Lunching at the NHO: Taste, Tennis and Tasty Tennis

by Nicholas McCarvel

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Lunching in summer is one of my favorite things in life. Instead of packing a PB&J for media-center dining, I’ve made my way out to the food court at the New Haven Open at Yale these past few days, dining on picnic tables under the shade of sun umbrellas. There are a few tables that if you sit yourself in exactly the right place, you can see into the practice courts where the stars are warming up. In other words, tennis heaven.

I started the week at the Svedka Lounge (no, not for vodka… ) for their California sushi roll. Normally, I’m not a big sushi guy, but the rolls here – dabbed with ginger and soy sauce – hit the spot for a light bite, which feels especially right on hotter days.

On Wednesday it’s Joe Brandi’s, which has grilled chicken sandwiches and caesar salads and my personal favorite, a black bean veggie burger. I add American cheese to mine, just to make sure I get my daily dairy fill.

Local radio personality Bruce Barber does a “Lunch with Bruce” bit on the Connecticut stage, so I sit and listen as he muses about this and that. At one point, Sara Errani, the tournament’s top seed, walks by, en route to do an autograph signing. Up close she’s smaller than you might think, but if you study her physique you can see the Italian is all muscle – a total athlete.

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Thursday I didn’t just want dairy as part of my meal, I wanted it essentially for all of my meal, making my way to the Caseus Cheese Truck on the side of the food court. I went with the classic grilled cheese, throwing some arugula, tomato and spicy mustard to go along with it.

I walked over a stone’s throw from the food court to Grandstand, where a sizable crowd was taking in Ekaterina Makarova and Simona Halep doing battle. Good food and great tennis? You can’t get much better than that, as cheesy as it sounds (pun intended, of course…).

Plans for tonight? They might include the Svedka Lounge or the Ooh La La wine bar, I’ll just have to get the green light from my editor on that one…

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