February 08, 2023
GLENDALE — For football fans paying an arm and a leg to get into Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium, you should prepare yourself for the food options that'll be in front of you. For events of this magnitude, the stadium and the NFL at large are going to go beyond just the simple popcorn, hot dogs and Bud Light fare. It's the Super Bowl after all. Go big or go home.
On Tuesday, the NFL allowed media members to head to State Farm Stadium for a food and beverage showcase of the spread that'll be available for Super Bowl attendees. In the spirit of hard-hitting, old-fashioned journalism, I went there and ate and drank everything I possibly could to let people know what they're going to be getting themselves into.
First up for me was the "Big AZ Dog."
This is just your standard chili cheese dog. I'm not a chili cheese dog guy to begin with. I'm more of a "pickles and spicy brown mustard on a dog" guy, but it was okay.
The sample I had was small, but if it was a full-size hot dog, I think it would be a little sloppy if you were eating it at the game itself sitting in the stands. That's an important distinction when it comes to this type of food. It goes beyond the food just being tasty. It matters if it's going to hold up well when watching the biggest American sporting event of the year while people are cheering and standing up all around you.
It wouldn't be my order.
Left to right in this photo, we have a "Birra Burger," a "Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich" and a spicy taco from local joint "Lola's Tacos."
Let's start with the burger. This was my favorite food item I had. It was a beef patty with pork and chopped, grilled onions that had a bit of a kick to them. You could definitely eat this at your seat while you watch Haason Reddick sack Patrick Mahomes.
The "spicy" fried chicken sandwich was not spicy. The sauce on there was more of a sweet and sour mix with a little bit of shredded lettuce on there. Given my hot dog preferences, it's no surprise that I typically like pickles on my fried chicken sandwiches. There were none on this. Sad! It was just okay.
I will say that for both the burger and fried chicken sandwich, the little slider rolls they were on were severely lacking. Perhaps this is where being a native Philadelphian comes in because Philly prides itself on its rolls in the country's greatest sandwich city. This isn't a Martin's potato roll. I'll tell you that right now.
There was a taco station at State Farm Stadium from Arizona's own Lola's Tacos. You could ask for a mild or spicy taco. If I'm going to do this right, I'm going to go all out, so I went with the spicy option. The vendor asked me if I wanted all the toppings on it. Again, as I said, go big or go home. I told them to give me the works, which included some hot sauce, chopped onion, cilantro, avocado cream sauce and a hint of lime juice.
I was expecting this to be legitimately spicy. Philly certainly isn't the "spicy food" hotbed of the world, so I imagined this could be more authentic. It wasn't spicy. I talked to a few other media members who I saw eating the tacos and asked them if they thought the tacos were spicy. No one did! It was seriously a good taco, but it was not spicy.
Lastly, for the food options, we have "Pizza Box Nachos" and "Loaded Dirty Fries."
The nachos? The dish is an absolute mess waiting to happen. If you instinctively leap out of your seat when Jalen Hurts launches a deep ball to A.J. Brown down the sideline, you're spilling this monstrosity all over your grey Jason Kelce jersey.
It was too much. It was all too much.
The nachos had shredded cheese, melted cheese, guacamole, olives, sour cream, hot salsa, red peppers and steak. If you spill some of that on your grey Nike joggers, it's game over.
The full order of nachos comes in a literal pizza box, hence the name. Now that is, again, way too much.
Was it good? I guess. I don't particularly like olives, but I was making no substations to these food offerings, eating them only as is. It was just so impractical. It was hard to eat with a fork and it'd certainly be impossible to eat with your hands.
I would not order this.
As for the fries, I dug them! The fries were crunchy, making that first bite oh-so good. They were smaller fries, but that's actually a plus, making them easier to eat with a fork. The fries were topped with mild salsa, melted cheese chopped peppers and cilantro. What I liked was that there wasn't too much cheese, which could lead to a super messy situation.
These felt constructed with the optimal fan experience in mind. Salute!
Time for the fun stuff... the cocktails!
Here we have the "Valley of the Sun Peach Breeze" and the "Desert Heat."
These aren't the only two cocktails available. I believe there were six specialty cocktails in total. Most media members were ordering a single cocktail choice and a bottle of water at the bar, so I felt a little uncomfortable ordering more than two and looking even more Philly than I already do. It was before 10:30 a.m. Arizona time and I had a day of Eagles interviews left to go, too. If it was a late-night event, I would've went all out. If I've failed you, I'm sorry. Additionally, I was a bit nervous to order a "wooder" 2,000 miles away from Philadelphia and bring shame to my city.
These were full-size cocktails, not merely little samples. They knew what they were doing.
The peach breeze included a generous pour of Crown Royal. I love my Crown Royal. If the drinks are as strong at the game itself as they were at this taste testing, I highly recommend grabbing one over the standard Bud Light and Michelob Ultra options.
The Desert Heat drink included spicy tamarind Smirnoff vodka and was finished off with Tajín seasoning around the rim, which is made with peppers, salt and lime. This was spicier than both of the "spicy" food options I discussed. I mean that in the best way possible.
Live it up with these drinks!
So, if you're going to the big game, listen to my takes! You'll thank me later.
My suggested order: Birra Burger, Loaded Dirty Fries, Valley of the Sun Peach Breeze
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