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Diners ready to hold court at U.S. Open

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Things seem to be shaping up tastily at the Food Court of the Open.

Restaurant Associates is doing it again and they should certainly know the drill by now. And Restaurant Associates is again employing YAI trainees — people with disabilities — many of whom live in Queens. They are reliable, hard working and loyal employees whose work ethics are infectious; Diners can hold court at officials say the workers are paid in excess of minimum wage. Some will then join RA’s permanent work force.

Restaurant Associates is opening three new food stands. El Torito Express features burritos — chicken, beef and vegetable — as well as tacos, chicken nachos and tortilla chips with chili pepper cheese sauce, beans, sour cream, salsa and guacamole. There are salads and a Mexican Caesar Salad with crisp Romaine lettuce, grilled chicken breast, cajun cheese, tomatoes, roasted pepitas and crisp tortilla strips served with a cilantro-pepita dressing. (Sounds ole!) And there’s Mexican chocolate cake.

The Fulton Seafood Exchange features a Maine Lobster roll with dressed lobster meat served on a brioche roll with lettuce, tomato and old fashioned cole slaw. There’s also a shrimp salad roll, shrimp in a boat (fried shrimp served on a mound of waffled french fries and old fashioned cole slaw), fried fish filet sandwich and New England clam chowder.

The Gourmet Pretzel and Lemonade stand has some new twists including a twisted pizza pretzel stuffed with mozzarella, and romano cheese and tomato. The New York cheese cake pretzel is classic cream cheese with graham cracker crumb topping.

Racquets, the only restaurant open to the public (you must be a member of the USTA to dine in Aces, Stadium Grill or Slew’s Place) serves forth a first course of heirloom tomato salad with goal cheese, ricotta and chives. For the main course you may choose from canneloni al forno (veal, spinach, bechamel and pomodoro sauce), seared tuna carpaccio with sweet and sour eggplant caponata or filet mignon with gorgonzola cheese and barolo wine sauce.

That’s what’s new. The most popular items last year were bottled water and french fries. Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a new addition in 2000, came in second. And just in case you’re having a burger, during the two week period of the Open it is expected that 23,000 pounds of hamburger and 1,514 kegs of beer will be consumed.

Of course, the question of the cost of food this year (more, less, the same) is the Number one concern of the fans who will be bellying up to the Food Court bars. As of press time, that information was not available.

So I’ll be there like you, standing in line and looking at the dollar signs.

But hey, it’s only once a year.

Posted 7:22 pm, October 10, 2011
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