Ed Drouin has been a San Francisco 49ers fan ever since 1952, when he entered kindergarten.
Bedridden for months with a kidney infection, Drouin lay in the living room in front of the TV his parents bought for him.
With only one channel at the time, no one ever argued over what to watch, and on Sundays, it was all about professional football. That’s when Drouin’s love affair with the 49ers began.
It continued through fourth grade, when many of his classmates switched loyalties to the Los Angeles Rams because of that team’s fancy helmets – the only ones with a painted image at the time.
It held on through sixth grade, when Drouin raised enough money as a paperboy to buy tickets to a game for himself and his father.
And it flourished in the 1980s, when the 49ers dominated the NFL.
“I’ve been loyal all my life,” says Drouin, 61, a teacher at Lakeside Middle School in Nine Mile Falls.
His daughter, Geneva Drouin, remembers her parents hosting Super Bowl parties in the 1980s.
If the 49ers weren’t in the game, the family would invite friends to watch and eat what they simply called “Super Bowl dip.” If the team was playing, though, the attendees were limited to Geneva, her sister and their mom, so Ed could focus on the game.
The 49ers haven’t made it to the Super Bowl in a while, but every year Drouin still gets his Super Bowl dip, which is similar to what many people call seven-layer or Mexican dip.
“It is inexpensive and easy to make, has enough servings that it can last through the game, and it is easy to eat,” Geneva says. “Just dip your chip.”
Another south-of-the-border-flavored treat – nachos – are a favorite among fans at Heroes & Legends sports bar, says Mario De Leon.
He manages the De Leon Downtown Mexican Deli adjacent to the bar at 825 W. Riverside Ave., in downtown Spokane.
De Leon Foods Inc., which owns the bar and the deli, makes its own tortilla chips and sells them at the downtown location as well as the North Spokane store at 102 E. Francis Ave.
The chips are thicker than most, so they stay firm under the weight of the beans, chicken, beef, guacamole, sour cream, olives, onions, jalapeño peppers and pico de gallo that De Leon’s cooks load onto a plate of nachos.
And, of course, there’s the cheese.
“We’re from Texas, so we like liquid cheese,” Mario De Leon says.
Sprinkling grated cheese on nachos and then melting it in the microwave or under a broiler can make chips soggy, he says.
To make liquid cheese that’s poured on top of the nachos, De Leon melts yellow cheese with milk. For a kick, he recommends replacing the milk with the liquid from a can of jalapeño peppers.
De Leon Foods, which is owned by Mario’s brother, bought Heroes & Legends less than a year ago, so they’ve yet to experience the biggest game day of the year.
“We took over a week after the Super Bowl last year,” De Leon says. “I heard it was busy.”
Another eatery that’s no stranger to big game days is the Swinging Doors in North Spokane. The 28-year-old restaurant/tavern has more than 60 televisions so customers can keep up with several different sporting events at once.
But on Super Bowl Sunday, every TV is set to the big game.
The Swinging Doors’ most popular food items are its nachos and hot wings, but kitchen manager Chris Care sometimes likes to add his version of deviled eggs to the menu.
“I get bored with the old mayonnaise-and-mustard thing, so I add some relish and bacon,” he says.
Care’s deviled eggs are a hit at home, too. After making them for his in-laws once, he’s now required to serve them every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Spokane foodie Remi Olsen, who writes the blog Spokanefoodblog.com, conjured up a recipe for “Washington quesadillas” as a perfect game-watching snack.
They’re quick to make, easy to eat and combine some local food products: apples, Cougar Gold cheese and De Leon tortillas.
So will Olsen be hosting a party for Sunday’s football game and whip up some quesadillas for the crowd?
Nope. The Norway native says he prefers watching soccer over “American football,” but that doesn’t mean he won’t totally tune out.
“I’ll probably watch the commercials,” he says.
Edward Drouin’s Super Bowl Dip
- 2 (9-ounce) cans refried beans
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups guacamole
- 2 cups Colby-Jack cheese, grated
- 1 (4-ounce) can black olives, sliced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 (4-ounce) can jalapeños
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Spread the ingredients in a 9-by-13-inch pan, starting with the beans and ending with the jalapeños.
Bake until hot, about 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
Courtesy of Spokane food blogger Remi Olsen of www.spokanefoodblog.com.
- 1 spicy-style sausage link, cooked and diced
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup Cougar Gold sharp cheddar, grated
- 2 De Leon flour tortillas
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced
Break up the sausage and sauté it in a pan. When the meat is about halfway browned, add the salsa and simmer until the meat is cooked through.
In a separate bowl, combine the cooked sausage and cheese.
Place a tortilla in a warm pan; top with the sausage-cheese mixture, apple slices and the second tortilla. Cook until the cheese is melted, flipping once. Slice and serve.
Yield: 2 servings.
Swinging Doors Deviled Eggs
Courtesy of Chris Care, kitchen manager of The Swinging Doors tavern in North Spokane.
- 6 bacon strips
- 12 large eggs
- 2 cups mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- Paprika, for garnish
Cook bacon until crispy, then set aside.
Hard-boil the eggs, cut them in half lengthwise, and separate yolks into mixing bowl. Place the whites on a serving tray.
Using a fork, smash the yolks in a bowl. Finely dice the bacon and add it to the yolk mixture. Then add the mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, lemon juice and relish and mix well.
Using a spoon, place the yolk mixture into the hollow part of the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika as a garnish.
Yield: 12 servings.
De Leon Tomatillo Salsa
Courtesy of Mario De Leon, manager of De Leon Foods Inc., which operates Heroes & Legends sports bar in downtown Spokane.
- 1 pound green tomatillos
- 1/4 pound serrano or jalapeño peppers
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 cup white onion, chopped
Remove the husks from the tomatillos, then boil in water until they’re tender but still hold their shape. Repeat with the peppers.
Place the tomatillos in a blender and process until smooth. Add the garlic cloves and a dash of salt and process again.
Add the peppers and process until smooth again, adding more salt if desired.
Pour the salsa into a serving bowl and garnish with a spoonful each of cilantro and onions. Serve with tortilla chips.