At least one NBA arena has joined the Meatless Monday trend that has also found adherents in segments like K-12 schools and healthcare as the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, home of the Sacramento Kings, announced plans to serve one new meatless entrée option at its Flavor Lab food cart during each Monday event this year.
The arena, where concessions services are managed by FM Top 50 company Legends Hospitality since its opening two years ago, already offers an impressive array of food choices, including another food cart, Burger Patch, which, despite its name, features 100-percent plant-based fare based on Beyond Meat brand meat substitute products in traditional dishes like “burgers” and “brats.”
The hand-crafted Meatless Monday options at the Flavor Lab food cart will be designed by the Golden 1 Center culinary team led by Executive Chef Brien Kuznicki, who will also be building on the arena’s commitment to sourcing at least 90 percent of the ingredients and the majority of the beer, wine and spirits used by both in-house chefs and restaurant partners from a 150-mile radius.
“From the very beginning, Golden 1 Center’s food program was created with sustainability in mind,” says Sacramento Kings COO Matina Kolokotronis. “We are excited to continue building our diverse menu by incorporating new meatless options for guests to enjoy at Kings games, concerts and events throughout the year as research has shown dietary choices that incorporate plant-based alternatives have a significant positive impact on our environment.”
Local food choices have been a priority at Golden 1 Center since its debut, with 15 locally based establishments operating dining stations in the facility. They range from traditional concessions fare like hot dogs (Big Cheese Dog House, Lil’ Cheese Dog House), burgers and shakes (Café Bernardo), Mexican favorites like street tacos and burritos (Centro, El Jefe), barbecue (Smokehouse BBQ), deli (Bar Butcher Block Sandwiches) and pizza (Paragary’s, Selland’s) to more exotic choices like chicken and donuts (Sweet Bird), porchetta (Porchetta House), and Greek (Petra Greek), Asian (Star Ginger) and German (Lowbrau Bierhall) favorites.
Most offer meatless and gluten-sensitive options in addition to their regular fare, which in most cases is a premium twist on the food tradition they are building off of. For instance, the hot dogs at Big Cheese Dog House are sourced from San Francisco’s iconic Schwarz Fine Sausages while the pizzas at both Paragary’s and Selland’s are made in wood-fired ovens.