Chasing bases at the Fenway

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IT was once an ugly, sterile, concrete car park and is now a stylish, funky strip of bars, coffee shops and eateries. It’s all happening in Woden’s long-awaited Bradley Street dining precinct and locals are luvin’ having a place to call their own.

Wendy Johnson{caption}Wendy Johnson.{/caption}

One of the – if not the – largest of the six new operations is affectionately nicknamed the Green Monster (proper name is Fenway Public House or Fenway for short). This massive watering hole can pour beers and dish up burgers and schnitties for a whopping 350 customers.

The décor is saturated with many shades of green – wall paint, interior features and loads of lush plants. It works, in a monster-kind-of-a-way.

Fenway has Jazz Tuesdays, massive TV screens everywhere you look, several dining zones (inside and out) and a huge bar area with some stools. The sports element is certainly there. Indeed, the place is named after the famous baseball park in the US – Fenway Park.

Fenway’s menu says it supports local farmers by sourcing from the Canberra region and Australia – smallgoods from Balzanelli and Pialligo, free-range eggs from Hilltops, bread from Three Mills, dairy products from Country Valley and condiments from Beerenberg Farm.

Based on this mouth-watering description, I went for the apple and sage pork sausages ($26). They weren’t available, which broke my heart.

With my Monster appetite, I switched to the eye fillet, a fabulous and tender piece of meat. I ordered it rare. It came more on the blue side. That doesn’t bother me, but it might other customers. Sauce on the side please? Came on top. And the steak covered half my salad. It wasn’t pleasant (the salad that is), especially with steak sauce (hot) smothering the lettuce (p-o-o-r lettuce).

The black Angus rump was also top quality and beautifully tender ($34). Mash please? Came with chips.

From the “Little Monsters” section of the menu, we ordered the simple tomato, cheese and ham pizza ($12). It wasn’t available so it was pasta with Napoli sauce and parmesan ($12).

The Boston Cheeseburger was available and came as ordered ($20). Whew.
The beef pattie was loaded with extras, including cheddar, sauce, mustard, pickles, lettuce, tomato and tater tots (deep-fried grated potato cylinder in shape). Was it the juiciest, tastiest burger in town? Likely not, but the fries were great and it went down the hatch.

No one asked how our meals were going, which I always find baffling with a new establishment since it’s a free and quick form of market testing.

The fit out is beautiful and the sun streams into the side of the Green Monster in the afternoon.

Will we be back? We will try once more. I’m determined to give those sausages a go.

Fenway Public House, Bradley Street, Woden. 10 per cent surcharge Sundays and 15 per cent public holidays.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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