Last Night's Dinner: Gimme a SHEA!
Shea Stadium is at the absolute bottom of the list when it comes to ballpark food, well maybe only second to Yankee Stadium. In recent years, they've had a few non-traditional additions, but for the most part, everything is fried and kept warm under heating lamps. It's a shame, because it seems that all ballparks outside of New York are able to provide tasty, diverse and local options for the fans. The Mama's of Corona stands at Shea are finally a step in the right direction. Mama's is really Leo's Latticini, and old-school, family-run Italian food shop in Corona, Queens, right in the shadows of Shea. It's where the mozzerella is made in the back of the store a couple times a day and where asking for gravy on your chicken parm means red sauce.
Mama's opened up an outpost a few years ago, offering up a welcome alternative to the abundant battered and fried choices, not to mention the simply bad choices (like the pizza...ugh, bring back Pizza Hut, coal oven does not translate into an Aramark kitchen). There are two locations in Shea - a larger shop located in the field level (but not in that right field food court area, which means unless you have a field ticket you're outta luck) and a little stand in the mezzanine (near Section 9 or 11 is it?) Upstairs, your choices are but two - but they're two very good choices: italian sub or turkey. Both come with generous slices of mozzerella as well as two small containers, one filled with spicy marinated mushrooms, the other with roasted red peppers. You can also get a little bit of brown gravy with your turkey sub. Downstairs, you can even get an nice little antipasto plate with chunks of provolone and salami, slices of proscuitto, a smattering of olives, some of those marinated mushrooms flecked with chili flakes and a couple peperoncini.
Last night at Shea Stadium for game two of the division series between the Mets and Dogers, it was an italian sub night. That's a lie - I also had a hot dog and DMR also had a sausage with onions and peppers. The italian sub is perfect when shared with someone. I recommend bringing a bag of chips, preferably plain Utz, to accompany as well. The sandwich is built upon a crusty seeded roll. There are generous layers of pepper ham, salami and mozzerella whiter than Matt Damon's teeth. The mushrooms last night were the spiciest all season. The Mets win 4-1 to go up two games to none in the series. Delicious.