People seem to enjoy bacon. Those in charge of developing new food concepts within Bridgestone Arena are undoubtedly aware of this fact.
While the Nashville Predators are preparing for their upcoming campaign on the ice, the kitchens at 501 Broadway have been getting a workout as well. The results were seen on Monday afternoon at an exclusive food-tasting event inside the brand new Lexus Lounge on the performer’s level of the arena.
I was lucky enough to test out the new items that will be offered throughout the building this season, and if you like cheese…and bacon…you’ll be more than satisfied with the selections.
Here now, a review of the scrumptious, delectable, mouthwatering features new to Smashville.
Ole Mole Taco Stand, the new section on the concourse will offer fresh, tex-mex flare in the form of three new items.
First, the Ole Mole Street Tacos, served with a choice of mole chicken, pork carnita, or, for a southern flare, smoked brisket. The tacos can be topped with a choice of cilantro-lime slaw, pickled onions, fresh Pico de Gallo, queso, guacamole…pretty much anything your heart desires.
The Ole Mole Nachos are a mountain of flavor, available with all of the toppings mentioned above.
And finally, the Ole Mole Burrito Bowl, a healthier and neater option as opposed to a traditional burrito. This is layered with rice, black beans, a choice of meat and toppings galore.
If you’re a burger fan, there is also a change this season. Gone are the eight ounce burger patties, replaced by a four ounce version. However, the option of a double or triple stack is now available, depending on your appetite. And, if the double or triple is your choice, that’ll automatically come with a bacon-on-a-stick skewer. Because people like bacon.
Another favorite, the buffalo mac & cheese has been removed from the menu. But, I think you’ll like the replacement. Introducing Hat Trick Triple Pork Mac & Cheese. It’s house recipe mac & cheese, pulled pork, homemade BBQ sauce (which has a nice kick) and shredded cheddar, topped with jalapeno bacon and a pork rind. Personally, I’m a mac & cheese junkie. This lived up to the promise.
In case you want the jalapeño bacon and cheese combo without the pork, perhaps the Jalapeno Bacon Grilled Cheese will satisfy your needs. A good ole fashioned grilled cheese is also available for purchase.
A catfish on the ice is no longer the only place that the underwater creature can make an appearance in the building. The Fried Catfish Basket is now available, served alongside hushpuppies, French fries and coleslaw, plus, a signature, golden tartar sauce for dipping.
Finally, the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich rounds out the new menu. Selected by the fans via social media as the item that was most wanted at Bridgestone Arena, the Nashville staple doesn’t disappoint. The new sandwich takes the arena’s loved hot chicken and makes it more portable in a sandwich form.
A few other observations from the tasting:
The Hat Trick Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese was the clear winner for me. The depth of flavor is impressive, with the combination of the creaminess from the cheese and the spice from the BBQ sauce and bacon. There was also plenty of pulled pork in the serving to satisfy. This is going to be a must-have item throughout the season.
The Jalapeno Bacon Grilled Cheese was also another standout item for me. You certainly can’t get a grilled cheese at many sporting events. The bacon simply adds to the enjoyment.
I also really enjoyed the Hot Chicken Sandwich. I’m not someone that typically enjoys overly-spicy or hot food, but this pleased my palate.
Even though they’re only side options, the hush puppies and French fries could easily stand by themselves. The fries have a great seasoning and the hush puppies are light and flavorful on the inside, while the coating is just the right amount of crispiness.
Overall, every item I sampled was a winner. Sure you can still get hot dogs and popcorn, but for those searching for something off the beaten path, Bridgestone Arena has you covered.
Especially if you like bacon.