(Click below for a list of venues and concessions planned for the Amway Center)
Just came from a tasting of some of the foods that will be served in the Amway Center with Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Levy Restaurants chef overseeing the food development, John Nicely.
Nicely and his crew served us samplings of dishes that will be available in the various concessions and restaurants — including a full-service restaurant called Jernigan’s that will have table seating with views of the playing floor (two seatings per game). We sampled seven items, and most of
them were good, but only a couple of them really stood out. One was the surprisingly tasty veggie burger, made with brown rice, black beans, molasses and spices. It was looser than, say, a Boca Burger, but the flavors were oh so much better (not that that’s a difficult task, I’m just saying). The hard part is getting people to try it. Most people have an idea of what a veggie burger is, and this isn’t a veggie burger — it’s better.
The other dish I really liked was the Magic seafood salad, a timbale of avocado, crab and shrimp salad and bite-sized lumps of lobster drizzled with lemon and olive oil. Light and fresh. Luckily, that’s one of the items that will be available in the sit-down restaurant — not the sort of thing you’ll want to try to enjoy in a crowded concourse.
The chicken-fried chicken sandwich has promise. Nicely said he puts the chicken breast through a number of coatings of buttermilk and flour. The seasoning in the breading was very nice, but with multiple coats of breading on the chicken, putting it between a big bun was carb overkill.
I liked the pretzel bun of the Magic burger much more than the burger itself, which had little character. And the quasi-dilla, a double folded quesadilla that was meant to have a cheeseburger-like filling, might have been better if the one I received had had some of the ground beef it was supposed to. Pulled pork sandwich was good; Japanese pan noodles had too much soy.
I like that Levy is spending some time to develop dishes for the arena…oops, I mean event center. I hope they have a few more winners like the seafood salad up their collective sleeves.
Here’s a rundown of the concessions and restaurants that will be available when Amway Center opens Oct. 1:
· 400 West Church: Fan favorites include the foot-long chili dog, nacho grande and bottomless souvenir popcorn bucket among many others.
· Big Blue Taco: This stand also featured on the Terrace level, serves up Mexican offerings including tacos and nachos made with grilled chipotle steak tacos or tequila lime chicken, and Levy Restaurants signature “Quasi”-dilla.
· Sweet Freeze: Ice cream is supreme here including handmade shakes and the bucket sundae, a souvenir bucket with choice of ice cream hot fudge, caramel, sprinkles, chocolate chips, whipped cream and cherries.
· Papa John’s: Papa John’s pizza and Italian chopped salads are available here, along with Levy Restaurants’ signature Victory Knot, a two-pound pretzel meant to be shared and served with beer cheese, chipotle mustard and vanilla cream dipping sauces.
· Silver Spoon: Comfort food for fans include buttermilk fried chicken tenders and tots, foot-long sloppy Joes and funnel fries are served here.
· South Street Eats: Fan favorites like the foot-long chili dog, nacho grande and bottomless souvenir popcorn are available here.
· Stuff 4 Me: This kid-friendly stand is located next to the Stuff’s Magic Castle. The “Three Me” customization concept allows parents to easily mix and match a menu for kids.
· The Carvery: Offering pizzan salads that include the Italian chop salad and sandwiches such as the 12-hour slow cooked brisket topped with fried onions and Levy BBQ sauce on an onion roll, and served with house made coleslaw and chips.
· Seafood Grill: Seafood is the specialty here including the crab cake sandwich, grilled fish tacos and crispy ale-battered fish and chips with key lime tartar sauce.
· Sear and Sizzle: Burgers are king at this stand and include the BLUE Burger made with an Angus beef patty, blue cheese, caramelized onions and vine ripe tomatoes. Signature Shake fries with garlic parmesan or BBQ seasoning are also available.
· En Fuego: Fiery Latin flavors are served here, including the pressed Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork loin, ham, Swiss cheese and plantain chips.
· Glo Bowl: This stand dishes up noodle-based favorites like baked mac n’ cheese and Japanese pan noodles.
· O-Town Grill: Serveing up the Magic Burger topped with a grilled Italian Sausage and caramelized onions as well as other game day greats.
· Pinstripes: Fan favorites here include the Southern Dog topped with BBQ sauce, jalapenos and fried onion, and the Three Point Dog topped with chili cheese and diced onions.
· Slam Dunk: Serving up specialty hot dogs that include the Southern Dog topped with BBQ sauce, jalapenos and fried onion, and the Three Point Dog topped with chili cheese and diced onions.
· Silver Spark Grill: This stand serves fan favorites like the Magic Burger, chicken tenders and the house-made veggie burger with cheddar cheese and BBQ sauce.