All right, you serious baseball fans. With the Yankees playing the Phillies in the World Series, you knew that Serious Eats couldn't let this opportunity to compare the seriously delicious food available in these cities a mere 90 miles apart. Introducing the Serious Eats World Series, where the food emanating from the City of Brotherly Love is pitted against the quintessential eating experiences of the Big Apple. We'll let Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins, Mark Texeira, Ryan Howard, and the newly at peace A-Rod settle the question of baseball superiority on the field. We're going to settle the issue of food superiority on the plate and on the blog.
Game 1: Pizza
Philly has raised its pizza game with Pizzeria Stella, Slice, and Osteria to augment old-school Tacconelli's and Marra's, but it still has a ways to go to match New York's still dominant pizza culture, which features the likes of Motorino, Totonno's, Franny's, Di Fara, Keste, and Patsy's. Game 1, the battle of the slices, goes to the Yanks.
Game 2: Sandwiches
You've heard of a pitcher's duel, which on the field in this World Series might feature Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabithia. Well, our equivalent is the sandwich duel, which pits Philly's cheesesteaks and roast pork sandwiches against NYC's pastrami and corned beef on rye.
Philly's cheesesteak culture has defined what a cheesesteak is everywhere else in the country, but the same can be said about New York and pastrami sandwiches. This game heads into extra innings, where Tony Luke's and John's Roast Pork knock in the game winner. Series is tied at one game apiece.
Game 3: Pretzels.
This game is full of twists and turns (ha, ha), but in the end Philly's clear soft pretzel superiority wins out. The incomparable Fisher's Pretzel wins the game with a clutch two out buttery hit. Phillies go up two games to one.
Game 4: Burgers
We have Shake Shack, Bill's, Rub, Molly's, and Peter Luger's, and they have Standard Tap Room, Rouge, and not much else. Here NYC's superior burger bench strength reigns supreme. As radio announcer John Sterling would say, the Yankees win, the Yankees win! Series is tied two games apiece.
Game 5: Ice Cream
Philly is the ancestral home of Bassett's and more recently developed the most excellent Capogiro Gelato. But New York is the ancestral home of Haagen Dazs and currently offers a dazzling array of frozen treats, including Shake Shack, the Italian import Grom, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and L'Arte del Gelato. Sorry, Phillies fans, New York just has too much fire (or should I say ice) power here. Yanks go up three games to two.
Game 6: Hot Dogs
The World Series is first and foremost about baseball traditions, so what other food can settle the Serious Eats World Series besides hot dogs. Alas, New York's hot dog culture is markedly superior to Philly's. We have Papaya King and Gray's Papaya and Crif Dogs and Katz's and Old Town Bar and Grill and Bark. Top to bottom, New York may have the toughest hot dog line-up of any city in the country. What can Philly counter with, hot dog wise? Moe's Hot Dog House? Johnny's Hots? The Phillies are going to have to bring up some promising minor league hot dog prospects from southern Jersey. Sorry, Phillies, too little, too late.
The Yankees win the Serious Eats World Series four games to two. At least that's the way I see it playing out on the plate, and in the stomachs of serious eaters. On the field, I guess we'll just have to see.