Bryan Armen Graham
Thursday September 2nd, 2010

Pastrami sandwich

The pastrami sandwich from the Carnegie Deli at the food court was a hit. (Christine Tsai/seriouseats.com)

 

The U.S. Open means blue DecoTurf courts, night tennis, fifth-set tiebreaks ... and esoteric food.

The Food Village near the center of the grounds offers everything from Indian and Japanese options to a Kosher deli and a French creperie. We invited well-known NYC food critic Ed Levine to sample and rate the cuisine at the National Tennis Center. A frequent contributor to The New York Times, Levine's food website, Serious Eats, was named one of TIME magazine's 50 Best Websites of 2010.

For three hours during Monday's day session, Levine tried offerings from six of the most popular stands in the food court. (You can read the results here.)

"You see all the changes in the food culture reflected in this food court," Levine said. "People have been exposed to more and different kinds of food, but my guess is if you asked somebody from the Levy [Restaurants, the official restaurateurs of the U.S. Open] what the best-selling thing is, it's going to be hot dogs and hamburgers. Because in the end, people gravitate toward what they know.

"This is the reflection of the food culture as a whole -- this is the way America eats now."

When asked to pick a favorite, Levine narrowed it down to two stands: New Delhi Spice and the Carnegie Deli.

"I would go Indian," he said, "or have a pastrami sandwich and a knish." PHOTOS: Food at the U.S. Open [SI.com]

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