Super Bowl 2012: Predicting Where Game's Biggest Stars Will Eat in Indianapolis
As the New York Giants and the New England Patriots prepare for the Super Bowl, they may find themselves licking the bottom of a different type of bowl—one that has just been emptied of delicious gumbo or jambalaya.
The Circle City has its fair share of downtown chain restaurants and dive bars that will no doubt see plenty of business this week.
But (with the exception of the unparalleled steakhouse St. Elmo's), this slideshow is about the out-of-the-way and little-known local joints that will be the perfect fit for the game's biggest stars.
As a denizen of Indianapolis for a decade, I have just enough gastronomic savvy to concoct this delectable slideshow.
Wrap a napkin around your neck, pour yourself a tall beverage and prepare to plunge your taste buds into the best that Indy has to offer.
You'll Find Brandon Jacobs Supping at Yats for a Taste of Home
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As a native of Napoleonville, Louisiana, Jacobs will be right at home at Indianapolis' best Cajun/Creole spot.
Yats is a fantastic place where you can get a heaping plate of scrumptiously spicy food for only $5.75. Each plate comes with a slice of devilishly tasty garlic bread to mop up every last bit of the saucy goodness.
I predict that Jacobs will go for the chili cheese etouffee with crawfish. It's a twist on a classic that will suit the big running back as he readies himself to bust through the Patriots' defensive line.
Jacobs has a couple of options as to the specific dining location. The closest Yats to downtown is on trendy Massachusetts Avenue. It's a cramped location, but it's close to some great bars and neat little shops.
My wife knows the owner of the Kuaba Gallery, an African art gallery on east Massahusetts Ave.
For a great night on the town, Jacobs could enjoy some Cajun food and then swing by to take in some art at Kuaba.
Justin Tuck Will Tuck into Some Mussels at the Brugge
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While at the University of Notre Dame, Justin Tuck's teammates nicknamed him "The Freak" for his amazing athletic ability and speed off the edge. You might say that he's a muscle-bound mountain of strength.
Tuck will want to find his way to the posh Broad Ripple neighborhood on Indy's near northside to find some mussels to mesh with his muscles.
The Brugge Brasserie is an incredible spot to nosh on some delightful "pomme frites" (french fries in a paper cone with a variety of sauce choices) and 2 lbs. of mussels out of a giant pot.
For sauces with his fries, he should try the curry, the roasted garlic aioli and the pesto. The fries and mussels go wonderfully with the microbrew made on site. If they have their strong and quaffable Triple de Ripple on tap, he should definitely get a pint.
The menu at the Brugge is inspired by Belgian cuisine just like Tuck is inspired by sacking quarterbacks.
Tuck will enjoy letting his muscles benefit from being around some other mussels.
Wes Welker Will Eat Pizza Like He'll Eat the Giants' Secondary
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Wes Welker is a dangerous weapon in the middle of the field for the Patriots.
When he gets hungry this week, he'll head up north of Indianapolis for some delightful New York-style pizza at Wise Guys.
Fishers, Indiana, used to be known as Mudsock in the late 19th century due to its sloppy roads. Nowadays, it's better known as a clean-cut bedroom community located to the northeast of Indy. It's also home to the best New York-influenced pizza and breadsticks this side of Brooklyn.
Wise Guys' breadsticks have just the right amount of tasty parmesan and garlicky, buttery goodness covering delightfully fresh and toasty dough.
Welker will eat these sticks and imagine himself eating through the Giants' secondary as he plucks passes out of the air.
After hitting Wise Guys, Welker should drive up the road a few minutes to visit Conner Prairie—one of the preeminent history museums in the country.
They're featuring an exhibit about the science of football in their Science Lab and could even share a tip or two with him before the big game.
Rob Gronkowski Will Hit Thai Smile 2 to Speed His Healing
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The Patriots' break-out tight end Rob Gronkowski is recovering from a high ankle sprain that he suffered in the AFC Championship Game. He'll need a speedy recovery to be ready to play this Sunday.
His best bet for delightfully sustaining and filling recovery food is located about 45 minutes north of Indianapolis at Thai Smile 2.
Muncie, Indiana, is the "Middletown" of the famous sociological expose written by Robert and Helen Lynd in 1929.
It's a quintessentially Midwestern town surrounded by quiet cornfields and lonely towns bereft of life since the natural gas boom of the early 20th century tapped itself out.
Muncie also has a killer Thai restaurant around the corner from the Ball State University campus.
Gronkowski is a smiley guy in need of a lift from some amazing Asian food. Thai Smile 2 will fill the bill. He should start with some spring rolls with won ton soup and then move on to the Panang curry (ordered "Thai hot," of course). If he's craving some peanut-rich sauce soaked into some tender potatoes, the Masman curry is the best direction for him.
Either way, he should finish it all off with a few lychee snacks. These jelly snacks with sweet lychee fruit in the middle will set the stage for a good showing this Sunday as he prepares to haul in passes from Tom Brady.
Eli Manning and Tom Brady Will Dine at the Historic St. Elmo's Downtown
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Apparently both Eli Manning and Wes Welker have already sampled the famous shrimp cocktail at St. Elmo Steak House in downtown Indy.
But I'd love to see Eli Manning and Tom Brady cut into a juicy porterhouse steak together in Peyton Manning's traditional after-game hangout.
St. Elmo Steak House is well-known as the best spot in town for a steak. It's old school in all the best ways, and they know how to cater to big names.
As Manning and Brady ready themselves to face off in an epic Super Bowl rematch, nothing will test these quarterbacks more than the pungently powerful horseradish in the cocktail sauce at St. Elmo's.
The QB who sheds a tear first will find himself without the Lombardi trophy at the end of the game this Sunday.
Bon appetit, my friends!