I never meant to hate the Super Bowl. I actually love football. When Jim McMahon shimmied the Bears through New Orleans in 1986, I was obsessed. Walter Payton, Willie Gault, Mike Singletary and The Fridge! They were the best. See? I go way back with the pigskin.
But, the tipping point for my current disdain for the Super Bowl can be found at the bottom of a Rice Krispie Treat Chocolate-Peanut Butter Bowl. Looking right at you, Rachael Ray, who left out the handfuls of self loathing and regret in the recipe.
Stack on endless bowls of queso over the years, and I don’t want to see anything that looks like a Super Bowl. I don’t even care about the commercials, although it would be clever for Snickers to bring back that guy painting the end zone who spelled "Chefs" instead of "Chiefs." (I called it! What are the Vegas odds on that? Can I parlay that with an appearance from Jerry of Netflix’s Cheer? Is that how parlay works?)
Here are some alternative, mostly food-related, opportunities to spend the day.
A Flavorful Cultural Tour
Walking past the countless trays of food at Fattoush in Pantego, it’s hard not to pull up a seat at every table. Recently, we ordered the chicken shish tawook with an extra side of rice for less than $15, and it was more than enough for two adults. The tender cubes of chicken with that kiss from the grill, are wrapped with Iraqi-style bread with some of the grilled onions, pickles and a dollop of hummus, and it is, in fact, food that should sustain us.
Have you ever walked into an Asian market, then walked right back out? Me, too! High five! Lost in the Sauce and The Table are hosting a culinary tour, Art of Pho, at the Hong Kong Market at Asian Times Square (2615 W. Pioneer Parkway in Arlington) this Sunday. The tour will focus on the ingredients for a traditional Vietnamese pho and will end with a hot bowl of pho in the food court, and it’s BYOB.
If you haven’t been to Kalachandji’s, or it’s been a while, let’s change that. Housed inside a Hare Krishna temple in East Dallas, they’ve been serving pungent vegetarian Indian food, buffet style, for almost four decades. There’s no other place quite like it.
When’s the last time you had fresh naan right out of tandoor? That’s too long. At Tandoor in Arlington (1200 N. Fielder Road), the lamb kofta made with nuts, raisins and served in a velvety cream curry is a pleasure. The butter chicken is raved about, as is the paneer, but if you have to try one thing, make sure you get fresh keema naan, stuffed with ground lamb, herbs and nuts. And they’re only $2.25 each, so get seven.
Royal Sichuan certainly won't have the game on, and some laud it as the best cuisine from that region in the city. Must-try dishes include the fish hot spicy pot, the deep-fried chicken with roasted chilis and the sliced beef with cumin sauce.
Sunday Is Groundhog Day
It doesn't seem fair that groundhogs have to share their one day of the year with the Super Bowl, right? But, they got Bill Murray on their team, so they always win. Most of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in the Dallas area are hosting at least one screening of the classic Groundhog Day this Sunday. Some of the shows are at 11 a.m. and you can get brunch (which they serve all day everyday). And there’s at least one showing at 4 p.m.
The weather is supposed to be spectacular Sunday. Go out and get some sun! The Dallas Arboretum is hosting its 2nd Annual Groundhog Day Celebration. Arboretum Annie will be up shortly after the sun, but the festivities are rolling most of the day with breakfast options, and a screening of Groundhog Day.
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And Trinity Hall will have trivia, which is hosted by Libertarians. No, silly. Not libraRIANS. No one wants to play trivia with librarians — they’d clap you back on every question. We’re talking about the political party. LiberTARIANS. Totally different game. The Libertarian Party of Dallas County will host the Sunday night trivia at Trinity Hall at 7 p.m. Show your feelings in your team name, that's all I got.
Learn About Owls
An unintended consequence of wing sauce and typing on a small screen is some love for owls. Yep, follow #SuperbOwls. Here's some information about Barred Owls, The Troubadours of the Trees along Dallas' Trinity Trails. Also you can head out to Cedar Ridge Preserve, which is typically pretty busy on Sundays, but I imagine there will be a little more space this Sunday. You will not regret time spent here. Not sure if you'll spot an owl, but use your imagination.