Hey, football lovers (and those tagging along for the food and commercials like us), it’s almost time for the Big Game, where the New England Patriots will play the Atlanta Falcons. We’ve heard this is going to be a close one—people are betting boatloads (around $4 billion in total!), in hopes that the various stats and predictions ring true. At Plated, we love to look beyond the numbers to find out what each team has to offer other than how far their quarterback can throw. In this case, we’re clearly talking about local cuisine. With food driving all, the team with the best grub will be the winner in our books, that is, if we can even choose a favorite!
New England Patriots
With Patriots (or Pats) fans residing throughout the six states of New England, it’s no secret that seafood plays a large role in the local cuisine. Think lobster rolls, fried clams, steamers (steem-ahs), fish and chips, crab cakes and, of course, the iconic New England Clam Chowder. When there, you can’t forget that you’re only a short drive from the coast, despite the epic pizza (New Haven’s Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is famous for its white clam pie). Other local specialties include blueberries, cranberries, maple syrup, and tons of pies including apple, Boston cream and the Toll House cookie, which was invented in Massachusetts. During the summer, locals frequent their favorite seasonal ice cream shops to enjoy a few scoops or a frappe, which is code for milkshake. Alternatively, there’s always Vermont’s native Ben & Jerry’s, which tends to be more of a tourist trap. But still, the famous ice cream company doesn’t usually disappoint on flavor. Wash everything down with a glass of coffee milk (if in Rhode Island), or one of the many beers brewed throughout the region. With all of these options and the 71,000 miles that make up New England, there’s really something for everyone to enjoy, even though seafood truly reigns supreme.
The local cuisine in Atlanta couldn’t be more different than its Northeast contender, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. Located in Georgia, it’s all about that southern, smoky, heavy deliciousness. From smoked meats to fried chicken and waffles to grits and collard greens… we want it all. And then, of course, there’s Pimento cheese, which is lovingly referred to as the ‘caviar of the south,’ due to its popular smoky-sweet flavor. This spread is often incorporated into dishes of all kinds—think burgers, BLTs, biscuits, fries and tater tots (the latter being a fan favorite in Atlanta). When dining out, especially at Atlanta’s must-try institutions Mary Mac’s and The Collanade, it’s common to find locals ordering a ‘meat and three,’ which is exactly what it sounds like. Speaking of sides, it’s hard to find a restaurant that doesn’t promise the best grits and mac and cheese around, which by the way, we’re down for any day of the week. Oh, and we can’t forget the fresh produce, often grown nearby on local farms, thanks to the warm southern weather: Peaches are Georgia’s iconic state fruit! While locals do love their greens, the typical meals can definitely get a little heavy. We’re still huge fans, though. It’s worth it.
As for our predicted winner, this is truly a tough call. While the Patriots are said to have a slight advantage in the betting world, we are officially calling a food tie.