The Edmonton Oilers left Rogers Place with their hearts and stomachs full thanks to the team’s season opening win and the arena’s new menu.
“It needs to be fun, it needs to be quick service, it needs to be tasty. There is food for all the tastes,” Rogers Place senior executive chef Antonio Tardi said.
Tardi joined Rogers Place towards the end of last season. He said he spent the first few months on the job assessing the menu before beginning to make changes.
“If I was to describe the menu this year, definitely it’s more fun, it’s rooted in the community, a lot of local produce and our dish is very, very tasty and yummy,” he said.
The menu includes classics like burgers, nachos and hot dogs, but each has a twist and a variety of options.
There are five hot dogs, including the new Italian dog.
“I have Italian heritage, an Italian background,” Tardi said.
“It’s a nice hot dog bun then we caramelized the onion with balsamic, then some diced tomatoes with fresh olive oil and basil and a lot of garlic and topped with parmesan cheese.”
There are four different styles of nachos: chili cheese nachos, perogy nachos, YEG nacho grande and top your nachos.
“The nachos is a big seller for us but we felt there was something missing in that area so we said, ‘How can we elevate our nachos?'” Tardi said.
“We developed this concept of ‘build-your-own,’ so we have much more ingredient available for the guests that are coming. They pick and match their nachos and then build your own.”
Four burgers are on the menu, including the vegetarian option — the $12 Beyond Meat burger.
The “Grab and Go” section of the menu provides some healthier options including the California roll, chicken caesar wrap, edamame beans and quinoa kale salad.
The sushi section has three options: maki and sushi combo, sunomono salad and sushi and sashimi combo.
Oilers Entertainment Group president Tom Anselmi said food and beverage is an integral part of the game-day experience for fans, so getting the menu right is crucial.
“The old saying is, ‘The hot dog always tastes better when you win,’ but the hot dog’s got to be good too.”
Anselmi said providing options for everyone was an important aspect of finalizing a new menu.
“We’ve been really working with our food and beverage team to make sure not only what we’re doing is really good and great service and great quality, fresh and hot and all that, but also being innovative and making sure we’re serving each customer’s different tastes.”
Anselmi said the focus with the arena’s food and beverage will continue to be on innovation and improvement.