To the football fanatic, there is no greater day than Super Bowl Sunday. For Super Bowl 44, the two teams vying for the championship, the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, are busy working on their strategies, their plays, their strengths and their weakness.
The rest of us are busy working on the food we plan to consume on this festive occasion.
But what will that be? Sandwiches have long been a favorite, whether the coach in charge of the food offensive prefers to serve up a table-long sub sandwich or a series of sliders. Before you place your bets, however, consider the two sandwiches, listed alphabetically by hometown, that fans from each of the home teams will likely be serving their guests.
Indianapolis Colts: Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Take a pork cutlet, pound it until it’s broad and flat, bread it and fry it. It’s as simple as that. Yet a good pork tenderloin sandwich has a hold on anyone who ever tried one at any of the countless drive-ins that dot the Midwest. There’s something about the hot, slightly greasy patty and the cool mayonnaise on the toasted white bun that has made it a perennial favorite with millions.
Fan testimonial from Chuck Lundquist, formerly of the Midwest and now of San Antonio:
I’m a fan of the Colts … and I’m certainly a fan of the pork tenderloin sandwich.
When I was in college, a small drive-in diner called Porky’s was on University Avenue in Des Moines (I went to Grand View College , a Lutheran junior college for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa). They had a great big pork loin sandwich that just hung over the outside of the bun. Pork is fairly inexpensive up north, and we always had big pork (and chicken) family meals. On Sunday night when the dining hall was closed, Porky’s was the place to go. We would have that big sandwich, soda and shake and walk around and talk to the ladies who had driven in. Lots of fun on a Sunday evening.
That big sandwich would stay with you. Plenty of meat and always tender and moist. Over the years, the pork tenderloin has become too packaged with too much breading. There is still a Porky’s in Des Moines, and I still like to eat there, but the sandwiches aren’t quite the same.
For a recipe to make your own pork tenderloin sandwiches, click here.
If you want to buy a pork tenderloin sandwich in San Antonio: Check out Which Wich, with two area locations: 11224 Huebner Road, (210) 561-WICH (9424); and 10730 Potranco Road, (210) 682-WICH (9424), or click here.
New Orleans Saints: Muffalletta
New Orleans’ version of the pressed sandwich is the muffuletta with its blend of cheeses melted into Italian meats and the salty, tangy appeal of olive salad. The sandwich dates back to 1906 and is still served today.
Fan testimonial from Sandy White, who grew up in the Big Easy and now lives in San Antonio:
Growing up in New Orleans I remember the times we would go down to Central Grocery for a muffuletta sandwich. We would always go in multiples of either 2 or 4 as one of Central Grocery’s creations had to be shared, the final number determined by the level of hunger. Since there was no table service, one would approach the counter to get the sandwich and proceed outdoors to find a suitable place to consume the masterpiece.
For those not familiar, the muffuletta is the quintessential New Orleans sandwich —A large, round Italian sandwich loaf, sliced in half like a English muffin, is piled high with Italian delicacies such as mortadella, capicola and salami, layered with provolone and Swiss cheeses. What really sets the muffuletta apart from your garden-variety lunch-meat sandwich, however, is the generous helping of rich, tangy olive salad that serves as the only condiment. The olive oil moistens the bread while the olives, garlic, peppers, and giardiniera add texture and spice to the meats and cheeses. For a real treat, build the sandwich, wrap in foil and heat it in the oven until the cheese has melted, then add the olive salad and enjoy the finest sandwich you ever tasted.
Geaux, Saints, Geaux!
If you want to make your own muffuletta, click here. Central Market, 4821 Broadway, has the round Italian bread needed, while many supermarkets carry the olive salad.
If you want to buy muffulettas, check out Murphy’s Deli with three area locations: 300 Convent St., (210) 212-8833; 116-123 E. Houston St., (210) 299-2600; and 7702 Floyd Curl Drive, (210) 692-9852. Or click here.
(Pork Tenderloin image provided by Which Wich, Inc.)
(Muffaletta image provided by Murphy’s Deli)
(NFL Team helmet images provided by the NFL)