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José Andrés Unleashes His New Iberico Burger Brand at D.C.’s Top Tennis Tournament

The newly rebranded 2023 Mubadala Citi DC Open showcases Michelin-rated eats, oysters, ice cream, and much more

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Iberico Smashed’s star sandwich tops a six-ounce pork patty with cheese, fried green peppers, jamón ibérico, and smoked mayo on a brioche bun.
Rey Lopez for Iberico Smashed

Tennis, tacos, tequila, and Tiafoe. The 2023 Mubadala Citi DC Open is bringing it this year at D.C.’s longstanding Rock Creek Park Tennis Center.

Stars like Andy Murray and D.C. area native Francis Tiafoe step up to the baseline at the week-long sporting event, which has grown to be one of the only combined men’s and women’s tournaments in the U.S. And the dining and drinking experience has expanded, too.

Returning favorite José Andrés, one of four Michelin-starred chefs feeding fans on-site this year, debuts a new burger pop-up called Iberico Smashed at the tournament. After testing out the hearty pork sandwiches at Mercado Little Spain in New York City, Andrés’ D.C. home turf gets a first taste this week.

“We’re thrilled to be able to fuel the fans, putting a Spanish twist on the classic smash burger with high-quality Iberico pork,” Jose Andres Group’s Nicolas Lopez tells Eater, noting the sandwich is nearly selling out daily.

Andrés’ Spanish-style offerings, snug in a retrofitted box office, also include a Basque-styled sausage dog, gazpacho, sangria, and the famed flan from Spanish Diner. (The masses can head to its Bethesda locale this week for a limited-edition taste of the new Iberico Smashed burger on Thursday, August 3, through Sunday, August 6.)

Two new big-name chefs on board at the tournament this year are Inn at Little Washington’s Patrick O’Connell and Bourbon Steak’s Michael Mina. And Nicholas Stefanelli is back proffering Italian fare from his Masseria in NoMa. (Side note: his fine-dining Greek spot Philotimo is set to reopen downtown around Labor Day.)

Market Square plays host to most of the food.
Deney Lam
Francis Tiafoe playing at the Mubadala Citi DC Open.
Deney Lam

The tournament’s dining nexus remains at Market Square, centered around a bar with floor-to-ceiling windows with expansive views of practice courts. A comfy outdoor patio also sits astride the courts. New to the patio this year are a handful of specialty food stands, like acai bowls and a mini prosecco van.

Local names inside include Dolcezza (coffee), Duke’s Grocery (salads and its famous Proper burger), Roaming Rooster (fried chicken sandos), King Street Oyster Bar (lobster rolls and other seafood), and Oro Pizza, plus a kid’s vendor with chicken fingers. Design Cuisine manages the concessions this year.

Beyond the turf-lined Market Square is where lots of other action lies. On the other side of the stadium, nearly century-old Italian company Veroni serves its cherished charcuterie alongside cheeses and caprese salads.

Laduree slings sweets stamped with the tournament’s logo.
Deney Lam

Topping the beverage partner list is Stella Artois, which anchors a prime corner spot in a spiffy vintage airstream. In a full-on Belgian nod with not just beer, but also frites flowing from the airstream that can be topped with three types of sauces. Directly across the path in another truck is Van Leeuwen and its fanciful scoops, returning to its roots as an ice cream truck (the NYC import now has not one, but three, new brick-and-mortar stores in D.C.).

Blasting tunes audible from Center Court is the massive Tequila Lounge. Locally celebrated Taco Bamba, run by creative taco architect Victor Albisu, joins forces with Real Azul with tequila samples poured freely in the afternoons.

“I’m so excited that tennis and tacos go hand in hand this year,” says Albisu, who’s a big Tiafoe fan. “Both Taco Bamba and the tournament have grown enormously in recent years ... Mubadala Citi DC Open is better than ever and among the very best tournaments on the tour.”

In addition to its truck, Van Leeuwen operates a mini-stand on the Market Square patio.
Deney Lam

Kim Crawford has wine covered, and a sprinkling of single-liquor stands dot the grounds, including Ketel One and Tanqueray. On the sweets side, Laduree brings refined, colorful French macarons in a stand outside the main court.

Finding O’Connell’s offerings is a bit more of a challenge; his truffle popcorn can only be found at the air-conditioned Citi Lounge, plus suites — marking the first time the bite-sized delights have escaped his Michelin-rated grounds in rural Virginia.

Chef Kevin Tien at the Citi Taste of Tennis at La Vie on the Wharf.
Deney Lam

The week kicked off with the return of Citi Taste of Tennis at La Vie on the Wharf. The tasting party was hosted by WTA tennis pro Jessica Pegula alongside celebrated D.C. chef Kevin Tien, who was recently forced to close his lauded Moon Rabbit restaurant (also on the Wharf). Pro players from Gael Monfils to Elena Svitolina attended, and local restaurants like Gerrard Street Kitchen and Purple Patch served up bites.

Founded in 1969, the tournament sees upwards of 70,000 attendees and concludes on Sunday, August 6. Four Grand Slam champs are playing, plus former tournament winners, and several top-ten players, both men and women. Limited tickets are still available. And “Friday Fun Day” on August 4 features all-day $5 frose, $3 soft drinks, and $2 ice cream.

The tournament chaired by tech titan Mark Ein supports The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), an educational and tennis organization for underserved children in D.C.

Tennis icon Andy Murray at the 2023 Mubadala Citi DC Open.
Deney Lam

—Tierney Plumb contributed to this report