As Scotiabank Arena prepares for another new season for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Raptors, the venue shared a sneak peek at some of the new foods audiences will enjoy this year.
And no matter what’s on the scoreboard at the end of the night, it’ll be another successful year for fans’ taste buds as they try tasty new concession options that highlight stadium favorites like hot dogs and offer creative takes on poutine, fried chicken , mac and cheese and more. The best part? Almost everything is made from scratch.
Michelin Star winner Patrick Kriss of Alo serves a take on Aloette’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich as well as a deluxe hot dog with grated cucumber, bacon, pepperoncini relish and garlic sauce.
Barbecue master Lawrence La Pianta, whose Cherry Street Bar-B-Que received a special award from the Michelin Group, will once again offer specialties from his downtown restaurant — These include the delicious Cherry Mac Burger, the legendary Beef Brisket and the amazing Smoked Wings — as well as a new chili bowl (yes, it’s Lawrence’s signature recipe) and a house-smoked sausage.
Afrim Pristine’s famous cheese boutique will be offering two delicious variations of macaroni and cheese at its stall on the 100 level. The Classic Mac is made with creamy five-year-old Ontario cheddar, grass-fed Ontario mozzarella and Dutch Black Phillip Gouda, while the Bianco Mac is combined with XO Dutch Beemster cheese, grass-fed Ontario mozzarella and aged Swiss cheese.
Both options consist of pasta made exclusively for Cheese Boutique and available only at the arena and its store, said chef Tiago Milheiro.
The concession also offers a deliciously gooey grilled cheese.
“It’s not a mix of your typical sliced cheddar,” said Fatos Pristine Jr. (also known as “Cake Man” at her West End shop). “They have a beautiful Gouda that adds some creaminess and a nice bite. They have our house-made five-year-old cheddar, which gives it a nice sharpness. Then there’s the mozzarella and that’s just for stringiness. This year we’re adding some fried prosciutto. That’s what makes it over the top.”
Other offerings include the new Original 6ix Hot Dog, a new wiener from Toronto-based Seed to Sausage that took four years to make.
“We named it after the Original Six Toronto Maple Leafs … and its connection to the Raptors,” said Mike McKenzie, founder of Seed to Sausage.
Rumor has it that Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, is a fan of hot dogs and was looking for a home-grown Frank for the arena. McKenzie said his creation met the challenge.
But there was so much more. A mac and cheese burger from St. Patties combines two stadium favorites in one delicious concoction. The new Triple Bacon Poutine at Poutinerie consists of a plate of fresh-cut fries slathered with cheese curds and gravy before finishing off with double-smoked bacon, pancetta and bacon bits. “There is a butter chicken sandwich unlike any other in the city,” said Chris Zielinski, MLSE’s culinary director.
Other offerings include Chungchun rice dogs, which have been a hit at live shows, deli sandwiches and a Thai shrimp bowl, which you can get at one of the arena’s new Just Walk Out locations.
We barely scratched the surface this week when we went for a tasting and tried to try everything that’s on the menu this year.
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When Aloette Go operations manager Quentin Meloff heard from the start that we were big on mac and cheese, he shook his head and smiled.
“That was a rookie mistake.”