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Fenway Park: What to eat?

I am making my first trip to fenway next month. any particularly good things to eat?

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  1. Kettlecorn....It's in a small booth in deep right field pavilion area....and of course Fenway Franks and overpriced beer!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Frank Enbean

      Got the kettle corn on opening day, gotta tell you that I waited in that blasted line for the best part of an hour and the kettle corn was sub-par at best, although it was warm for a moment when I got it.

      I'd say skip the corn, it is not worth the time investment needed to get it. Get something else and pick up a bag of this http://www.popcornindiana.com/kettle-... at wal-mart on the way home.

    2. Frank Enbean is right about the kettle corn, though it can be a long way to walk if you're on the wrong side of the park (it's only sold in the Big Concourse down the right field line near the bleachers).

      Fenway's food is below the MLB average in my experience, but it isn't the horrible wasteland it was only ten years ago. I have yet to try the new (this year) Fenway Frank, though I hear it's better, spicier. The canonical way to eat this is with Gulden's mustard and nothing else.

      The Cubano at the El Tiante stand on the outdoor Yawkey Way concourse is pretty good: not super-authentic, and like all ballpark food, overpriced, but decent.

      The New York Times reviewed ballpark food around the majors last year and really liked the turkey sandwich served in the Big Concourse, but I haven't tried it.

      There's Legal Clam Chowder, which isn't bad. The Italian sausage on a roll isn't terrible, either, but the vendors outside the park genearlly have better ones. I don't think much of the pizza served at the park.

      Avoid: the footlong hotdog, Polish sausage, nachos, pretzels, french fries, onion rings.

      If you're looking for restaurants around Fenway, that is a different question altogether.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      10 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        An update - Kettle Corn is now being sold near Gate A (the big Sam Adams area, the gate across from the Cask n' Flagon). I heard the new guys were burning the s^&t out of it so they were giving away samples today. Maybe they have gotten over opening day jitters?...I didn't partake.

        Someone recently posted that her boyfriend is a Legal's vendor - and she advised strongly against the chowder.

        I asked a hot dog vendor about the new Kayem dogs and he doesn't like 'em. He prefers the old dogs but I'm not sure if he's a "foodie." Anyway, he could eat 6 of the old dogs. LOL!

        The best advice, I think, is to eat outside or bring in outside food (it's allowed). B likes the $1 dogs at Lower Depths on our way in. We were there last Wed before a game and it was unbearably crowded. B says the dogs+kraut were fine but the Green Monster salad (falafel) which was terrific last season, was truly awful. Even B, who will eat anything, agreed with me. Harpoon Quad Leviathan on tap was just fine, though.

        This past Friday, we had a better than expected pre-game meal at the Corner Tavern (formerly the Last Drop at Marlborough and Mass Ave). They are definitely trying to do more than pub food - no french fries, but roasted fingerlings. I had a delicious pressed roasted veggie and goat cheese sandwich and B had a too-big and too-salty (and he loves the NaCl) muffelatta. But at least it was an option. It was empty at 6pm on a Friday.

        For beer, we always head out to the nice Harpoon lady on Yawkey. It's $7.75, but it beats $7 Buds any day in my book.

        1. re: digga

          We've never been allowed to bring in outside food and have tried a couple of times. Perhaps we got a few grouchy ticket takers, but we've always had to eat it prior to be letting into the park.

          www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

          1. re: kristinayee

            You have always been allowed to bring in food as long as it's visable. I have broguht food into hundreds of games -- literally -- and never once been questioned.

            You definitely need to consider bring in food, as the food in the park is bad and grossy overpriced. U burger, Popeyes, burritos, chinese, felafel, pizza, indian.

            1. re: C. Hamster

              That has not been our experience and we go to Fenway a lot and it's always been visible. We stopped bringing food after being turned away many times and stopped bringing drinks, like soda too - as MC Slim JB says, only water is allowed.

              The official no food/drink policy is here: under "Prohibited Items": http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ball...

              Seems like people have been lucky getting in their food. But we've only come across people who enforce the policy.

              1. re: kristinayee

                I am totally serious. I have brought in food each and every time I have been there for the past 15 years. This includes whole pizzas.

                I was a season ticket holder and went to maybe 40-60 games a year for a long time, now only 10 or so and have not been this year yet.

                BUT am going tomorrow, so will again try to bring something in and see if it's different.

                SIL and BIL went on Sunday and they brought food in without problem. They said people were bringing drinks in too, which HAS been taboo.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  I believe you ... it's just not their official policy and my experience has been the complete opposite from yours. So, I guess my point is that if people want to bring food in, they should try, based upon your experience, but should be forewarned that they may not get through, based upon mine. I would love to bring food into Fenway, I just don't try anymore based upon my experiences.

                  1. re: kristinayee

                    What gate do you go in, if I can ask. maybe that's it. I always go it the gate by the ticket office.

                    Tomorrow I'll go there and if they wont let me in, I'll try another. Hopefully it wont rain ...

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      I don't go in a particular gate each time - I usually go into the gate that is closest to my seats.

            2. re: kristinayee

              The official policy at Fenway is "no outside food". The only thing they're supposed to allow in is unopened bottles of water, 16 oz or less. Sounds like enforcement is uneven.

              I always eat beforehand; as I said earlier, most of Fenway's food is merely okay at best, and it's all gougingly overpriced. I get a few Fenway Franks a year, but mainly for sentimental reasons, not sustenance. I am looking forward to trying the new one.

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            I had the new frank on friday. Granted I'd "had a few" before eating it, but while it seemed a little better, it wasn't nearly the difference that I'd expected. I never disliked the old one, but I was expecting something with a lot more zing.

