Linsanity's Ice Cream and Other Athlete-Obsessed NYC Foods

By: Michael Engle

Despite the feeling that Linsanity has lost some of its original luster, Knicks player Jeremy Lin has already made his mark on the New York food scene. Ben & Jerry's even came out with a Limited-Edition frozen yogurt, "Taste the Linsanity" consisting of vanilla yogurt with a lychee honey swirl and fortune cookie pieces. Although it sounds like the perfect 'tip of the hat' to the Linmeister, the PC police threw a fit and encouraged the Vermont dairy kings to swap out the fortune cookies in favor of waffle cone bits...on the side. Talk about a momentum-killing turnover!

While some athletes, such as Mickey Mantle and Darryl Strawberry, opened New York-area restaurants since their retirements, it is arguably more prestigious to be awarded a namesake food item during a playing career. After all, it is relatively easy to buy a business, but fame and prestige can only be rewarded.

Ben & Jerry's wasn't the only one getting in on the Linsanity/athlete-food-naming, check out some other New York eponymous superstar foods...

LIN-burger at Feile, 131 W 33rd St, NYC: This is a five-spice pork patty, topped with pickled carrot, ginger, and cucumber, along with pineapple salsa and Sriracha mayonnaise. Not only does this sound delicious, but the burger was obviously created as a direct tribute to Linsanity. Asiago fries earned the complementary spot for this famous burger. You can score this one as a highlight reel slam dunk on the menu!

Derek Jeter triple-decker at Stage Deli, 834 7th Ave, NYC: Unfortunately, these triple-deckers are not exactly the most inspired tributes. While the combinations and places on the menu are set, their names are changed in order to maintain "name recognition." That being said, Derek Jeter's namesake sandwich is a fairly good reflection upon his status as a Yankee legend, even if it isn't #2 in the scorecard. Although roast beef and turkey have been paired before, with good results, the Munster cheese is an inspired choice for a Jeter sandwich--not too strong, but rich and creamy enough to carry a championship effort. Just don't tell your grandfather that Alex Rodriguez inherited Joe DiMaggio's sandwich. No need to get him upset, or for you to hear "Alex Rodriguez couldn't carry Joe D's jockstrap" for the umpteenth time.

The Melo Sandwich (for Carmelo Anthony) at Carnegie Deli, 854 7th Ave #1, NYC: This NYC skyscraper sandwich sells for $22, matching both Melo's high school jersey number and the lofty expectations surrounding his trade from the Denver Nuggets. With an ungodly amount of pastrami, corned beef, salami, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Russian dressing ("Take that, Mikhail Prokhorov!"), it would take three million orders to equal Melo's contract with the Knicks. It would also take about the same amount of people just to finish one Melo.

The Eli Manning Sandwich: Though the restaurant (Park and Sixth Comfort Food, Hoboken, NJ) has since closed, this heroic effort still deserves a mention. At first glance, it might have been "just another roast beef sandwich." However, it is clear that Eli's sandwich was much more than pedestrian. Featuring caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and creamy horseradish sauce to complement the house roast beef, this was the restaurant's only tribute item on the menu. I could have eaten that sandwich any day of the week, and twice on Super Bowl Sundays--especially if it would coincide with a Tom Brady letdown.

Photo: DvYang

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