Archive | February, 2011

Is it the Chicken, the Egg, or the Music?

23 Feb

Here’s a story you don’t read every day: chickens in Hong Kong are laying eggs to the tune of the latest classical, jazz, rap and cantopop. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, there is a marked difference in the size of the egg yolk, compared to other eggs, but the jury is still out on any notable difference in taste.

Whether or not these chickens are producing better eggs, we hope you get as much of a kick out of this story as we did!

Is it the Chicken, the Egg, or the Music?

By Amy Ma, for the Wall Street Journal

This dish at Posto Pubblico, toad in a hole, is made with ‘music eggs.’

At a farm in Hong Kong’s New Territories, a group of 20,000 chickens listen to a mix of classical, jazz, rap and Cantopop (Cantonese pop music) daily.

Called “music eggs,” they hail from the Chung Hing Musical Farm and each one gets branded with a small oval sticker bearing a blue treble-clef insignia — the central curl of treble clef is decorated to look like the head of a rooster. But how does it stand up in a taste test?

From the day they hatch, the chicks at Chung Hing listen to what 35-year-old farmer Fong Chi-hung calls “age-appropriate” soundtracks: 15 days or younger listen to softer love songs; those 16 to 30 days old get faster-paced disco music. Once chickens exceed 30 days old, the music selection becomes much more flexible. Don’t be surprised to find rock hits from the Chinese band Beyond and pop songs from Cantonese girl group Twins.

Music eggs bearing their blue treble-clef insignia sticker

At 20 weeks old, chickens start to lay eggs and those hear a more eclectic mix of songs. Hi-fi stereo systems installed in the different corners of the coop are turned on from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.  to 6 p.m. — at club-like volume levels, so it’s hard to hold a conversation — with a break in between designated as nap time for the birds.

Farmers try all sorts of tricks to get their chickens to lay more and better eggs. Mr. Fong’s strategy is simple: Chickens are less stressed when there is a constant rhythm and melody drowning out other noise, especially during feeding time when workers enter the room; happier chickens eat more and make higher-quality eggs. He started his farm in 2003 and started applying his “music technique” in 2006. Since then, he reports that the mortality rate of his chickens has dropped by half.

But there’s a price for all this musicality and it’s…the price. At 3.75 Hong Kong dollars (about 50 U.S. cents) an egg, a music egg costs about nine times more than the 42 Hong Kong cents charged by a China-based supplier. They are available in limited quantities in certain markets in Hong Kong, but mostly just straight from the supplier.

The music egg, far left, has the bigger yolk

One restaurant in Hong Kong is willing to cough up the extra cost: At Italian restaurant Posto Pubblico, executive chef Joshua Chu decided five months ago to exclusively use “music eggs” in the kitchen. The owners of Posto Pubblico plan to open a new restaurant in April called Cantopop and it also will use only music eggs. To meet demand, Chung Hing Musical Farm — which now produces 500 to 600 eggs a day — plans to stock up on additional chickens.

“You can see the difference in the yolk, which is almost orange in color and twice as big as your standard supermarket egg,” says Mr. Chu. He states that his idea of the perfect egg is one with evenness in the egg whites, a higher ratio of yolk to white, and a flavor that isn’t too gamey.

The three eggs cooked sunny-side up. The music egg is at the top

The chef showed a sample of three eggs — a music egg, a locally produced egg and one from a China-based supplier — open in a bowl sitting side by side. Visually, the music-egg yolk was massive and more dark in color than the other two. “Imagine the difference it would make to an eggs Benedict,” says Mr. Chu.

When asked whether he believes it was the daily dose of rock music that did the trick, the chef shrugged his shoulders and laughed. “It’s possible.”

But then the ultimate test was done  – Mr. Chu cooked each egg sunny-side up and held a taste test. The verdict: It tasted like an ordinary egg, frankly, but its sizable yolk can make for a rich meal on its own.


What Can Facebook, Twitter, and Smartphones Do For Your Restaurant?

15 Feb

Hi everyone,

Take a look at this informative article about the ways restaurant owners can integrate social media into their business. Using sites like Facebook and Twitter helps promote visibility, promote specials, sales, and coupon offers, interact more closely with customers, and find employees. How are you using social media for your own marketing campaign? Let us know in the comments!

Facebook, Twitter, and Smartphones Lead Social Media-Fueled Innovation Within U.S. Foodservice

Restaurants that create a presence on social media can generate brand awareness, promote upcoming events and limited time offers, engage with the customer base, recruit employees, and build brand-loyalty.

