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.
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.”
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