While the last eight NBA teams battle it out on the court for the championship title, The Daily Meal has decided to have them battle it out in the kitchen, too. We’ve made a food bracket based on the NBA Playoff bracket for each NBA team’s hometown treats. Read the origins of these iconic treats. Let the food fight begin!
|NBA Team||Hometown Food|
|Philadelphia 76ers||Cheesesteak and Hoagies|
|Boston Celtics||Boston Cream Pie|
|Indiana Pacers||Pork Tenderloin Sandwich|
|Miami Heat||Del Monte Veggies and Fruit and Cuban Sandwich|
|San Antonio Spurs||Tamales and Puffy Tacos|
|Los Angeles Clippers||French Dip Sandwich|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Chicken-Fried Steak and Onion Burger|
|Los Angeles Lakers||French Dip Sandwich|
Philadelphia 76ers' Cheesesteak and Hoagies vs. Boston Celtics’ Boston Cream Pie
Philadelphia 76ers' Cheesesteak
What Is a Cheesesteak: A Philly cheesesteak is a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib-eye beef and melted cheese. Generally, the cheese of choice is Cheez Whiz, but American and provolone are common substitutions. The art of cheesesteak preparation lies in the balance of flavors, textures, and what is often referred to as the "drip" factor. Other toppings may include fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, and hot or sweet peppers.
How to Order a Cheesesteak: There are two critical questions. First, what kind of cheese do you want? (Whiz? Provolone? American?) Second, do you want onions? ("Whiz wit?") The correct way to respond is "Wit" for "Yes, I would like Whiz and onions," or "Widout" for "No, just the cheese." Then, ask for any other toppings or condiments you desire.
Best Places to Eat a Cheesesteak: Shank’s Original, a little shack right on the Delaware River.
Phildelphia 76ers' Hoagies
What Is a Hoagie: The hoagie is a built-to-order sandwich on a long Italian roll, typically filled with deli meat and cheese, garnished with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, and finished with a drizzle of oregano-vinegar dressing.
Best Place to Eat a Hoagie: Sarcone’s, a chain of delis serving freshly baked seeded rolls stuffed in combos like the Italian Market (hot capicola, turkey breast, roasted peppers, sharp provolone) and the Junk Yard Special (turkey, prosciutto, sautéed spinach, roasted peppers, mozzarella, sharp provolone).
Boston Celtics' Boston Cream Pie
What Is a Boston Cream Pie: A sweet pie made of sponge cake, pastry cream, toasted almonds, and chocolate fondant.
Where to Eat a Boston Cream Pie: Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House.
Indiana Pacers’ Pork Tenderloin Sandwich vs. Miami Heat's Del Monte Veggies and Fruit
Indiana Pacers' Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
What Is a Pork Tenderloin Sandwich: The original pork tenderloin sandwich takes 48 hours to craft. It is twice cubed and marinated in a marinade of buttermilk, flour, and eggs, and breaded with Saltine cracker crumbs. It is served on a large toasted roll with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, pickles, and a touch of mayonnaise.
Where to Eat a Pork Tenderloin Sandwich: Nick’s Kitchen in Huntington, Ind., is the birthplace of the juicy sandwich.
Miami Heat's Del Monte Veggies and Fruit
Since Miami doesn’t have an official food and the Miami Heat’s official team food, Del Monte veggies and fruit, are sure to lose any day against a fried pork sandwich, we’re giving Miami a fighting chance by substituting the humble Cuban sandwich.
Miami Heat's Cuban Sandwich
What Is a Cuban Sandwich: A Cuban sandwich is made on Cuban bread, a white, airy loaf of bread that is buttered on both sides. The sandwich is stuffed with slow-roasted pork marinated in mojo and topped with mustard, dill pickles, ham, and Swiss cheese. The sandwich is then lightly grilled and toasted on a sandwich press.
Where to Eat a Cuban Sandwich: Versailles in the heart of Little Havana is where politicians, celebrities, and locals alike gather for Cuban fare.
San Antonio Spurs' Tamales
San Antonio Spurs’ Tamales and Puffy Tacos vs. Los Angeles Clippers’ French Dip Sandwich
What Are Tamales: A tamale is a dish made of masa filled with various fillings, which is steamed in a wrapper, typically a cornhusk or type of leaf, such as banana. Fillings can vary from meats to fruits to vegetables, and the masa can be seasoned as well.
San Antonio Spurs' Puffy Tacos
What Is a Puffy Taco: A puffy taco is a type of taco with a puffed corn tortilla shell that has been deep-fried, resulting in a crunchy, airy foundation. Puffy tacos are topped with various fillings, typically shredded chicken or ground beef, shredded Cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and guacamole.
Best Places to Eat a Puffy Taco: Many restaurants claim to have invented the puffy taco. A few to try are Ray’s Drive In, Henry’s Puffy Tacos (the mascot of the minor league baseball team, San Antonio Missions, is Henry the Puffy Taco), Los Barrios, and Taco Taco Café.
Los Angeles Clippers' French Dip Sandwich
What Is a French Dip Sandwich: Philippe's French Dip sandwich features oven-roasted beef, pork, turkey, or New Zealand leg of lamb, served with or without cheese on a lightly textured French roll dipped in the juice of the roast — au jus.
Where to Eat a French Dip: One of two restaurants that claims to have invented the French Dip Sandwich, Philippe The Original sells, on average, 3,000 French Dip sandwiches daily and 80 gallons of its classic hot mustard accompaniment weekly.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chicken-Fried Steak and Onion Burger vs. Los Angeles Lakers’ French Dip Sandwich
Oklahoma City Thunder's Chicken-Fried Steak
What Is Chicken-Fried Steak: Chicken-fried steak is tenderized cube steak that is breaded with flour and spices and pan-fried.
Where to Eat Chicken-Fried Steak: Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, located in the historic Stockyards City district of Oklahoma City, is the oldest restaurant in town. Since 1910, it has served chicken-fried steak and also serves fried okra, cornbread, and pecan pie.
Oklahoma City Thunder's Onion Burger
What Is an Onion Burger: An onion burger is a traditional beef burger mixed with shredded onions and served with the requisite hamburger toppings, cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and condiments.
Where to Eat an Onion Burger: Anywhere in Oklahoma, but a new place to try them is Tucker’s Onion Burgers. El Reno, Okla., also hosts an annual festival in which an 800-pound onion burger is made.
Los Angeles Lakers' French Dip Sandwich
What Is a French Dip Sandwich: A sandwich filled with USDA prime beef, pork, pastrami, turkey or lamb with optional cheese served with a bowl of au jus for dipping. Cole’s serves a house made atomic horseradish mustard to accompany the sandwich giving it a delicious spicy kick.
Where to Eat a French Dip Sandwich: Named for Henry Cole, Cole’s is the oldest public house in Los Angeles and is housed in the hollow of the historic Pacific Electric Building.