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US Open Serves Up Tastes From Around the Block and the World

By Nigel Chiwaya | August 31, 2012 7:01am

FLUSHING — Game, set, nosh.

Forget hot dogs and hamburgers, the US Open is serving tennis fans a smorgasbord of tasty treats from around the globe, from chicken tikka wraps and beef crepes to locally sourced sausage and chicken sandwiches.

The Open has always been known for its food, which is considered a step up from traditional stadium grub, with its concession stands at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, also known as the "Food Village."

"Serious Eats" food critic Ed Lavine sampled the food options for Sports Illustrated in 2010, giving a thumbs up to the knishes and pastrami sandwiches, calling the latter "a better pastrami sandwich than you can get at 90 percent of the delis in New York."

This year, the tournament is getting into the farm-to-table craze with the the Farm2Fork stand, which sells locally sourced food items like a $15 chicken sandwich from Murray's Chicken in Philadelphia and a $12 sausage sandwich from the New York Sausage Company.

Prices are on par with the city's other stadiums. A hot dog at the Open costs $5, a whole buck cheaper than at Madison Square Garden and in line with prices at Yankee Stadium.

But while the prices aren't indigestion-inducing on their own, fans say they can add up pretty quickly.

"I spent $83 on crepes and drinks," said Yalin Murdoch, 39, of Connecticut, who was visiting the Open with her sons Jack, 13 and Patrick, 11. "It all happened so fast."

The most expensive item in the Food Village is a lobster and shrimp salad, which comes in at a wallet-busting $18.50.

Thirsty fans can sip on a variety of drinks, including Moet and Chandon champagne, which goes for $24 a glass, $5 fountain sodas and the Open's official drink, the Grey Goose Honey Deuce — a mix of vodka, lemonade and Chambord that sells for $14.

But beer enthusiasts might not be feeling any love for selection of suds — Heineken, at $8.50 a draught, is the Open's official sponsor, and as such, is the only brew served.

Fans who want to skip waiting in line for food can make a reservation to eat at Aces or Champions, two restaurants located inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. Aces offers seafood and sushi while Champions serves up steak from master chef David Burke.

There are also a pair of new bars, the Heineken Red Star Cafe and the Moet & Chandon Terrace, the Open's first champagne bar.

Tennis fans found that the matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium weren't the only thing worth sinking their teeth into.

Bruce Fields, 53, was tucking into a tuna sandwich and was imp.

"I've been to every Major League Baseball stadium in the country," said Fields, a Mets fan from Westchester. "I'd say the food here is above average."

And Jim Blair, 38, had a big food day at the Open Thursday, scarfing down a hamburger and a shrimp salad. But he was particularly impressed by the lobster roll.

"It was good," said Blair, who lives in New Jersey. "Everything here was high quality, really."