Super Bowl LVII is just a few weeks away, on Feb. 12, but to get there our favorite teams have to battle it out this Saturday. The NY Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles play at 8:15 pm for the NFL Divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly. What will you be eating during the game? Jersey has its saltwater taffy and Pennsylvanians love their scrapple (thanks but no thanks!). In honor of the game, we decided to have a little fun with a Jersey vs. Philly showdown of our own.
New Jersey has amazing bagels which are beloved for their soft, hot doughy center and there are plenty of creative flavors, too, like Flaming Hot Cheeto, pepperoni-bacon-asiago or cranberry orange. We’re not saying Philly’s bagels are bad, they’re just not the same. But, let’s give credit where credit is due and give Philly the nod for its schmear: who wouldn’t pick Philadelphia Cream Cheese over butter?
Winner: New Jersey
Is it pork roll or Taylor ham? New Jerseyans will never agree. But what we will agree on is any NJ breakfast sandwich is better than those made across the Ben Franklin Bridge. Philly likes its croissants and spicy sausage on long rolls, but nothing compares to a meat-egg-and-cheese sandwich from Jersey.
Winner: New Jersey
Layers of meat, fried peppers, onions and cheese (depending on how you like it) on fresh bread…um, yes please. For people in south Jersey and Philly, the greatest debate is: Who has the better Philly cheesesteak between Geno’s and Pat’s? We want to know, who does it better, PA or NJ? Sure, places like Lillo’s Tomato Pies in Hainesport and Pat’s Pizza in Pt. Pleasant have great options. But we have to give this one to Philly. How could we not? The sandwich is called a Philly Cheesesteak.
The average American eats 18,000 wings in his or her lifetime. Have you eaten more from Philly or more from Jersey? Buffalo’s in Wood-Ridge serves Numb Ya Face sauce, Peck Peck makes Korean fried chicken in Teaneck, and Jersey Shore BBQ in East Brunswick and Belmar is based off smoking techniques from Texas. When in Philly, make sure to order some buttermilk fried wings from Love & Honey Fried Chicken, black garlic wings at Cheu Fishtown, or double-fried wings with spicy gochujang sauce at SouthGate, the Rittenhouse gastropub with a Korean menu.
New York is known for its dirty water dogs. New Jersey has its share of famous hot dog places, too: Destination Dogs in New Brunswick, Rutt’s Hut in Clifton or any snack shack or boardwalk. Fox & Son Fair Foods foregoes the traditional bun for a cornmeal batter and Miller’s Twist wraps their frankfurters in soft pretzel dough. The Bird Dog is a Philadelphia original hot dog recipe from Dietz & Watson, featuring either a beef hot dog or a jalapeno cheddar frank; both are topped with French fried onions, chopped Long Hots and provolone cheese, tucked inside an Eagles-green roll. Normally we go along with the traditionalists, but Philly takes it this time for originality.
OwowCow and Dock Street Brewery have partnered to make handheld ice cream footballs ahead of the playooff game. Since this shop is in several PA locations, plus Lambertville, they are rooting for the Phillies with sweet honey cream ice cream, Dock Street Brewery Porter fudge and layers of OwowCow’s handmade soft pretzel cookie dough with dark chocolate. There are tons of amazing ice cream shops throughout NJ but because this is so specially tailored, Philly has the cherry on top for this one.
From Brooklyn Square in Jackson, Englishtown and Toms River, to DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville to Una Pizza Napoletana in Atlantic Highlands to Razza in Jersey City, Jersey has some of the highest-rated pizza joints in the country. Yes, Pizzeria Beddia in Philly was once named the best pizzeria in America, and Pizza Jawn has a sesame-coated crust, but NY/NJ pizza takes the top slice.
Winner: New Jersey
Football fans will give kudos to PA for its soft rolled pretzels – think Philly Pretzel Factory. Philly pretzels are thick, doughy, elongated and totally addictive. And while we love a hot, salty pretzel that comes out of a hot dog cart on the streets of NY, we’ve got to give Philly the edge here.
Jersey has its subs (ever been to Tastee in Edison?), and Pennsylvania has its hoagies (PrimoHoagies originated in South Philadelphia). PA also has the best roast pork sandwiches and don’t forget Jersey’s “gabagool” made with capicola and peppers, Tony Soprano’s favorite sandwich.
Whoever you’re cheering for, we hope your food spread will represent! If you live in South Jersey and are an Eagles fan, Adventure Aquarium is holding Eagles Spirit Day on Saturday to show off your team spirit.