Social networking sites and smartphone apps are changing the ways consumers interact with restaurants and with their fellow restaurant goers, creating exciting opportunities for foodservice operators and marketers, according to “Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market” by Packaged Facts. Restaurants that create a presence on social media can generate brand awareness, promote upcoming events and limited time offers, engage with the customer base, recruit employees, and build brand-loyalty.

“We believe the restaurant industry is in the midst of being shaped by the convergence of the mobile, yet always connected, consumer; location-based and context-aware technological innovation, and mobile payments, which already demonstrate the potential to redefine how to cultivate restaurant guest loyalty, incentivize dining occasions, and better tailor marketing messages,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Restaurant lifestyle engagement informs technology use, according to the report. For example, according to Packaged Facts’ proprietary survey, 31% of adults who consider going out to restaurants as “part of their lifestyle” use their computer to place orders, while 21% use their cell phone or other portable device to do so.

Social media outlets Facebook and Twitter in particular are providing fertile opportunities for innovation. As Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill have discovered, Facebook interaction offers tremendous potential for restaurant brands seeking consumer mind share; through well-timed and tailored online incentives, the brand can weave its way into consumers’ lives, according to the report. And because Facebook users are also frequently on the go, the foodservice industry can use the site to ramp up location-based marketing. Packaged Facts expects such efforts to explode in 2011, as the industry increasingly uses social media to guide patrons to a particular restaurant while they are mobile and deciding where to eat.

Twitter offers restaurants a significant opportunity to reach a younger, more urban, multi-cultural audience, because Twitter usage is particularly popular within the Hispanic, African American, and Asian populations. And, according to the report, Twitter has proven itself to be critical in attracting followers — and patrons — to food trucks, an urban-based and exploding segment of the foodservice industry. Meanwhile, handheld devices and technology are allowing point of sale and in-restaurant tools to evolve and expand. Some of these devices streamline a customer’s visit and maximize efficiency for the restaurant. Introducing such technologies may also reduce the instance of human error in order taking and bill calculations. Mobile phones are already ubiquitous, and Packaged Facts recommends that restaurants stay abreast of quickly emerging ways to tap into the restaurant guest early in the decision making process.

“Social Media and Technology in the U.S. Foodservice Industry: Trends and Opportunities for an Emerging Market” focuses on the quickly evolving social media and technology trends currently shaping the future of the restaurant industry. The report specifically assesses the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as it relates to consumer-to-consumer interaction, consumer-to-business interaction, and the ramifications and opportunities for the restaurant industry. It also identifies and assesses emerging technologies and smartphone applications that Packaged Facts believes will help reshape the industry within just a few years. Emerging multi-concept ordering platforms, popular online consumer review platforms, and innovative food blogging & photography sites are also identified and assessed. For further information, please visit:

The Valentines Day Special: Make It Yourself

11 Feb

So you’ve picked out a restaurant, maybe bought a card; but you want to add a little originality to the day. Why not make something sweet and delicious for your valentine? Not a pastry chef? Don’t sweat it. Here are two recipes that have been voted easy-prep romantic favorites. Try one (or both) to put the icing on the cake, with a cherry on top, this Valentines day. Bon appetit!

Sweetheart Palmiers


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Serves: 30


1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2 Combine the sugar and salt together.
3 Pour 1 cup of the sugar on a flat surface.
4 Use one sheet of the puff pastry and pour 1 cup of the sugar over the top and spread out evenly with your hands.
5 Use a rolling pin to press the sugar into the dough, until it’s 13 by 15 rectangle.
6 Turn the dough over and press the sugar on the other side as well, you want the dough to be completely covered with the sugar on both sides. There will be extra sugar left on the board.
7 Fold the sides of the square towards the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough, then fold 1 half over the other half as though closing a book, you will have 6 layers.
8 Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and dip both cut sides in the sugar to ensure a good coating.
9 Place the slices, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
10 If you choose, sprinkle generously the colored sugar on each piece.
11 Continue with the second sheet of pastry as above.
12 Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes until brown on the bottom.
13 Transfer immediately to a baking rack to cool completely, before they stick.
14 Store in an airtight container. You can freeze them at this point as well.


The Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake


  • 1 quart fresh strawberries (or more if you like)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • 1 (14 ounce) angel food cake, cut into cubes (I buy the cake already made)
  • .





