Pre-Game Strategies: Three Places to Drink and Dine Before the First Pitch
As the Red Sox embark on their yearly quest for first place, more and more of us are headed to Fenway Park to watch our beloved team swing for the fences in the summer months. But part of the adventure of a trip to The Fenway involves taking the time to enjoy the local bars and restaurants in the area. The secret to an awesome time is a proper pre-game, and here are a few of our favorite places to get started before the starters take the mound.
People watching is prime on their patio during game day and you most likely feel the camaraderie as you join other like-minded fans downing drafts and picking at gourmet pub grub. The Lower Depths makes a point to be a beer bar and not a sports bar, but its proximity to the park makes it a perfect pre-game spot. Boasting 150 bottles of beer and 16 rotating drafts, this is your chance to drink what you want at reasonable prices before getting whacked with inflated stadium beer costs. With daily specials, nachos, sliders, quesadillas and Obligatory Buffalo Wings, the Lower Depths is best known for their 6 different tater tot options, $2 dogs, $3 footlongs and their 5 varieties of signature dressed dogs on a New England-styled buttered roll.
The Lower Depths Taproom, 476 Commonwealth Avenue, 617-266-6662
From the “lower depths” to the classiest joint in town, Eastern Standard offers one last chance to knock a couple back before making the turn down Brookline Avenue. Located in the Hotel Commonwealth—the official hotel of the Red Sox—Eastern Standard is a stunning, elegant brasserie with leather stools and banquettes, a marble counter, 10 high-top tables and adjoining dining room for a serious sit down. Eastern Standard is known for being, well…the standard in service and quality for both food and drink. Open every day from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., the restaurant features daily specials and one of the city’s most exquisite raw bars. Speaking of bars, the cast of Bartenders and mixologists at Eastern Standard are known as the best in the industry. Their extensive wall of the liquor is one of the best stocked and most diverse in the region, and the ever-changing cocktail list is surely the area’s most creative. Yes, you can find Bud and Bud Light here, but since you made it through the door, you may as well try something a little more adventurous. Try a Chicago Fizz with rum, port, demerara, and egg white, or The Brahmin comprised of gin, curry, mango chutney and lime. Classics like the Toronto, Bijou or Jack Rose are always in season and perfectly crafted while the beer list features something for everyone. For the indecisive, grab a glass (or bottle) of rosé. You won’t find your traditional pre-game sports grub here, but that’s what makes this place so special.
Eastern Standard: 528 Commonwealth Avenue, 617-532-9100
Coming from the other end of Brookline Avenue, you’ll find Yard House. A gargantuan meeting place for beer appreciators, the monstrous room is perfect place to grab some food and drink with fellow Sox fans before a game. With TVs pointed in every direction, you can get amped up by catching the pre-game show from any vantage point in the place. The wrap-around bar features 144 different drafts and the menu does a very good job at breaking them down into sections: Craft/Cider/Light, Fruit/Lambic/Sour, Malty/Balanced, Hoppy/Floral, Weisse/Wit/Wheat, Dark Roasted and Strong/Spiced. You can order a shorty (a pint), or a half-yard, which comes in a funny-looking glass similar to the size and shape of a clarinet or elongated trumpet. The bar is filled with comfortable stools while padded booths line the perimeter of the room with even more room spilling onto the patio out back. If you’re hungry, you’ll be happy to know Yard House’s menu has just about everything you could ever want. Monday through Friday 3 to 6 p.m., the restaurant also offers a Happy Hour menu for the frugal with $5 to $8 snack options. Great spot to fill up on beer and bites for hitting the park.
Yard House: 126 Brookline Avenue, 617-236-4083
What do you think? What are your favorite spots to get warmed up before the game?