Food geeks who are interested in how Pittsburgh's hot Italian sausage stacks up against northern Wisconsin's bratwurst can get in the Super Bowl mood at Malarkey's Tavern, the only Steelers-themed bar in the area.
Mike Quinn and Stephen Brady opened the north Dallas bar in 2009, a decision the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently likened to "renting space in Darth Vader's Death Star with plans for a pub called Skywalker's."
Malarkey's regular menu includes a Primanti Bros.-style sandwich (fries and slaw are wedged in with the meat) and an open-faced mashed potato and gravy sandwich, but Quinn plans to expand his selection of traditional Pittsburgh dishes before the game.
"We're going to have sausage, sauerkraut, barbecued chopped ham and a big time brisket," says Quinn, who's also lining up a polka band.
Quinn's having a tougher time securing the geographically correct suds for the 50,000 Steelers fans he expects to entertain in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. His distributors don't stock Yuengling or Iron City.
"The only one we have is Rolling Rock, and they don't even brew that in Pittsburgh anymore," Quinn says. "We're still trying to work that out."
But Quinn's confident other local restaurants' claims to serving Pittsburgh food begin and end with Heinz ketchup: He says authentic Three Rivers cuisine isn't available anywhere else in Dallas. "Only in Pittsburgh," he says.