The Chiefs have decided to show up this year. As such, Fat City's only contribution to Chiefs fans can't be a review of the underwhelming hot pretzel out at Arrowhead Stadium.
And so at halftime of Sunday's lambasting of San Francisco, Joe Tone and I sought out some of the wallet-draining, belly-busting options new to the stadium. After a lengthy walk around the concourse, we settled on the bratwurst burger with fries and the Red and Gold Short Rib Melt. Let the off-field battle commence.
Red and Gold Short Rib Melt ($11) -- Tone: My initial reaction after circling almost the entire concourse and
forking over $11 for Arrowhead's signature sandwich was: Really? That's
it? The sandwich is a small on the stadium-food size chart, not much
bigger than a standard-issue grilled cheese.
But two bites in, I was
converted. The short rib was tender and delicious, blended with the
ideal amount of perfectly melted cheese -- enough to keep it all
together but not so much that it overpowered the taste of meat. It was
a structurally sound sandwich, too, staying together as I plowed it
down while weaving between drunks on my way back to our seats.
Bratwurst burger and fries ($12) -- Bender: Your mind won't be ready to understand exactly what's happening when you bite into the bratwurst burger. Brats are meant to be tubular, not formed into thick, grilled patties. But your shock will quickly turn to awe.
This one represents a giant leap forward for meatkind. The burger is salty and spicy, thanks to jalapenos and pepper-jack cheese. And without the sriracha mayonnaise that tops the inside-out brat at B:2 in Lee's Summit, this burger won't overheat your mouth. The oversized pretzel-bread bun from Farm To Market is delicious. You'll be pleasantly surprised by your first sausage burger, but it's the fries that stand out most. Crispy and peppery, they elevate stadium spuds to a new level.
The Verdict: Joe was partial to the Red and Gold Short Rib Melt, while I preferred the bratwurst burger. The short-rib sandwich is an upscale offering, but it's just not filling enough to merit the price tag. At $11, fans need something to counteract the toll a few hours of tailgating takes on the body. Even someone with a modest appetite could take down two of these in a half.
Get the bratwurst burger. It features the best stadium fries that either of us has ever had and enough substance to keep you standing on third downs until halftime.