July 24, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
67°F
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Who has the best food? Boston:

You can always tell when it’s game day at Fenway. The smell of fresh Fenway Franks — the park’s specially boiled hot dogs — begins wafting down Yawkey Way hours before the first pitch. Inside Fenway Park, these “dawgs” are by far the biggest sellers, easily topping the peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

Fenway’s walls cannot hold in the food, either. The gastronomical delights spill onto the surrounding streets every game day. Vendors hocking sausages, pizza, fried dough and fresh clam chowder are as much a part of the Fenway experience as anything that goes on inside the park —including the baseball.

This is no surprise in a city renowned for its cuisine. Chowder (pronounced ‘chow-dah’), lobster (pronounced ‘lob-stah’) and baked beans (pronounced, um, ‘baked beans’) are all a big part of Boston’s heritage.

On nearly every street corner, you will find someone selling one or all of these specialties, confidently telling you that theirs are the best.

And if seafood or beans aren’t your bag, well there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Boston’s lengthy history and inundation of immigrants have made it a powerhouse of ethnic cuisine. Its Irish, Chinese and Italian neighborhoods always offer a delicious take on their respective culinary heritages.

Walking through the narrow halls of historic Faneuil Hall is sure to give your nose a tingle, your belly a rumble and start your saliva working double-time. This marketplace has been tickling the taste buds of Bostonians since 1742, when Cleveland was no more than a gleam in Moses Cleaveland’s eye.

After the Red Sox work up a monster appetite circling the bases tonight, you can be sure they will have a wide selection of grub to grab. All of the above, plus cream pies, clams, and cannolis place Boston at the head of the dining table. Against Cleveland’s pedestrian pierogies, paprikash and perch, Boston pitches a culinary shutout.

So when you sit down to watch the game tonight, pour yourself a steaming bowl of clam chowdah, boil yourself a Fenway Frank and root, root, root for the home team. My home team that is.

Winning sure does work up quite the appetite.

Contact Michael Baker at 329-7155 or mbaker@chroniclet.com.