The U.S. Open has long been a reflection of the city that gave birth to it. From the risqué night session fashion to McEnroe’s living, breathing embodiment of eight million asshole New Yorkers, the final slam of the tennis calendar packs the whole of Gotham into Flushing every August, and as any true New Yorker will tell you, no cultural snapshot of their fair city is complete without food—lots and lots of ridiculously expensive, preposterously decadent food. In that spirit, last week we hopped a 7-train headed east with clear eyes and an empty stomach. The mission? To empty our wallets and stuff our faces with every last available morsel at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. In the end, we came up a little short, but we certainly didn't leave hungry.
Fuku’s 163 Burger (plus Du’s Donut Ice Cream Sandwich)
Price: $14 + $8 = $22
What is it? The very first burger from David Chang (of Momofuku fame). A riff on the classic American double stack, featuring special sauce, American cheese, pickle, lettuce, tomato, and a light, crispy bing bun, our specimen was slightly overcooked and a little stingy with the sauce, but the two donuts wrapped around a block of creamy vanilla ice cream helped to wash it down.
BLT Fish Shack’s Cold Maine Lobster Roll
What is it? A lobster roll in the true Maine tradition, which means fresh crustacean and mayonnaise instead of butter, you Connecticut monsters. For a pop-up food stall in the middle of a searing-hot food court, this hearty roll was surprisingly—and thankfully—fresh, with more than enough meat to go around (a rarity when it comes to lobster rolls, consistently one of the worst values in food). Just don’t expect any bacon, lettuce, or tomato. That’s just the name, for some stupid reason.
The Honey Deuce
What is it? The signature cocktail of the U.S. Open, which you can apparently drink whenever and wherever without any guilt because no matter what you do, you won’t outpace the Long Island housewives anyway. Comprised of Grey Goose vodka, Chambord raspberry liqueur, lemonade, and melon balls, the Honey Deuce is both boozy and sophisticated, plus you get to keep the signature glass (ok, plastic cup), which is great news for the U.S. Open’s annual cavalcade of UWS hoarders.
Hill Country BBQ’s Chopped Brisket Sandwich (plus homemade pie cup)
Price: $15 + $6 = $21
What is it? Manhattan BBQ done in the true (read: approximate) Texas tradition. If you’re going to lean on the quality of your brisket, as opposed to your sauce, however, then the meat better not be this cold, dried-out, or haphazardly topped with pickled onions. Also, the pie cup is more of a pie thimble, in case paying $2 a bite for a lukewarm pecan pie bothers you.
Korilla’s Hot Chix Tacos
What is it? Korean BBQ royalty wrapped in fresh corn tortillas, which is actually even better than it sounds. Loaded with shredded chicken, pineapple, scallion, and spicy Gochjuang sauce, the Hot Chix tacos don’t reinvent the wheel, but then again, they don’t have to. They’re tacos. $14 may seem steep—in my neighborhood you can get a trio of some of the most authentic tacos this side of Oaxaca for $7—but by U.S. Open standards, Korilla offers one hell of a "value"-menu.
Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne
What is it? A single flute of champagne for the price of a NY strip. Also, don’t ask if you can buy a whole bottle. You can’t.