Raising the Bar on Arena Food

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When David Burke Group CEO Stephen Goglia gave direction on the menus for Angry Taco and The Bacon Bar at the Prudential Center, he knew the best way to evolve the food was by using scratch-made ingredients wherever possible.

“We wanted to put out a high-quality product in an arena setting,” says Goglia. And that means fresh ingre- dients, house-made items like the bread, and high-end partners. “The goal was to provide an incredible first- class, quick food interaction that enhances the customers’ overall entertainment experi- ence. We want them to walk away thinking: ‘Wow, how did they do that?’ Anything we do at the David Burke Group requires a high commitment to quality.”

A lot of research went into the Angry Taco. The David Burke Group team spent weeks coming up with spice mixes and high-tuning the recipes to make the equation of quality ingredients cooked fresh work in a high-volume setting. “They ate a lot of tacos,” Goglia laughs. “They brought in tons of dried chilis. They created signature spice blends to cook the meats and chicken with before the chili sauces are added.” The menu features steak, chicken, and shrimp tacos and burritos; a taco salad bowl; crazy corn on the cob; and churros with a goat’s-milk caramel that is best described as “out-of-this- world delicious.”

With the framework of The Bacon Bar menu already in place, Goglia explains how they modified the selections. “The original Sandwiches were ‘handwiches’: mini palm-sized sandwiches made for on-the-go in an assortment of variations.” Four sandwich selections are accompanied by a Cobb salad and a few additional sides that include smoky bacon and Parmesan mac ‘n’ cheese.

“Given the local influence and presence with our restaurants in Manhattan and New Jersey, it made sense to work with the Prudential Center on these concepts,” explains Goglia. And there’s plenty of potential for future openings. “We see both of these concepts working in other settings: transportation centers, high-traffic malls, even campuses,” he adds. “Expect to see a variety of these popping up throughout the country soon.”

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