While I can’t exactly claim to be the world’s biggest football fan, I can appreciate all the pomp and circumstance (i.e. pizza and chips) that come along with the game. Tailgating? Brilliant idea! Beer, Brats, and Buffalo Dip? Total touchdown! The Super Bowl? If it’s anything like an ice cream bowl, I support the game 100%. Super Bowl XLIX is February 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. This means hordes of die-hard fans will be descending upon Phoenix, hungry for victory and massive quantities of chicken wings. While I’m sure these athletic supporters will get their fill of good, greasy stadium food at the game, there is plenty of opportunity for them to play a Super Bowl of airport food at Phoenix Sky Harbor International’s Terminal 4.
Kick off at Gate B5 at Matt’s Big Breakfast, a restaurant known for using quality ingredients in every dish. Here you can order a hearty breakfast all day, be it oatmeal, waffles, omelet platters, or griddle cakes. All cage-free egg plates come with toast and hash browns or home fries, so you’ll be carbed up for the big game. Sandwiches and salads are also available for lunch after 11 a.m. Looking for an MVP dish? Order the Chop and Chick, a skillet seared Iowa pork chop and two eggs.
After you’ve caught your breath, head over to El Bravo, a satellite location of a beloved Phoenix Mexican restaurant. There you can order quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, flautas and burritos, like the massive Gorda Burrito filled with shredded beef or chicken. You can intimidate the other team by eating the chips and spicy tomato salsa without breaking a sweat. But the real powerhouse of El Bravo is found in their legendary Green Chile Tamales. They are made fresh at the original El Bravo each morning, and brought to the airport so travelers can experience the real deal. El Bravo is located at Gate B9.
For halftime, you’ll need a sugary treat from Sweet Republic. This artisanal ice cream shop features decadent flavors like Peanut Butter Chip and the ever-popular Salted Butter Caramel Swirl. You can eat it old school style in a cone or sandwich it between two chocolate chip cookies . They even have sorbet and vegan ice cream available if you athletes are watching your dairy intake. Sit back and enjoy your ice cream while the cheerleaders take the field. Located near Gate B4.
The clock is running out so we’re going for a two-point conversion at Cowboy Ciao near Gate B22. This stellar eatery is an offshoot of a Scottsdale favorite. You can order Breakfast Enchiladas, beautiful Chopped Salads, Truffled Mac and Cheese, Scallops, and Short Ribs among many other tantalizing options, all served with top notch presentation. Pair your meal with your drink of choice—the bar is well stocked, serving up wines, beers, and spirits to thirsty patrons. Such a fancy meal! But this is the Super Bowl, and you either go big or go home.
Look, I’m not even sure which teams are playing in the real Super Bowl, but you can be a winner while restaurant-hopping in Terminal 4 of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. I would only advise you not to wear those football pants—they are just too tight, and you’ve got some professional eating to do. Wishing you a championship ring and tasty travels!
Pro Tip: After this game, it might be time to cut back on the return trip. Barrio Café, La Grande Orange, Sauce, Sir Veza’s Taco Garage, and Tammie Coe Cakes offer healthy vegetarian and vegan options!
Image Credits: Image 1- By Torsten Bolten (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons; Image 2- www.foodnetwork.com; Image 3- www.yelp.com, Tim H.; Image 4- www.cowboyciao.com