Primanti Brothers vs. Bratwurst: What to Serve on Super Bowl Sunday

Hosting a Super Bowl gathering this Sunday? Here are a few last-minute ideas for what to serve.

A Pittsburgh classic: A Primanti Brothers sandwich, loaded with sliced capicola or knockwurst, piled with slaw, and finished off with a handful of French fries. Get one at PS 7's or Liberty Tavern. Photograph courtesy of flickr user mandydale.

If you’re a Green Bay Packers fan . . .

There are basically three things you need: beer, brats, and cheese.

• When it comes to bratwurst, the Milwaukee-based brand Usinger’s make some of the best, and you can still buy the sausages online here (there’s a six-pound minimum). Closer to home, your best bet is to seek out the brats made by charcuterie master Jamie Stachowski—they'll be available at the Falls Church Farmers Market  (300 Park Ave., Falls Church) on Saturday and the Palisades Farmers Market (48th Pl. and MacArthur Blvd., NW) on Sunday. You could also check out Cafe Mozart for venison and smoked bratwursts, and German Gourmet in Falls Church.

• Wisconsin cheddars are widely available in grocery stores. If you’re looking for something more upscale, hit Cheesetique for plenty of Wisco-made cheeses, such as cocoa-dusted goat cheese from Carr Valley and jalapeño and horseradish cheddars. I can vouch for the deliciousness of this beer-and-cheese soup, which is served at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.

• Beer is kind of a no-brainer. Miller High Life and Pabst Blue Ribbon have Milwaukee roots and are available pretty much anywhere that sells beer. Total Wine & More (McLean, Alexandria, Chantilly, and Fairfax) stocks several bottled brews from Leinenkugel: 1888 Bock, Berry Weiss, Honey Weiss, Sunset Wheat, and Fireside Nut Brown. For non-drinkers, stock the cooler with root beer and cherry soda from Milwaukee’s Sprecher Brewing Co. (available at Dean & DeLuca).

If you’re rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers . . .

• Make your own Primanti Brothers sandwich. The Pittsburgh favorite is loaded with capicola or knockwurst, piled with slaw, and finished off with a handful of French fries. At PS 7’s, chef Peter Smith makes a version with sopressata, Gouda, and sourdough. Check out the recipe and a video on how to make it here. To sample another take on the sandwich, head to Liberty Tavern, where Pitt native Liam LaCivita has a Primanti on the menu.

• Try your hand at a Roethlis-burger. The colossal mess of ground beef, sausage, American cheese, and scrambled eggs originated at the Pittsburgh sandwich shop Peppi’s, but according to this recipe and video from A Hamburger Today, it’s doable at home. Two years ago, Mark Bucher of BGR Burger Joint gave us a recipe for his version of the Roethlis-burger.

• Knock back some Iron City beer, also sold at Total Wine & More (McLean, Alexandria, Chantilly, and Fairfax).

And if you’re team-neutral? A few specialty stores are doing party-scale takeout for the day.

The Butcher’s Block is offering chili ($15 per quart), mac and cheese ($20 per eight-person serving), wings ($4 per pound), and French onion dip ($12 per pint). The catch: You have to order by tomorrow.

• With a day’s notice, BGR: The Burger Joint will make its nine-pounder burger (15.4 pounds if you count condiments and bun). The $79.95 behemoth comes with two heads of lettuce, eight tomatoes, and a bottle of Maalox.

Cork Market is putting together charcuterie-and-cheese platters and fried-chicken baskets.


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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.