"The Supermarket Cafeteria That Major League Baseball Players Love" for the New York Times
A wonderful story exploring the intersection of baseball, food and culture. A Dominican-owned supermarket near the Mets spring training facility has become a favorite for their Central-American players.
Spent a few days eating and shooting with Mets shortstops José Reyes and Ahmed Rosario, along with Bravo Market owner Luis Merejo. Luis claims his market cooks up the best Latin-American food north of Miami, and I couldn’t dispute it. A gorgeous bubbling vat of oxtail stew welcomed us to the kitchen, and flaky guava pastelitos were somewhat of a distraction during the tour. He took us to the back room where the MLB players eat if they aren’t looking to make a scene - Mets jerseys and posters lined the walls of the quiet dining room. But José Reyes gets a kick out of interacting with the fans, and chooses to eat in the cafeteria among them, smiling for selfies and fielding high-fives.
The roots of this establishment are so intertwined with baseball that young prospects live with Luis during spring training, including Ahmed Rosario. You should have seen my face when they said there was a batting cage in the backyard where they practice at night - Rosario often comes home from practice and takes swings with Luis and his son, Luis Jr.