A couple of months ago, I was invited to try the new Athlete’s Menu at Jerry Remy’s on Boylston in the Fenway area. Even though the new menu launched in mid-March, I didn’t get the chance to check it out until Memorial Day weekend because of my crazy busy spring. Better late than never, right?
Let me just say, I love the concept of the Athlete’s Menu. Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan menu options at a sports bar?! As someone who is very health conscious and mindful of what I eat, I often dread going to sports bars with friends because I know the healthy food choices will be limited. If I’m not in a splurging mood, I usually end up ordering a Cobb salad or a burger without the bun, which gets pretty boring after a while. Also, sometimes these aren’t even options to choose from. This weekend I was at the Baseball Tavern, and the only healthy thing they had on the entire menu was a veggie plate. With an overflowing cup of ranch dressing. Even the salads wouldn’t be worth ordering with their gross iceberg lettuce and croutons. Gah. Case in point.
When I opened the Athlete’s Menu at Jerry Remy’s (I didn’t look at it ahead of time), I was pleasantly surprised.
First of all, how awesome is the menu’s opener?
“Hey, good-looking! Yeah, we’re talking to you with the great body. You play hard and you want to eat healthy, which isn’t that hard. We’ve created choices to suit your lifestyle and keep lookin’ good. So look no more! See what we’ve got cookin’ with our new Athlete’s Menu. P.S. You don’t have to be an athlete to try the new menu. It’s for anyone that loves fresh, tasty food and cares about how you fuel your body.”
Tim and I could try anything we wanted on the menu, so we spent some time talking to the manager, Corey, for recommendations. He recommended the honey roasted pork belly “tacos” and the roasted beet salad, so that’s what we started with.
Corey was spot on with his recommendations, and Tim and I could not stop talking about how flavorful and delicious these dishes were. We were also psyched when Chef Padlo came over to our table to talk about the food with us. We learned that the pork tacos are the top-selling paleo option on the menu. They were seared crisp over pico de gallo, fresh avocado, grilled pineapple, and cilantro, and served in a lettuce wrap with lime wedges.
I realize pork belly is definitely a fattier cut of meat, but the grilled pineapple really cut through the fat, and the pico de gallo provided a nice fresh crunch for some texture. This was definitely our favorite of the night.
The beet salad was awesome too, mainly because most sports bars are not willing to tackle many types of salads beyond your typical house, caesar, or cobb. This wasn’t the case with the roasted beet salad, as it consisted of hearts of palm, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted artichoke hearts, pine nuts, pomegranates, fennel, rosemary, cashew cheese, and roasted vegetable vinaigrette.
The restaurant was out of pomegranates that night, but it didn’t even make a difference. I am just obsessed with the unique combination of flavors in this salad! It still includes your everyday cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, but then it really branches out with the other ingredients to enhance the flavors. I mean, cashew cheese!? I loved trying that. Also, the vegetable vinaigrette was made out of zucchini. Now we’re feeling inspired to try something similar at home.
Our servers, Alyssa and Sam, encouraged us to try a few more items on the menu before we left, so we took them up on their offer. We figured even if we could only eat a few more bites, we’d have leftovers for lunch the next day. We opted to try the flat-iron grass-fed steak and the quinoa tabbouleh wrap next.
The steak was made from local pasture raised beef, and it was dry-aged 28 days, all natural, hormone free, and antiobiotic free. It was churrasco marinated and grilled and served over a bed of grilled vegetables. I love that this just comes with the veggies because it eliminates the need to be THAT restaurant goer who asks to swap out the fries or potato for something else.
The meat was perfectly cooked, and Tim said he really liked that it was hanger steak and not steak tips, another testament to the folks at Jerry Remy’s really trying to differentiate themselves. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about in this dish was the chimichurri sauce drizzled on top. It was alright, but we thought it was missing something or maybe it was too parsley heavy? I couldn’t pinpoint it!
Last up was the quinoa wrap. Again, this wasn’t your usual suspect, as most veggie wraps in sports bars either 1) have raw veggies and are too crunchy with zero flavor, or 2) are cooked and dripping with so much oil that it defeats the purpose of ordering the veggie wrap in the first place. This wrap had hearty components such black beans to fill me up, along with a variety of veggies (fresh greens, carrots, cucumber), and whole grains to add extra protein and an added crunch. Hummus and a light tahini dressing added an extra flavor without too much oil too.
I was pumped to eat most of this quinoa wrap for lunch the following day after a strength workout. Perfect.
The only thing that I was disappointed about was not being able to sit on the restaurant’s newly renovated roof deck! Since it’s been so chilly in Boston this spring, the roof deck seating was closed on the night we went. I was bummed about that, but it was still nice to just hang out in the bar area and unwind with good food and a beer.
Oh and one more thing, the Athlete’s Menu also includes lighter adult beverage options as well. Paleotail, anyone?
I really wanted a beer that night, so I didn’t try any of these drinks, but that paleo bellini looks right up my alley.
Tim and I found ourselves back at Jerry Remy’s on Sunday night after my Bridget’s award ceremony at Fenway Park, and we couldn’t wait to have the pork belly tacos again! We recommended everything to our friends, and they enjoyed the food too. Bridget and I also split the kale and crisp apple salad (massaged kale, carrots, jicama, toasted almonds, cucumbers, avocado, celery, green onions, red peppers, and lemon vinaigrette), and it was definitely nice and light.
Tim and I really enjoyed our experience! Our service was excellent, and I highly recommend checking out the Athlete’s Menu for yourself if you are heading to a Sox game this summer.
Have you tried the Jerry Remy’s Athlete’s Menu? What dish described in this post sounds the best to you? Do you find it hard to eat healthy at sports bars?
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post, but Tim and I were both provided with free meals in exchange for writing this review. We happily paid for gratuity, and I paid for the food that we ate in our second visit. All thoughts and opinions are my own.