Earlier today, the Predators invited some of the local media and bloggers out to Bridgestone Arena to sample some of the new cuisine that is being introduced throughout the arena in multiple concession stands on each level. These new changes were implemented due to fan feedback, season ticket holder reactions, and just to give Bridgestone Arena a new look in terms of how they are perceived in a culinary view.
Headed up by Chef Wade Gnann, the Nashville Predators have introduced a brand new collection of Nashville and regionally-inspired delicacies that not only tickle the palate of the most hardheaded connoisseurs, but speak to the everyday fan that may walk through the doors of the Arena.
Sean Henry noted that they wanted to approach Bridgestone Arena’s culinary vision with the phrase: “Make our food fun.” With the new options introduced by Chef Gnann, it brings Nashville into the spotlight of cities with exemplary concession choices in their local arena.
Some of the new food options available now that I personally tried (see picture below and click for a larger version):
Section 109 – Chicken and Waffles
At the Chicken and Waffles stand, customers will have the ability to purchase multiple waffle options. Henry, who didn’t seem to initially be a fan of Chef Gnann’s introduction of the famed southern delight, noted that it was a stroke of “asinine genius” in terms of it’s recent success.
Available is a Chicken and Waffle sandwich that is folded much like a pita would be and comes with a honey-jalapeño sauce to top it with. Also for sale is a waffle topped with a chili-brisket and your choice of cheese/jalapenos/sour cream. I tasted both of these options and found them both to present a mouthful of deliciousness.
While I gave the Brisket Waffle four out of five stars in my personal rankings, the regular Chicken and Waffle sandwich fell a bit short. It still received three out of five stars, but a traditional maple syrup would have made the day over the honey-jalapeño sauce provided.
Section 103 and 317 – Wok This Way
While the name sounds cliche, the food definitely is not. Bringing the classic mobile-stand stir fry available in multiple places throughout the arena, Chef Gnann added a rice-version of the stir fry and two new “Pork Wing” additions into the line-up as well.
Most customers have tried, at one point in time, the Asian stir-fry that is available for purchase throughout the arena. However, as the stir-fry was only available with noodles, they decided to add in a fried rice option as well, which is rather delightful for those who love their rice. Both the stir-fry and the fried rice earned four out of five stars in my personal rankings.
The pork wings, however, were a completely different and utterly surprising story. Each pork wing was about 3 of my large fingers in girth and in width, which was filling enough. Both a sweet and smokey choice is available for the wings and both are distinctly flavorful. It was one of the more delicious options for me and easily received a five star ranking.
Section 101 and 317 – Nashville Hot Chicken
There are quite a few out there that like to consider themselves “Hot Chicken Connoisseurs”, I am not one of them. However, I do like the occasional hot chicken available in a handful of places around Nashville. With the new hot chicken offering in Bridgestone Arena, fans and connoisseurs alike will be able to enjoy a perfect blend of some of the best aspects of hot chicken.
Not too crispy, not too thin. Not too spicy, not too plain. Not dripping with liquid, but not dry as a bone either. This hot chicken, for lack of a better word, was constructed perfectly and the taste was just as good. It received a five star ranking as well.
Section 101 – Bacon-on-a-Stick
I like bacon. Well, let me rephrase that. I LOVE bacon. What non-vegetarian person doesn’t? When I saw this bacon, I was a bit skeptical at first, but bacon is bacon and I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot.
This is the most amazing bacon I’ve ever had in my life. I cannot stress that enough. It was at least a half-inch in thickness and the smokey delicious glaze covering it could send you into a bacon-induced coma.
Some may think, “I’m only buying bacon-on-a-stick? That’s not worth it.” Let me stop you and say that it absolutely is. It’s most likely the finest item on the menu and is quite possibly one of the most delicious foods now available in Bridgestone Arena.
If I could give it more than five stars I would, but it received a five-star ranking.
Section 101 – Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich
At first, I was a bit put off by the tangy mayo and bread-and-butter pickles, but the combination of both of those and the newly southern fried chicken makes for an incredible culinary treat of a sandwich.
A bit different from the usual chicken sandwiches that you can buy normally, the new Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich delivers a delicious southern punch to the mouth with it’s combination of flavors.
While the mayo got a bit messy (because of my fat fingers), the sandwich itself received a four out of five star ranking in my personal rankings.
One of the new food options available now that I haven’t had yet but are available were the freshly made hamburgers, hand-breaded chicken tenders, and freshly cut french fries now available at Section 213 in the “Red Line Grill”. That also comes with a topping bar of a large assortment of hot and cold toppings available for free to the customer.
Finally, Bridgestone Arena and the Predators both should be proud of the effort the organization and Chef Gnann have put in to really set Nashville apart in terms of the food offered inside the arena. While we all know there are probably more things to come from the mind of the chef, he’s currently exceeded expectations in my book.