On the sixth day of TBIR Christmas – The best food at football

Food and football go hand in hand like Turkey and Stuffing, X-Factor and talent-less Diva’s and the Premier League and lack of morals.  Interestingly, there is a little-known theory, formulated by those clever chaps at, hmm, let me see…ah yes, ME, that says the more you pay for a ticket, the worse the food will be.  It is relatively logical as the more fans that you have in a ground, the more you have to go down the mass produced route.

But clubs still try and make out their food is “gourmet”.  My good friend Tom Dickinson even documented his one-man journey to take 92 different pies in one season and he has some real horror stories.  I remember a few years ago when West Ham described a plain boiled hot dog in a stale bun with a spoonful of overcooked onions as:-

“Experience the finest German smoked sausage, hand-picked by our tasters, sat in a freshly toasted fine white bun with french white onions, sauteed in butter and a selection of condiments”.

But at the Non League level food tends to be cooked with love.  Margins aren’t the be all and end all of everything.  It is about making the food we eat part of the whole footballing experience, and that is what we are celebrating on day six of our annual awards.

3rd best food at football – Lewes FC
3360905423Yes I know I am slightly biased but if you want some locally home-made produced food then head on down to the Dripping Pan.  There are the Rooks Pies, made fresh each match-day and features classics such as Steak and Harvey’s Ale, Lamb Tikka and a sweet Hot Apple Pie.  In addition there are the Sussex Pasties, the home made soup and the burgers where you have a choice of cheddar, normal burger cheese or some freshly crumbled stilton…or all three.  Whilst we may be in the Ryman League on the NonLeagueChips scale, we are Premier League champions in savoury snacks.

2nd best food at Football – Alemannia Aachen
7826259400_6063b68a5e_bGerman football just about knocks the spots off anywhere when it comes to food at football with the biggest sausages known to man, full off proper meat and grilled right before your eyes.  At Aachen’s New Tivoli stadium there are dozens of options, piled high with crisp fries.  My personal favourite is the Frikadeller, the German-style burger made of spiced pork and serviced with a huge slice of gerkhin.  Your’s for just €2.  Yes please.

Best food at football – New York Red Bulls
7439894836_53b89d9645_bIs there any surprise that the winner is in the US?  You could try a different item from the various menus on offer at the Red Bull Arena at each match day and still not get round to doing them all in a season.  Turkey drumsticks, fries, chicken “tenders” (big goujans), fries, burgers, fries, pizza, hot dogs and various other ethnic takeaways.  Did I mention the fries as well?  Outstanding options all round and worth the trip alone.

The Hangover part 3

Today was a day for sunglasses. Not that I would say it was a late (late, late) night in the fleshpots of downtown Düsseldorf, nor the fact that temperatures were going to hit the big 4-0 later on. The main reason was that we were heading westwards to the town of Aachen, where the New Tivoli was our venue. The new home of Alemannia Aachen is one of the finest new-style stadiums in Germany (and there a quite a few), but its most notable feature is its yellow seats. Bright yellow seats…..nearly 25,000 of them.

Our journey had the word problem written all over it. A train ride from Düsseldorf to Aachen, skirting close to the Dutch border doesn’t sound like anymore difficult than a normal daily commute (well, setting aside the fact that I have to negotiate the joys of service SouthEastern-style). But add in the fact that our journey would take us via Mönchengladbach and you have a receipe for carnage. Borussia Mönchengladbach would be making the 30 minute journey to Aachen for their first game of the new season, a season where optimism hasn’t been as high for well over a decade. Continue reading