Houston’s Supersize Super Bowl

Sonny Look in front of his

Sonny Look in front of his “Sir-Loin” steak house in Houston

Editor’s note: Houston is hosting the Super Bowl this weekend. My parents lived in Houston for a few years just after I graduated from Northwestern and worked at the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, and I would visit them via Continental Airlines. I went to NASA’s Space Center, the Astrodome, the Galleria, and visited neighborhoods such as River Oaks. Some culinary highlights included Otto’s BBQ, Dong Ting restaurant, Sonny Look’s “Sir-Loin” House, and Brennan’s of Houston.  Texas Monthly is a great magazine. Here’s a rundown from the magazine’s executive editor that ran in the New York Times:

“How are ya’all doin’?” the Super Bowl 2017 volunteer in a red T-shirt asked me and my husband, with all the concern of an anxious host giving a first dinner party,” Mimi Swartz, an executive editor at Texas Monthly, writes in the New York Times. “The man was tall and thin, with a hint of hard times behind his toothy smile, but like the 9,999 other volunteers recruited to help out during the big game here in Houston, he was giving it his all.

“The downtown park Discovery Green had been converted to ground zero, a.k.a. Super Bowl Live, for nine days before the game. The volunteers had the job of making the public feel welcome while helping us navigate ‘free and family-friendly’ events that included a Solange concert, selfie-ready Astronaut suits and food trucks offering everything from Maine lobster rolls to hot dogs with Wasabi mayo and bonito flakes.

“The city’s motto ought to be “See, we aren’t who you thought we were.” Houston’s latest iteration of the Texas compulsion to show off was making me dizzy. I started avoiding eye contact with anyone who might look professionally helpful.

“The Super Bowl brings out what’s splashiest in the identities of its host cities, and my adopted hometown is not about to stint on its third go-round at showing its best face to the world. The occasion provides a seductive combo of the three things Houstonians love most: Houston, football and high-value commerce. So, it’s to be expected that the place would go a little crazy, particularly since the Dallas Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs.”

The rest of the article is here.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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