Let's face it. The Super Bowl gives us all an excuse to eat something out of the ordinary, to partake of foods we don't eat and can't even get every day. That's where the joy of ordering shipped regional specialties comes in. I believe that the Super Bowl gives serious eaters everywhere license to indulge in that vaguely decadent practice of ordering food by mail. If you do decide to take the plunge, here are some mighty tasty options to consider. I know it's kind of late in the game (the eating game, that is) to be writing this, but if you order today (Jan. 29) or tomorrow (Jan. 30), your feast will arrive in plenty of time. And if you have other ideas for shipped Super Bowl feasts, we'd love to hear about them.
Outside New York and Los Angeles it can be hard to get first-rate pastrami. Ben's Best, one of the best New York delis extant, alleviates that problem by overnighting its pastrami, made by Empire National, a good kosher smokehouse in Brooklyn, along with some proper rye bread. The key to maximizing your pastrami pleasure is to follow, to the letter, the instructions for reheating it. Available through bensbest.com.
And if you developed your taste for pastrami in Los Angeles, where Langer's Deli rules the pastrami roost, that venerable Los Angeles institution also ships. Which pastrami reigns supreme? We report, you decide. Available through langersdeli.com.
Chicago Hot Dogs and Pizza Combo
I'm actually a huge Chicago hot dog fan. I find the combination of a Vienna Beef natural casing hot dog, soft poppy seed bun, mustard, celery salt, neon-green sweet relish, and sport peppers, to be irresistable. As many of you know, I am not a huge deep dish fan, though as casseroles go, Lou Malnatti's is pretty damn good one. You can order either or both of these Windy City treats at tasteofchicago.com.
Smoked Elgin Sausage
Most serious eaters know that I love Southside Market's Elgin-style smoked beef sausage from Texas. What's not to love? These tube steak lovelies are smoky, meaty, and juicy, with the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. This sausage is definitely a cholesterol-filled indulgence (as are all our picks), but hey, it's the Super Bowl, and it only comes once a year. If you're feeding a crowd, the Southside Market smoked Elgin sausage (ten pounds for $46.99 without shipping) represents great value, even when you factor in the FedEx costs. Available through southsidemarket.com.