Every year on Super Bowl Sunday, dozens of local restaurants have sent their chefs to Pearly Baker's Alehouse in Easton for a competition to determine who makes the best chili.
This cook-off -- which returns Sunday at 11 a.m. for its 18th year -- typically draws a line-out-the-door crowd.
And within that tradition is a mini-tradition. Pearly Baker's itself makes two kinds of chili, but sits out of the competition.
Instead, it pits its chilis against each other, with the two dishes inspired by the two teams in the Super Bowl.
(For example, in 2011, when the Steelers played the Packers, Pearly's made one chili that had short ribs marinated in Pabst Blue Ribbon and topped with Wisconsin cheddar, and a Pittsburgh-themed chili featuring kielbasa with coleslaw and shoestring fries for Pittsburgh.)
So does the winner of that mini cook-off predict the winner of the Super Bowl? Actually, it tends to be the opposite, said Josh Vogel, manager at Pearly's.
"Whoever has the best food has the worse football," he said. "Priorities, I guess."
This year's competitors -- listed on the Pearly Baker's Facebook page -- include:
- Two Rivers Brewing Company
- The River Grille
- Spinners Tavern
- Copperhead Grille
- The Trapp Door
- Savory Grille
- The Mint
- Molly's Irish Grille
- Grumpy's Bar-B-Que Roadhouse
Proceeds from this year's cook-off will benefit the Easton Ambassadors.