I love sporting events for the spectacle of it all. The fans, the joy of a win and, most important (for just me?), the food. When the NFL season opens for Seahawks fans this weekend, all that razzle-dazzle will be a bit subdued, in part because the coronavirus pandemic will keep the stadium empty of thousands of fans and their voices through the first couple months of the season.
But football isn’t canceled, and game-day eats aren’t either. If you’re not quite ready to break out your patented seven-layer dip because you need a break from cooking three square meals a day for the past month, I hear you.
Here are three perfect game-day options to check out as we head into football season — or actually any game this fall (don’t forget we’ve got a pretty darn good basketball team playing this weekend, too).
The old-school option
Love them or hate them, chicken wings are a quintessential game-day food. They’re perfectly sized for snacking; there are basically endless options for sauces; and wings play well with everything from cheap beer to sparkling water. Each of Wing Dome’s three locations offers family packs of 50 ($59.95) and 100 ($109.95) wings plus carrots and celery, up to three sauces, and ranch or blue cheese. Large sides of salad or fries are $14.95 each. Order online to choose a pickup time that works for you — down to five-minute increments — ensuring your wings are hot and crispy. My recommendation is to ask for sauces on the side to maximize crispiness. You can then reheat wings at will and toss in your desired sauce or leave naked for dunking.
Because I live quite near the Greenwood location, I broke a cardinal rule of takeout and ordered fries. They were still hot when I got them home, but I also have an amazing toaster oven that crisped them up further. I have no fry regrets, and no wing regrets either. Getting the sauces on the side also allows you to create a fully customized wing platter where you mix and match your perfect sauce combo.
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 7818 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle; 206-706-4036, thewingdome.com
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 232 Central Way, Kirkland; 425-822-9464, thewingdome.com
11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1201 Alaskan Way, Suite 101, Seattle; 206-623-2066, thewingdome.com
A new twist
Eric Rivera, chef and owner of Addo in Ballard, is known for innovative dining experiences that often surprise and delight. His take on a pregame menu features Seattle favorites (like the Seattle dog) alongside food from the Seahawks’ rival of the week. This means Sunday’s season opener against the Atlanta Falcons has the option for a peach cobbler add-on. For the Seahawks vs. the Patriots game on Sept. 20, Rivera’s menu features New England clam chowder. For the Oct. 4 game against the Miami Dolphins? Cuban sandwiches, of course. The regular menu also includes Rivera’s legendary Richard Burger, fried chicken sandwiches and his massive chicharrones. The menu is fluid and might also be updated to include Storm or Mariners games. There’s also nothing over $14.
Order online and schedule pickups within a one-hour window of game time and tune into the Addo virtual Zoom stadium to cheer on your favorite team together.
6420 24th Ave. N.W., Seattle; ericriveracooks.com
The Seattle classic
Not exactly a game-day special, but still, nonetheless, a great option for your season-opening, stay-home, social-distanced pregame meal. Here’s a feast that will feed the whole family as you settle in for kickoff.
Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison have been serving Seattle their version of “everyday aloha” since 2009. Although their Capitol Hill location is currently closed because of the pandemic, you can still order dinner and drinks to go from Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle, Marination on Sixth and Virginia and Super Six in Columbia City. There are three options for meal kits, and like Wing Dome, they are available every day.
I ordered the Luau to Go ($40) and the Slider 6-Pack ($18). The luau includes a choice of kalua pork or tofu served with slaw, sweet Hawaiian rolls, mac salad, rice and three chocolate chip cookies. The slider pack offers a choice of kalua pork or Spam, slaw, nunya sauce and sweet Hawaiian rolls. Everything is precooked and ready to reheat, complete with easy instructions.
Spam sliders don’t travel too well — but Spam sliders hot and ready when you want them? Genius! Especially with a generous portion of Marination’s signature slaw and ginger-heavy dressing. The luau platter is also quite generous, and thankfully comes with two little tubs of guava butter for those squishy rolls.
Marination Ma Kai: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Sunday; 1660 Harbor Ave. S.W., Seattle; 206-328-8226, marinationmobile.com
Marination 6th & Virginia: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-8 p.m. Saturday, Sunday; 2000 Sixth Ave., Seattle; 206-327-9860, marinationmobile.com
Super Six: 3-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday; 3714 S. Hudson St., Seattle; 206-420-1201, supersixseattle.com