’s game, Rodriguez didn’t actually eat any of the nameless cake. Some scavenging reporters picked at it, however. That’s one of the perks of this business—sometimes, you get to eat some food a famous person didn’t deem fit to put in their body. The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham saw it when it was untouched

Should we have told her that he would prefer a few carrots and a lump of sugar?

 

 

QLE Posted: July 30, 2019 at 04:41 AM | 36 comment(s)
  Beats: alex rodriguez, cake, food, sadness

Friday, May 10, 2019

Every ballpark concession staple, ranked

These days, every Major League ballpark has a whole host of outrageous menu items, and those custom concoctions tend to get all the love. There’s good reason for that: It’s hard to resist a churro stuck inside of a donut topped with ice cream, after all.

But what of the humble hot dog? The noble nachos? It seems like we’ve forgotten all about the beloved ballpark staples that serve as the backbone of any Major League game. Which is why we’ve gone ahead and ranked them: Every food item that you can reasonably assume to find at any stadium’s concession stand, in ascending order of deliciousness.

They may not be as flashy as fried chicken in a cone, but where would baseball be without them?

This is an extremely strong set of rankings, I can only quibble on a couple spots.  9 year old me is 100% behind the #1 choice, whereas current me would rate the #3 as #1.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Your first taste of MLB FoodFest 2019, from elote nuggets to fried grasshoppers

Of all the ideas that have sprouted out of Major League Baseball in the past few years, this might be the best one. It cuts through different team allegiances and regional rivalries. It finds the commonality in all baseball fans.

We’re talking, of course, about MLB FoodFest — an event created to take ballpark food out of the ballpark and bring the most delicious or inventive item from each team into one place, so baseball fans and food fans alike can indulge.

MLB FoodFest debuted in 2018 in New York City, but the league has more ambitious plans for it in 2019. It’s happening in NYC again, but also London and Los Angeles. The NYC and London dates will come later this year, but L.A. gets the first taste.

So, any of this make you feel peckish?

 

QLE Posted: April 23, 2019 at 04:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: food

 

 

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