            Guessing that this is the article that you're talking about, if not it still seems cool (have only read the first page) if anyone else wants to take a gander at it
            http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/tra...

          3. Since as noted you can bring in food, I go to UBurger in Kenmore, buy a couple and tote them. Pick up a real beer - there's a Guiness stand, for example, you're set.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lergnom

              UBurger is a very good recommendation. You can bring food into fenway which is really nice!

            2. I can't do the sausage and peppers anymore - they always make me feel gross whether i drink one beer or six. i unormally have one dog when i go - for old times sake. my friends and i usually meet up somewhere for a drink and bite before the game.

              it just so happens that i have a whole blog on pre-fenway warm-ups...

              http://publicanpost.blogspot.com

              4 Replies
              1. re: BoDubya

                Quite enjoyed that post; will keep reading that blog!

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  We are in Sec. 40 lower bleachers I THINK near the bull pen. Anything good in that area this season? Last season no way...

                  1. re: phelana

                    Nice seats! I don't sit near there very often, so I'm not familiar with what's really close. The outdoor Yawkey Way concourse is fairly close, which is where Luis Tiant's Cubano stand is, and RemDawg's hot dog stand, which I forgot to mention earlier.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              2. While tjhe food at Fenway is not great, you can't go wrong with a cup of chowder, a hot dog and a Guiness (from the beer stand behind home plate).

                2 Replies
                1. re: Delhiwala

                  Well, I hope the game goes on tonight..will get a Guinness at the very least..

                  www.bonairebliss.com

                  1. re: phelana

                    Not looking good....

                    If it goes on, I will visit my "beer girl," Michele, behind Section 12.

                2. Successfully brought in food last night, including sausages purchased under the smiling, watchful eye of the Fenway security man who let us through the gate.

                  It was actually a great game to watch.

                  I forgot to tell people that one of the sausage vendors has Inner Beauty-type hot sauce available as a condiment. Years ago he offered the real thing, but since they don't makeit anymore, he makes his own and it's tasty. Also years ago he left it out on his condiment table but now you have to ask him for it. He's an older African American gentleman who is completely charming, usually sitting down watching his employees work. Ask him for his special sauce!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Glad it worked out. What gate did you go in?

                    1. re: kristinayee

                      Now that you can go in any gate, we bought the sausages and went into the gate right next to the sausage vendor -- so that was left field -- and walked around to section 16. USed to have to go in the gate by the ticket office.

                      The security guy watched us buy the sausages. He couldnt have cared less.

                      Weird thing about last night was that they were not selling food in the stands. No peanuts, dogs, etc.

                      1. re: C. Hamster

                        I go in from the gates on Lansdowne. Never had a problem with food there. I've never tried doing it through the main gate.

                    2. re: C. Hamster

                      Isn't that "Dr Pepper" from ECG's Hell Nights?

                      1. re: jgg13

                        The sausage vendor?

                        Hell Nights scare me, so I wouldn't know .... :-)

                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          Yeah - I vaguely remember hearing a while back that he sold sausages outside of fenway, so it'd make sense that he had inner beauty

                      2. re: C. Hamster

                        That Is George- damn right, that guy is into his hot sauce. My lips are burning thil the 3rd inning! He has a dry shake that he puts on too, but I like the sauce better.

                      3. Incidentally, I had one of the new Fenway Franks at the park. It's a definite improvement: bigger, longer, a better casing, a bit spicier. Still on a weak, fluffy bun, and not at all hot when bought from a vendor in the stands. I'll try the next one from a counter so I can get a hot hot dog.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          Last nights game I saw no one with food from outside. Not saying no one did but I was all around...Great Fenway Franks...horrid pretzels..cold Guinness but everything was cold about last night aside from the win.

                          :)

                          www.anguillabliss.com

                          1. re: phelana

                            I saw a few people like me with food from outside. Nothing audacious like a whole pizza but outside sausages, mexican and a whole picnic from home for the family in front of us.

                            Didn't you think it was weird that there weren't any vendors selling food in the seating areas?

                            1. re: C. Hamster

                              on days when they suspect a rain, the Sox mgmt tell the vendors not to come in. So no, itsw not unusual on a rainy night to see no food being sold in the seats.

                              1. re: ChinaCat

                                Yup on the 22nd April there were no vendors..it was quite the bummer..the good thing is the kids were running around recycling our plastic cups...Fenway is green. Hurray...

                                1. re: ChinaCat

                                  It was also a double header and some of the vendors left after the first game, I'm told...

                          2. While La Verdad does not get a lot of love on this board, I have had numerous great meals there before Red Sox games. It is usually not too packed before a game, and the staff is very friendly. I always order the guacamole which is sometimes more creamy and sometimes more chunky, but always delicious and fresh. The grilled corn is also a must have for me although, as noted, is not as good as the version at Toro. The chicken enchiladas were probably the best I have had living in Boston. The fish tacos and carnitas are both always juicy and overflowing. Overall I really enjoy eating here before/after a game. My only complain would be that the sides are lacking in taste and authenticity.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: thegirlwholovestoeat

                              I'm a fan of La Verdad, but I must repeat my standard objection: a single layer of tortillas on a taco is an unacceptable shortcut. They fall apart before you're finished. Every real taqueria uses two layers. Especially galling when tacos are $4/each.

                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            2. We are sitting in Pavilion Club seats on Mothers Day. It's late, starts at 8. Was wondering how the club food is this year? Any rec's?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                Does anyone know if Fenway opens all the concessions during concerts? What about the concessions outside the main gate?