Melbourne truly is a town of juxtapositions and incongruences. It prides itself as the foodie capital of the country with three hatted restaurants that serve coq au vin, cafes that serve only the finest activated almonds, and food trucks that offer fries for $14 because they used truffle oil even though nobody asked for it.
Despite this appetite for gourmet food, Melburnians also love nothing more than to be at the footy with a mid-strength beer in one hand and a $4 pie in the other that has only been partially defrosted such that the crust on the outside is somehow still cold while the inside mixture of various intestines and sheep anuses has been heated to the same temperature as molten lava and takes at least three full quarters to cool down. It is incongruence that has led to much controversy surrounding the MCG’s decision to deliver a more sophisticated menu.
Melbourne chef and restauranteur, Guy Grossi, has been engaged by the MCG to deliver the type of food perhaps less common at a football match and more common down a graffiti laneway that can’t be looked up on Google Maps because for some reason in Melbourne the harder it is to find a restaurant the better it must be.
As part of the revamp, a beloved icon of the MCG culinary experience, Red Rooster, has been given the boot, which is a sad day for chicken and chips aficionados. Not only that, but Crust Pizza has also been kicked out but, to be brutally honest, it’s the loss of the crispy strips that has fans outraged.
SEN’s Nic Negrepontis put it quite simply: “No Red Rooster at the MCG anymore. Disgrace. Nobody wants $70 gourmet meals at the footy. They want $70 chicken and chips.” Sports broadcaster Adam White tweeted: “No more Red Rooster at the MCG? I thought they wanted to get the crowds back to the MCG, not have more stay away!”
Of course, there is plenty of support for the changes too. Sports reporter Vince Rugari added: “For years people have complained about the absolute cr*p food being offered at Australian sports venues. Now they actually do something about it and you people are literally crying. Godless country.”
The good news is that, despite these changes, the generic food stalls will remain so fans can still enjoy the aforementioned cr*p, like meat pies and hot dogs, if they like. The real outrage will be if they ever start charging people for tomato sauce; that would lead to riots in the streets. Fortunately, we are not there… yet.