    1 Wash, stem, and cut strawberries in half.
    2 Add sugar; toss to mix well.
    3 Chill.
    4 Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar well.
    5 Fold in whipped topping and cake cubes.
    6 Spread cake into an ungreased 13×9 dish.
    7 Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
    8 Cut cake into squares; top with strawberries.

    Bubble Tea for the Curious Soul

    8 Feb

    Hi everyone!



    Bubble tea is one of those drinks that some people assume is only really around in the summer time. But it’s actually available all year round, can be served hot or cold, and is a great way to add some flavor to your menu. We found some good info from a few different articles to share with you. Enjoy!


    The Post Gazette answers two good questions to get us started: Bubble Tea is a Sweet Asian Treat that Eyeballs You Back

    What is bubble tea, anyway?

    Bubble tea (sometimes known as ‘boba tea’), as might be expected, began as a beverage based on tea. But today, the drink is now more commonly known for its fruity or even flowery incarnations. Served hot or cold, common flavors include mango, lychee, and strawberry, but even sesame, taro, and lavender variants can be found.

    The characteristic pea-sized tapioca also varies. Though black tapioca pearls — those eyeball-like elements — made from the root of the cassava plant are ubiquitous, clear and white tapioca pearls (some made from caramel, starch and chamomile root) also are used.

    With a chewy texture akin to a cross between a gummy bear and mochi rice dough, the pearls lend an edible element to the drink. They’re also the aspect of bubble tea that’s most likely to provoke queasiness, but for those who love them, the “bubbles” are the best part.

    What’s this crazy tea’s History?

    Though bubble tea is now known for its tapioca pearls, the drink actually got its name in a different manner.

    Bubble tea is reported to have originated in Taiwan in the 1980s, when tea stands competing for after-school business among students began adding fruit flavors to their drinks. The tea and the flavoring had to be shaken vigorously for an even consistency, which resulted in frothy bubbles in the beverage.

    Liu Han Chie, who owned Chun Shui Tang teahouse in Taichung, Taiwan, claims that he was the first to add tapioca to the tea in 1983, and the idea quickly caught on. But no matter who the inventor of bubble tea was, tapioca pearls have been an inseparable element ever since.

    The popular drink soon spread to other Asian countries before traveling to North America via the Asian community in Vancouver, then popped up in trendy cities on the West Coast. Now, bubble tea can be found across the country. Luckily, no lengthy pilgrimage is needed to get your hands on one of these drinks, as many Pittsburgh establishments feature bubble tea on their menus.

    Some of you may now be wondering, where can I find a place that serves bubble tea?
    Although it may require a little hunting, bubble tea is sometimes easier to find than you might think. A variety of restaurants and tea or coffee houses offer a good selection. Here is a brief list we’ve compiled to help you get thinking.
    The Rose Tea Cafe (Forbes Ave, Squirrel Hill)
    Lu Lu’s Noodles (Craig Street, Oakland)
    The Beehive Coffee House (South Side)
    Shing Wang Bubble Tea Café (NE 167th St., North Miami Beach)
    Got Tea? (West Waters Ave, Tampa)
    North Carolina:
    Pho Vinh Long (601 D St., South Charleston)
    South Carolina:
    Bubble Tea Cafe (1260 A6 Bower Parkway, Colombia)
    Boba Tea (4933 Belt Line Rd, Addison)
    Coco’s Cafe (8557 Research Blvd # 118, Austin)
    What if I want to make it myself?

    You can absolutely make bubble tea yourself! There are a ton of recipes out there. Here’s one you can try:

    • 1/2 cup dried pearl tapioca
    • 1 cup crushed ice
    • 1 cup very strong chilled black tea
    • 1 cup milk, or to taste
    • Sugar to taste

    In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat, then add tapioca pearls. Stir lightly and let the pearls float to top. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat and let the tapioca sit for 15 minutes, then rinse under cold water.

    Mix the ice, tea, milk and sugar in a shaker, until the liquid is frothy and blended. Place about 1/4 cup tapioca mixture in bottom of large glass, and pour the drink over it.

    Makes a 16-ounce drink.


    5 Great Super Bowl Eats

    4 Feb

    We’ve collected 5 scrumptious recipes that are sure to score a touch-down at your Super Bowl party this weekend.

    Easy to make, and absolutely irresistible. Enjoy!


    1. Seven Layer Fiesta Dip

    • 2 (8-ounce) packages low-fat cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix (your favorite brand)
    • 2 cups prepared guacamole (preferably make your own–or you can use ready-made)
    • 2 cups tomato-based salsa
    • 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1 cup chopped green onions
    • 2 (2-ounce) cans sliced black olives

    1. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and seasoning mix. Spread mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish.
    2. Top the seasoned cream cheese with the guacamole, salsa, lettuce, cheese, onions and olives in layers.
    3. Serve immediately accompanied with tortilla or corn chips.
    4. Refrigerate any remaining dip.

