Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Epicurean Adventures: Belatedly, (Super) Bowl Bash Snacking

It's such a cliche when people say that good things come in small packages. I know sometimes it's true, but when it comes to food, well ... the more food, the merrier! And so, for our first Super Bowl party, Boy and I did it up and filled every available space on our counter with vast amounts of oversized snacking. That's right ... six feet of pure sandwich goodness found itself a home.
Behold, the bounty within!:

I talk a lot about my favorite supermarket, Best Yet, who I love for the quality and value, and no better value can be had than the package Boy and I ordered for the Super Bowl. Ordinarily, I like to go to specialty shops, but pretty much everything I've gotten from their deli is trustworthy, and more importantly, I had faith that their bread was going to be good. The smell of Italian bread baking permeates the air in the front of the store on a weekend morning (when I go shopping) and they bake their own bagels. I like the kaiser rolls, but they bring those in from Modern Italian Bakery, which is fine by me since those are the particular moist-inside rolls I'm a huge fan of.

Well, for our big Bowl bash, they didn't disappoint. We ordered six feet worth of hero, one American and one half-American/half-Italian. They were packed plentifully, as you can see from the cross-section, with Boar's Head cold cuts, my cold cuts of choice, with ham, turkey, roast beef, tomato, lettuce, and cheese. It was supposed to be American cheese, but I guess they ran out since the half had yellow American and the cheese on the full was white and tasted like Munster. Italian dressing, spicy coarse mustard, and mayo came in the box with the hero, and found itself generously slathered atop  soft, moist, and chewy bread that was delectably toasty, just on the right side of burnt, forcing the sesame seeds to take on a mature, earthy flavor that was delicious on the crisp bread, which was particularly and surprisingly good on the Italian half with its spicy meats and rich flavors.

Anyway, this was the ultimate deal, since for only $30, you get one 3-foot hero came with 2/3-pounds of macaroni salad, potato salad, and coleslaw, plus a fresh deli pickles and an olive bowl sampler from their olive bar.

We got two of these orders, so had plenty of food to go around, but unfortunately, way too many olives to be distributed, since no one attending, myself and Boy included, are particular fans of olives. I like 'em one way, and that's in a salad on a Muffuletta, no ifs, ands, or buts. The shame of it was that the pickles were pretty good, but they absorbed much of the distinctive pungency of the olives, which tainted them.

The macaroni salad was a little over mayonnaised, but that's not the deli's fault, since they clearly label it Reiser's, a wholesale brand. However, Reiser's macaroni salad is common and popular, with elbow macaroni perfectly and consistently al dente, and a nice bell pepper and celery bite adding to the level of interest.
The potato salad got rave reviews, too, and I was unable to find the room ... but I was one of the only ones since that went, to my astonishment, quicker than the macaroni salad. But in the meantime, I was gorging in the corner with Kettle Chips brand russet potato chips, which is apparently rarely available, since they're not on the site ... but were also just on this side of burnt, but in a fabulous, crunchy, smoky way. Yum!

Wings, of course, are a must-have, and a highlight of any proper football gathering, and Boy's dad obliged the crowd with a tray of wings from a shop in Selden. My little sister and I were excited since buffalo wings, with their tangy bite and delightful acidity, are one of our particular favorites, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the honey barbequed wings my father-in-law supplied were really, really good! They weren't that weird, tangy, pseudo-barbeque flavor, but actually a sweet (but not too sweet) sauce with subtle nuances of honey instead of the sickly fake honey flavor that's often found in cheap barbeque sauce.

As for Little B, don't worry - it was a cheat day for my poor little dieting dog, too, and he was awarded a massive cow's ear, the biggest I've ever seen at around 18 inches long, for his good behavior, as the rest of us proceeded to laud the invention of tequila.

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