The US Open

On Monday, I was fortunate enough to attend the very first day of the 2015 US Open. The fourth and final tennis grand slam of the year began on Monday at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York and will run for two weeks.

I’ve attended the US Open once a year for the last 10-15 years or so, and in that time many changes have been made to the grounds in terms of food, drink, and overall concessions.

For one, Heineken pretty much reigns king at the US Open. Its sit down, waiter service Red Star Cafe was erected a few years ago and overlooks the new courts four, five, and six (put up last year) on one side and the center of the grounds on the other. Heineken also has the Heineken House, a rooftop lounge where patrons can sip Heineken or Heineken Light on tap, or Strongbow hard cider out of a can.

Heineken and Heineken Light can be found at almost every single concession stand on tap, and most other concessions offer these on tap, by 16-ounce can, or regular Heineken by the 16-ounce bottle. Strongbow can be found by the can at a decent amount of these concession stands as well, but if you’re looking for anything else, you’ll have to look pretty hard just to find a 16-ounce can of Miller Lite. (Hint: there’s a spot just outside of the Grandstand by the Mercedes Benz tent that sells Miller Lite.)

If you’re looking for something other than beer or hard cider, Grey Goose has several stands selling their US Open melon cocktail (same as many years before), but there are also a few new stands selling mojitos. Set up in the middle of the grounds is a bar where fans can find more Heineken, wines by the glass, and cocktails.

As for food, the grounds actually has a ton of options. There are several restaurants aside from Red Star Cafe. Champions Bar & Grill, the US Open Club, and Aces are all more upscale, sit down restaurants, but require that patrons either already have suite or courtside tickets. For those with grounds passes or tickets that aren’t courtside or suite, restaurant passes are available for purchase. For those with tickets to Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Oyster Bar is located on the club level.

Monday was a real scorcher, but fortunately enough, I managed to snag some great seats in the Grandstand where a nice breeze would come through every now and again. What’s great about the Grandstand is that there are some food stands within the stadium that serve items other than just burgers and chicken fingers. I split a turkey panini with pepper jack cheese and honey mustard as well as a panini with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, basil and pesto with my family.

The sandwiches were small, but pretty good considering it’s convenient fanfare. If we had been a bit more picky, we might have chosen from several of the places in Food Village: Pat LaFrieda Meat Co., Hill Country Barbecue, Liberty Pier Seafood Co., or Carnegie Deli.

Of course, Ben & Jerry’s is a solid choice, too, for the 90 degree weather. Though, honestly, on such a hot day, the salty waffle fries I ordered in the afternoon were the perfect treat.

Someday, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to attend the US Open on a day that isn’t so hot (seriously, it happens every year), and then I’ll go for some Mexican from Maya or even some pizza from Plazza Centro Pizza & Pasta, but when it’s as hot as it was Monday (and I was pretty sure my panini was still cooking while I was eating it), I’ll stick with a few cold beers and a handful of waffle fries.

For more US Open coverage, check out yesterday’s photoblog.