    Makes 20 servings.


    2. Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

    • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken wings
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon hot-pepper sauce
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 2/3 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin Blue Cheese, crumbled
    • 2/3 cup sour cream
    • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped – divided use
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
    • 3 celery stalks, cut into sticks

    1. Preheat broiler. Cut off wing tips; discard. Split wings at joint. Place in 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Combine oil, hot pepper sauce and paprika. Pour over chicken, turning to coat pieces evenly. Marinate while making sauce.
    2. In small bowl, combine Wisconsin Blue Cheese and sour cream. Stir in vinegar, 2 tablespoons green onions and pepper. Whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk until sauce is smooth. (Or pulse in food processor.) Sprinkle the top with remaining green onions. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
    3. Broil wings 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly charred and no longer pink inside, turning occasionally until crisp and cooked through.
    4. Remove to platter and sprinkle with a few more dashes of hot pepper sauce, if desired.
    5. Serve with the celery sticks and Blue Cheese dipping sauce.

    Makes 6 servings.


    3. Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

    • 1 all-beef hot dog
    • 1 poppyseed hot dog bun
    • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    • 1 tablespoon sweet green pickle relish
    • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
    • 4 tomato wedges
    • 1 dill pickle spear
    • 2 sport peppers
    • 1 dash celery salt


    1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, place hot dog in water, and cook 5 minutes or until done. Remove hot dog and set aside. Carefully place a steamer basket into the pot and steam the hot dog bun 2 minutes or until warm.
    2. Place hot dog in the steamed bun. Pile on the toppings in this order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt. The tomatoes should be nestled between the hot dog and the top of the bun. Place the pickle between the hot dog and the bottom of the bun. Don’t even think about ketchup!


    Did you know that Pittburgh consumes 11 times the amount of pierogies that other cities do? It’s a game day tradition! (Sour cream in the dough is a favorite secret of many Pittsburgh pierogi makers)


    • 2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling dough
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup sour cream, plus extra to serve with the pierogi
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened and cut into small pieces
    • butter and onions for sauteing
    • ingredients for filling of your choice (potato & cheese filling recipe below)

    Preparation: Pierogi Dough
    To prepare the pierogi dough, mix together the flour and salt. Beat the egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Add the 1/2 cup sour cream and the softened butter pieces and work until the dough loses most of its stickiness (about 5-7 minutes). You can use a food processor with a dough hook for this, but be careful not to overbeat. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes or overnight; the dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Each batch of dough makes about 12-15 pierogies, depending on size.Prepare the Pierogies
    Roll the pierogi dough on a floured board or countertop until 1/8″ thick. Cut circles of dough (2″ for small pierogies and 3-3 1/2″ for large pierogies) with a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small ball of filling (about a tablespoon) on each dough round and fold the dough over, forming a semi-circle. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork.

    Boil the perogies a few at a time in a large pot of water. They are done when they float to the top (about 8-10 minutes). Rinse in cool water and let dry. Saute chopped onions in butter in a large pan until onions are soft. Then add pierogies and pan fry until lightly crispy. Serve with a side of sour cream for a true Pittsburgh pierogi meal. Potato, Cheese & Onion Filling: Peel and boil 5 large potatoes until soft. Red potatoes are especially good for this. While the potatoes are boiling, finely chop 1 large onion and saute in butter until soft and translucent. Mash the potatoes with the sauted onions and 4-8oz of grated cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want your pierogies), adding salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some fresh parsley, bacon bits, chives, or other enhancements if you desire. Let the potato mixture cool and then form into 1″ balls.

    5. Football Rice Crispy Treats

    • 5 cups crispy rice cereal
    • 3 Tbsp. butter
    • 4 cups mini marshmallows or 10 oz. bag marshmallows
    • 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella or Nocciolata)
    • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
    • white gel icing


    1. Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Spray a rubber spatula with cooking spray.
    2. Pour the rice crispy cereal into a large mixing bowl.
    3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and marshmallows over medium heat, stirring with the spatula until the marshmallows are almost melted.
    4. Add the cocoa powder and chocolate hazelnut spread, stirring until the mixture is completely melted. Pour over the rice crispy cereal, stirring with the spatula to coat well.
    5. Turn the chocolate rice crispy treat mixture out onto the waxed paper. Form the chocolate rice crispy treats into ovals, like mini footballs. Let them cool completely (about 15 minutes). You can pop them in the refrigerator for 5 minutes to cool more quickly if you like.
    6. Use the white gel icing to draw the laces of the football onto the chocolate rice crispy treats.


