Welcome, fans of food and sports!

My name is Jenelyn Russo, and I’m an Orange County native and a lifelong sports fan. I’ve spent many of my days inside stadiums, arenas and ballparks, cheering on my favorite SoCal teams. In addition to here, you can find me over at OCFamily.com, where I pen the blogs Rally Monkey Mom and When Girls Love Hockey, covering all aspects of the fan experience when it comes to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Anaheim Ducks and youth sports.

Those of you who are sports fans understand that much of the sports experience is about what you are eating while you’re watching the game. Here at Stadium Foodie, I will explore the world where sports and food intersect, covering the latest eats from Honda Center, Angel Stadium and beyond. I will also be there when our local sports teams join up with OC eateries for fundraisers and other community events. Follow me as I eat my way through the sports scene in Orange County. Don’t miss a bite!

I’m going to get things kicked off here by spotlighting the new menu items that have been rolled out this fall at Honda Center in Anaheim.

A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to join Honda Center Suite and Club Seat holders for an exclusive tasting event at the home of our Anaheim Ducks. Attendees at the 2012 Premium Tasting Event got to try new food offerings sampled in “fun size” portions, along with the chance to rate and comment on each dish on the spot.

In a “progressive dinner” type format, five different food stations were set up on the San Manuel Premium level, highlighting new food items from different eateries in within Honda Center. This included fare from Outlaw’s SmokeHouse in Section 219, Sliced in Section 319, the new Modern Diner in Section 443, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Club, plus suite and in-seat service menu items.

I enjoyed just about everything I ate, and I wished I had skipped breakfast and lunch, as even with the small sample sizes, I couldn’t try everything. My favorite items were the ones offered from the new venue, Modern Diner. All of their offerings were comfort food items, including a meatloaf sandwich, mini chicken pot pies and mac and cheese with a topping bar. Yes, I put bacon on my mac and cheese. It was a total winner.

And the best part about these yummy eats is that they will be offered on the 400 level (Section 443), where the “cheap seats” are and where my family and I spend most of our time watching Ducks games.

Since I have quite the sweet tooth, the final food station of the night, the dessert and coffee shop hosted inside Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Club, also had some of my favorites. I was partial to the mini chocolate whiskey cakes and the Boston cream pie.

To close out the evening, the Old No. 7 Club hosted an “Iron Chef” type competition featuring the Anaheim Ducks assistant coaches Bob Woods and Brad Lauer. The cook-off, emceed by Ducks television personality Kent French, required Woods and Lauer to make a pasta dish that included the secret ingredient of Jack Daniel’s. A panel of judges, including Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau, Ducks radio play-by-play announcer Steve Carroll, and The Orange County Register’s Fast Food Maven Nancy Luna, sampled the dishes and crowned Lauer the winner.

All of the new items for this season have already been introduced at Honda Center, with the exception of the Modern Diner, which is scheduled to open in mid-November. And even though the NHL and the Players Association are still hammering out a new agreement, there is still plenty happening at the arena, including these upcoming events:

Eric Church – The Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour with Special Guests Justin Moore and Kip Moore – November 8, 2012

Champion Cup Tennis PowerShare Series featuring Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Michael Chang – November 30, 2012

Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon – Live Spectacular – January 17-20, 2013

For more information, visit hondacenter.com


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