Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Boston Red Sox

Few places are more iconic than Fenway Park. It is THE oldest baseball stadium in the United States. It is one of those parks that is part of the city it calls home. It is built into the neighborhood in which it is situated and is as much of a tourist attraction as it is a baseball venue. If you find yourself in Boston and only time for one thing to do, see  Red Sox game at Fenway. It is about as good as it is going to get for a baseball fan.

But not so much for a hot dog explorer in search for the perfect baseball/hot dog experience. While Fenway scores well, just like Wrigley I was surprised at how factors can drag the score down. As far as ambiance it is a “wicked pissah” (thanks Karen for the translation), but as the crime families say, “if you wanna taste, you gotta pay.” And I forked over $30 for the privilege to sit in a seat with an obstructed view. Not the $45 for the standing room only I paid in St Louis (no, St Louis, I have not forgotten) but that is kinda steep to see any team. Even if the visiting Cubs did come within an inning of tossing a no-hitter.

The ballpark itself is an absolute purist’s dream. Made of red brick and pale green steel girders it sports a double decker grandstand. The upper deck is supported by tall I-beams jutting out of the lower grandstand (and the cause of my obstructed view). Some of the seats are the old wooden type and there is the famous “Green Monster” left field wall. It has on old-style out of town scoreboard and if you took out the light towers you would feel like you were at a game in 1912...well, you’d have to take out the jumbotron as well, and the LCD TV monitors, but you get the picture. Things seem to go really great for this park until about the third inning. That’s when you get up from your seat to get a dog.

Bun-what the hell is it with this New England style bun? It looks like a slice of Wonder bread curled around a wiener. FYI the crust is crucial in keeping the bun from mashing when you hold it. I know, it’s a tradition...one we could do without. But I am a sucker for old school so I still give it a 4.5.
Taste-the Kayem frank was really the only good thing about the dog. They could have just put it on a stick and I would have been happy.
Toppings-mustard, and both dispensers were faulty. At least it was brown mustard. And the relish was IN PACKETS. This is the MLB Boston….lose the packets. And get some condiments on the table.
Price-considering it was Boston I was floored that the dog was only $5. They must cut cost by cutting the toppings.
Portability-a thin paper wrapper and a cardboard box. Not efficient or green but it does a good job.
It Factor-despite its shortcomings the Fenway Frank is famous. Famous gets people to eat you and earns points.

Location-a fixture of the city of Boston.
Access-many modes to get to the park. And very walkable.
GA Ticket Price-for $30 I want the usher to give me a 20 minute foot rub. He didn’t.
Cleanliness-hard to keep a stadium that is over 100 years old in tip top shape, but it’s decent.
Fans-sold out and very into the game. Top score.
Ambiance-It’s Fenway, need you ask?

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price2
It Factor3.5Fans5

In short, it is one of the best places you can watch the game of baseball. I have been to Fenway for three games, and each one was special….for more than one reason. You hear me speak of a ballpark’s “vibe”, Fenway’s vibe is measured on the Richter Scale. What I would recommend is buy one of the savory sausages on the street just outside the park before coming in. Those are real encased meaty goodness; on a real bun. I’d leave the Fenway Franks to the tourists.

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