    . Have a fantastic Super Bowl Sunday everyone!!

    For Super Bowl Fans with Texas-Size Appetites

    1 Feb
    With the Big Game right around the corner, this week’s blog post takes a look at some of the best places to eat in Arlington. This review was originally published in the New York Times, and now it’s found a second home on the DineLocal-USA page so you can plan out your meals (if you’re one of the lucky football fans who has tickets to the game!) during your stay.
    Enjoy the Super Bowl, and eat some good food – whether you’re watching from the stands, from the crowded insides of a local bar, or from the comfort of your own home!
    -The DineLocal Team


    For Fans With Texas-Size Appetites

    By Sam Sifton
    Published: January 31, 2011

    ARLINGTON, Tex. — The faithful have started to arrive in this drab, featureless city a little closer to Fort Worth than to Dallas. They have come sweat-panted and reverent to stand along Collins Street to photograph Cowboys Stadium, to walk the sidewalk surrounding its $1.2 billion form.

    The building rises up out of the immense rolling prairie as if raised by supplicants to the higher power of football, capitalism and Texas, a silver biscuit large enough that were the Statue of Liberty to be erected inside it, the torch would barely blacken the retractable roof. On Sunday it will be the stage for the Super Bowl between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    All over the city and region parking lots are being expanded or resurfaced in anticipation. Landscapers trim bushes and trees, plant flowers. Men repair streetlights and potholes along Interstate 30, the corridor that links Fort Worth to Dallas. The odor of fresh paint fills the hallways of local hotels. Enforcement of a new anti-panhandling law has been stepped up.

    And from White Settlement in the west to Deep Ellum in the east — an area of north Texas that is 9,000 square miles in all — local restaurants and bars are getting ready for a rush of business.

    I was part of the advance guard, a special-teams rookie sent out to feed. For four days I did so, up and down the economic ladder. I stood in for forthcoming Wisconsinites and Pennsylvanians with a taste for cheese or sausage, for media hounds, sex workers and all those who follow the money that comes with a Super Bowl game.

    There was plenty to cheer. I found excellent tacos, ate glazed quail at the Ritz, stood in an all-male line of Fort Worth barbecue hounds. I followed in the footsteps of Roosevelt at the Original Mexican Eats Cafe in Fort Worth, and in those of George W. Bush at Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse in the shadow of the Southwestern Medical Center of the University of Texas.

    There were double-breakfast mornings followed by quadruple-lunch afternoons, followed by dinners and more dinners still.

    I had a meal at Bolsa, an art house hangout in the city’s Oak Cliff neighborhood with a grand hamburger, decent pizzas and an ambitious cocktail list, and another in a grim little barroom in the Sheraton here, just down the road from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, across from the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. I took in the sight of Tim Love’s Lonesome Dove restaurant near the Fort Worth Stockyards (wild boar ribs!), ate a cheeseburger loaded down with onions and jalapeño at Kincaid’s and put more than 300 miles on the odometer of a truck built right here at the G.M. plant, looking for places to eat.

    One of the best was Nonna, a trattoria in Dallas that is across the street from a Whole Foods market. The restaurant, with its Italian menu, excellent wine list and cosmopolitan service style, serves as a clubhouse for some of Dallas’s most influential citizens. (Jerry Jones, the owner of the Cowboys, was there the other night in black suit and well-polished black cowboy boots, walking the dining room and shaking hands. “I used to think I could only really get excited about Dallas playing a football game,” he drawled. “But this is pretty great.”)

    They wave across the spare dining room while eating sweet fried oysters and baby artichokes bathed in fiery Calabrian chili butter, and devour plates of elegant pasta with sea urchin. A cut of firm Petrale sole can follow, a Pacific flounder served crisp from the wood oven and paired with Dungeness crab and a tangle of spinach. It is a balm for anyone just in from the airport with a crick in his neck and the feeling that it is slightly insane to travel great distances just to watch television commercials on the 60-yard high-definition screen Jones installed in the middle of his stadium.

    Robb Walsh, a Texas food authority who recently helped found Foodways Texas, a group devoted to the preservation of the state’s food culture, suggested another remedy: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, in Roanoke, a short drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. (“Gateway to Super Bowl XLV,” read the signs there.)

