The Fabled Fenway Kosher Cart
This past Tuesday, my friend Tim and I made our way to the Fenway with two things in mind: to see the Red Sox beat the snot out of the Orioles (which they did, 14 – 2), and to check out a Glatt kosher hot dog vending machine which I had read about in the Boston Globe. Tim had the idea to first try a RemDawg, a stand owned by the NESN Red Sox game announcer, and former Boston second baseman, Jerry Remy. Unfortunately, they had run out of RemDawgs and only had RemPups, which were runty little hot dogs that we wouldn’t be caught dead with.
After moving away from RemDawg’s, we made our way into Fenway and sought out the fabled hot dog vending machine. The only problem was, I had no idea where it was. So I started asking around, introducing myself as a hot dog blogger in search of an odd, hot dog dispensing machine: the policeman outside the men’s room had no idea, but the thought of a hot dog blog made him laugh; the alcohol compliance offer thought it was funny too but was more helpful, taking me to the information booth. Lo and behold, my elusive El Dorado was only ten feet from the booth!
For those of you at home who want to visit the cart, it’s located just underneath the end of the right field grandstand seats, just before the bleachers, where the family-style picnic tables are set up. It’s a little odd, because next to the hot dog vending machine is a stand advertising healthy foods. What the deuce?
Tim and I were greeted by the Wayne Feder, CEO of Hot Nosh, who was operating the Kosher Cart and the Hot Nosh machine, which vends other kosher foods. Tim stepped up with his five bucks, ready to take a ride to hot dog vending heaven.
When I called it a vending machine, Wayne corrected me. Apparently “vending machine” is a bit of a pejorative term for a machine that cooks and prepares your food. I certainly can respect that, because an integral part of this machine being kosher is that it’s not just a kosher dog being served–it’s kosher in preparation too. That means you can finally keep kosher and have a hot dog at the ballpark! See this article in The Jewish Advocate, which was enthusiastic about the machine.
The machine dispenses hot dogs from one of the white-capped cold storage spaces you see on the left, and into the arm you see on the right. The dog is then placed into an infra-red grilling box on the right, where it takes about 30 seconds to cook it. While the dog is cooking, the arm moves in and out like a piston from the box, which I assumed was rotating the dog so it would be cooked on all sides. At the point this photo was taken, the dog had been grilled and was being removed from the box, to be deposited in a bun waiting below.
Here’s my friend Tim, the happy customer holding his first vended hot dog. Both he and I agreed that it was the best hot dog we’d had at Fenway. Both the dog and the bun had the benefit of not being steamed, which usually makes for a soggy, glue-like dog after being carted around the ballpark in a vendor’s box. The bun was surprisingly delicious–I was expecting maybe a stale bun, but this was light, fluffy and a little sweet. From here on out, I think I’ll be making my way to the Kosher Cart when I want a dog at the Fenway.