Who doesn’t love going to see a hockey game and pigging out on arena food? You know, hot dogs, pretzels, light beer, and things of the sort. Well the Carolina Hurricanes are changing the way you think about hockey game food with their new Home Grown series. The Home Grown series is a series of eight different game nights that will feature a local food, beer, music, and artist. The folks at the Carolina Hurricanes wanted to make each Home Grown night a unique experience in every way. Since we love food as much as you do, let’s start with that.
Chris Diamond and his team at VAB Catering have put together eight different dishes that allow them to switch things up, while bringing the southern comfort of North Carolina. Most people probably don’t realize that VAB catering makes everything, down to the bread, that you eat from PNC Arena concession stands. While that’s already pretty impressive, they’re stepping it up even more for this series.
The dish for the first game (11/18) was a take on chicken and waffles. The dish consisted of delicious chicken tenders inside a waffle cone type bowl. The bowl makes the dish easy to carry back to your seat and chow down.
The next dish is a Carolina Style Hot Dog topped with slaw and pork BBQ. I feel like this hot dog is the perfect combination of traditional sports food and traditional southern food. I don’t know about you, but I always get a hot dog when I go to a Hurricanes game, so top it with some traditional southern toppings and I’m so there. The Smoked Brisket with Cheerwine BBQ sauce provides your messy, yet incredibly tasty BBQ fix that pretty much every North Carolinian craves. The NC BBQ Pork Nachos also provide that perfect balance between southern comfort and sporting event cravings. Don’t expect cheese from a pump, these nachos are the real deal.
The folks at VAB catering also decided to include an NC State Fair classic with the State Fair Burger & sweet potato fries. This is their take on the Krispy Kreme Burger, except these doughnuts are made fresh right in the PNC Arena. One of my personal favorites is the dish that will be featured on March 11, 2017, Foothills Pale Ale Beer Cheese Dip with Mini Country Ham Biscuits. These four mini biscuits are made fresh and topped with ham and cheese, then served with a Beer Cheese dipping sauce. The mini biscuits are the perfect size for a snack between periods. Another favorite of mine is the Pork Belly and Macaroni and Cheese personal pizza. I know, that sounds too good to be true, but it’s real. The fluffy crust of this personal pizza is topped with Mac and Cheese and little pieces of pork belly and is truly satisfying. Last but not least, VAB Catering will be serving up a Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Fried Pickle Chips. This is definitely a classic southern treat that’s easy to take back to your seat to watch the game.
In addition for the incredible food, there will be a local beer vendor at each game. Vendors include Foothills Brewing, Lynwood Brewing, Appalachian Mountain Brewing, Bold Rock Cider, and Aviator Brewing Co. These companies will all be offering a flight of four, six-ounce beers of your choice. Local clothing companies will also have unique t-shirts featured in The Eye and sold for $30 at each game. Local bands will play short sets during intermissions at each Home Grown game night. Finally, local artists will create posters for this series.
In addition to the Home Grown Series, you might notice a few other new foodie approved vendors. One of our favorites, Makus Empanadas, now has their own stand at Hurricanes games. PDQ also has a new concession stand that is serving up sandwiches, chicken tenders, salads and fries. Popcorn vendors Popcornopolis are serving up several varieties of popcorn to compliment the traditional salty, buttered corn you’re used to. Finally, don’t forget to grab some Top and Walk Nachos. How can you say no to Doritos topped with your favorite nacho toppings? Plus the packaging makes it easy to eat as you go or carry back to your seat. It’s safe to say that Chris Diamond and VAB catering have created a unique and exciting experience with their Home Grown Series. The delicious food from this series combined with the new, tasty foods served at every game make PNC Arena a new foodie hot spot.
11/18: Chicken & Waffles
12/30: Carolina Style Hot Dog topped with slaw and pulled pork BBQ
1/8: Smoked Brisket with Cheerwine BBQ sauce
1/20: NC BBQ Nachos
2/17: State Fair Burger & sweet potato fries
3/11: Foothills Pale Ale Beer Cheese Dip with Four Mini Country Ham Biscuits
3/18: Pork Belly and Macaroni and Cheese personal pizza
4/8: Pimento Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Fried Pickle Chips
Melissa Guido is currently a dietetic intern in the Triangle area. She studied nutrition at NC State and Meredith College. Her favorite part about nutrition is showing people that healthy food can be exciting and delicious. Melissa loves traveling and learning about how food fits into different cultures. In her free time she loves trying new restaurants, cooking, and obsessing over her dogs. Follow her on Instagram @made2order and at www.madeorder.wordpress.com.