    Babe’s is a family business with restaurants across north Texas. But the Roanoke location is the original and, Walsh says, the best, a restaurant founded in 1993 in a barn of a room that might have served as a stage set for “Friday Night Lights.”

    Only two entrees are served. You can get chicken fried steak or you can get fried chicken. (Get both, and see your doctor when you get home.) The C.F.S., as chicken fried steak is known among the local food maniacs, is a wide plank of pounded, floured and fried beef, served with an immense bowl of peppery cream gravy on the side. The cognoscenti do not pour this over their meat, but instead dip bites into it as they go along. “You don’t want anything congealing,” Walsh said.

    New York has nothing to compare with the excellence of Babe’s fried chicken. It has a shatteringly crisp and salty exterior, not at all greasy, that gives way to meat of amazing juiciness in both breast and thigh.

    With these come bowls of creamy corn, buttery mashed potatoes, biscuits and as much sweet tea as you can handle. (All meals begin with a regrettable green salad.) For dessert, spread some of the salted Plugrá butter that is on each table onto a biscuit, then drizzle sorghum syrup over the top. Whoa.

    Discussion of where you can get the best barbecue in the Dallas-Fort Worth area can be pitched. Many will tell you that you cannot get it at all, that you need to drive south toward Austin and Lockhart if you want brisket, beef ribs, beans.

    The dry, flavorless brisket at the original Sonny Bryan’s in Dallas makes a strong argument that this is true, and the meat at Angelo’s in Fort Worth does not mount much of a defense either. (Still, both restaurants are worth a visit simply to see. They were founded in 1958, and appear to have been placed in smoke-fragrant amber.)

    Daniel Vaughn, a Dallas architect and self-professed prophet of smoked meat who blogs as the BBQ Snob, believes the city can hold its own. A meal at Smoke, the chef Tim Byres’s haute barbecue restaurant, would seem to back him up, at least on the brisket front.

    By insistent text message, Vaughn sent me to Mac’s, a quiet Dallas lunch spot in a low-slung brick building on Main Street, not far from the interstate. Billy McDonald runs the show there, and has for more than 30 years, after taking over the business from his father, who started it in 1955. Brisket, pork ribs, ham, turkey, jalapeño-spiked sausages and kielbasa are all available, smoked over the green hickory McDonald keeps stacked out back, and which keeps his large oven running 24 hours a day.

    The brisket is hugely flavorful, with a rich crust and a melting interior. The ribs — “dirty old things,” McDonald called them — are sweet. His kielbasa will be manna for some number of Pittsburgh fans used to the flavors of Eastern Europe. But it is the moist and smoky turkey that astonishes.

    Dean Fearing, chef and owner of Fearing’s in Dallas.

    There are arguments here about tacos, as well. For some, the best come from the stand inside the Fuel City station on Industrial Drive in Dallas, a business perched almost on the banks of the flood plains of the Trinity River. Corn tortillas filled with picadillo or barbacoa are favorites, slathered with hot sauce and covered with onions and cilantro, and eaten in the parking lot as traffic screams by.

    Better, though, is Fuel Town 2, a Texaco station on Inwood Road practically under the Stemmons Freeway, a short drive from the airport at Dallas Love Field. The barbacoa is less greasy than at the competitors, full of flavor, and the tortillas warmer, fresher, tasting more emphatically of corn. Served with lemons, cilantro, grilled onion and whole jalapeño, with a chunky red salsa, a taco here may be the perfect Dallas snack food. And at $1.50, a good value, too.

    You’ll spend more at Fearing’s, the chef and restaurateur Dean Fearing’s comfortable and excellent flagship establishment in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Uptown region of Dallas. Maple-soaked buffalo tenderloin runs $46, with jalapeño grits, a butternut squash taquito and a tangle of greens. The glazed quail, a rich and buttery appetizer-size bird, is $18.

    It is terrific eating all the same (get the deep-fried apple pies for dessert). And Fearing is a constant and ebullient presence in the dining room, the face of a prideful city. Those who have come to the Super Bowl will not mind the prices, he said.

    Tickets to Super Bowl XLV have a face value of $600 to $1,200. More than 100,000 people are expected to attend, according to N.F.L. officials. The economic impact on the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan region alone, they say, is expected to be more than $600 million.

    “It’s great,” Fearing said, laughing. “I can double the minimum check and get people to pay in advance. Hey, I’m in the black for February already.