Ahh, the day finally came. As I wrote at the bottom of one of my earliest pieces for Over the Monster, me and 55 of my fraternity brothers roosted in the right field roof boxes for Game 2 of the Red Sox’s opening series against the Orioles. A stupendous game to be in the stands for, it presented us with quite a unique opportunity while at America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. With the Red Sox unveiling new food options for this season, and a large amount of very hungry (and unbiased) attendees, I took it upon myself to order up some grub and test the panel! Would these new fares stand up to the classics?
I took the trek from the right-field roof boxes all the way to the food stalls behind the infield grandstands sometime in the top of the 4th inning to look for the Supreme Grande Nachos. That is, I had to ask three different people where to find them. Reading some articles that said you could find this helmet in various locations at Fenway was a little ambiguous. Thankfully, a very nice attendant told me to look out for a big sign that said Avocados, and suddenly, they were an easy find.
This helmet is MASSIVE. It could easily fit on a child's head (empty of course, we don’t want to waste these nachos). It’s generic Tostitos round tortilla chips, some bean and meat chili, a healthy scoop of melted queso, and pico de gallo, all topped with avocado crema. Maybe most appropriate, hence the avocados sign it lives under.
As we passed the helmet around the section, one thing echoed pretty consistently. “Hey, this is actually pretty good!” My immediate seat neighbor called attention to the meat/bean chili; it had some good flavor. Quickly though, the person in front of me tapped my feet and asked if he could have another bite. For one person, this is probably wayyyyy too much food. However, if you’re with say, 55 other people, or just two or three more friends, this is a great shareable. My seat neighbor is correct; the chili is spiced but not spicy, giving a good compliment to some very salty chips and extremely rich cheese. I didn't really notice the pico de gallo, and the avocado crema loses its refreshing effect quickly as it meets the temperature of the melted cheese. However, with an ice-cold beverage, no one seemed to mind.
As far as price goes, the Supreme Grande Nachos are $20. Again, for just one person, it’s an eye-watering price. However, for a couple of people to split, and, as another friend also noted, “you get to keep a little plastic hat when you’re done”, that’s not terrible value.
New England Maple Bacon Burger
This was actually the item I was most excited for. A nice beef patty, some Vermont cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and mouth-watering maple bacon. What’s nice about this is you can find this on the Truly Terrace in right field, which when I went to order, wasn’t busy at all.
A little aside, I really like the ability to order from kiosks then hand your ticket to the food attendant to gather your order. While in some places like behind home plate, it ends up with many people standing around with tickets waiting to get their food, it made things really efficient in less trafficked areas.
Back to the food. I actually tried to order this off the Ballpark app, as you can mobile order for pickup from the Truly Terrace from MLB’s in-stadium app. Maybe it was the lack of wifi. Maybe it was my phone. The interface had a terrible time loading, so I just shuffled down and quickly got two burgers.
From the picture above, you can CLEARLY see that it looks...like a normal burger. It is only a five-ounce patty, so it’s more of a smash-style burger than anything, but I had hoped to see a piece of bacon poking its way out.
As I closed my eyes and took that first tantalizing bite, I was met with a soft bun and leather. Leather?! This burger was absolutely hammered. Well done was way out the window here. Dry, mealy, and with nothing on the burger itself to make me look past it. My severely high expectations quickly crashed and burned, kind of like the burger itself.
This got the most chatter being passed around. Some of the group really liked the flavor, as the maple bacon flavor was certainly imparted on everyone's tastebuds. Caramelized onions? They weren’t really there, right? I had to actually lift the bun off to make sure they were put on.
Even with toppings, this burger was desperate for a sauce to bring it all together and make it eat easier. Not a BBQ sauce, I think that would be too sweet against everything. I know this sounds gourmand, but if you did the bacon and caramelized onions as a jam rather than individual toppings, the consistency might have worked better.
However, there’s nothing that can be done to solve an overcooked burger, no matter the price. I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
Well...this is one we didn’t get to. Luckily, we have our very own Jacob Roy, who had the opportunity to chow down on these fried fruits on Opening Day. Jacob, take it away!
First and foremost, I think it’s disingenuous to call the avocado fries, “fries”. They’re more like avocado nuggets or avocado bites. You can find the new offering in the right field concourse by Gate K. I had high hopes for the fries as a different option at the ballpark, but they really were incredibly average. The only way to really describe them is that they taste like avocado. It was just under 40 degrees and the food got cold quickly, so I’d be willing to give them another chance, but I was left underwhelmed. They also didn’t come with the sauce as advertised. To quote my girlfriend, “How are you supposed to have fries with nothing to dip them in?”
So what can we reasonably conclude? The nachos probably won't do you wrong if you’re in a large group with some hungry people. Unless you love well-done meat or leather, I’d steer clear of the maple bacon burger. As for the avocado fries...do you really want to eat avocado fries at a ballgame? Me neither. Which is why we didn’t. Sorry, Jacob.
If I have any piece of parting advice, I’d say stick to your classics. You can’t go wrong with a Fenway Frank, some sausages, and pretzels. If you do want something in a helmet, try the soft-serve iced cream. To me, that’s what a ballgame is truly about.