Did You Know The Chimichanga Was Invented In Arizona? Cardinals vs Seahawks Brunch at addo

Arizona is a Southwestern state that conjures images of a party school, deserts, retirees and frying eggs on sidewalks. Little did you know, two of the greatest things in American history were created in Arizona. Chimichangas and safety blitzes. Larry Wilson was drafted in 1960 by the then Chicago Cardinals (the team didn’t move to Arizona until 1987) and is credited as the first-ever safety to leave the backfield to smash a quarterback into the dirt. It now routinely happens across the NFL every Sunday and it’s a defensive treat known as the safety blitz. The state is responsible for another game day treat of the deep-fried variety. Although disputed, Arizona is basically credited as Chimichanga ground zero. The two names that pop up the most are Monica Flin and Woody Johnson, two restauranteurs that operated in the early to mid-1900’s. Now I dare you to find a Mexican, Tex-Mex or Southwestern food restaurant that doesn’t serve some kind of fried burrito on their menu almost 100 years later. Believe it or not, Arizona is one of the best states in the country to celebrate food and football, and you can do both at addo with Chef Eric Rivera.

Southwestern food will vibe with anyone who loves Mexican or Tex-Mex style food. Tortillas, beans, rice, cheese combined a thousand ways from Sunday Night Football, each one as delicious as the next. Cheese crisps are basically a taco-pizza-quesadilla hybrid that was made in a happy hour laboratory out in the desert. Arizona also produces hybrids on the football field like another do-it-all safety in Adrian Wilson. Wilson instilled fear in pass catchers brave enough to tread through the middle of the field during the Cardinals’ 2009 Superbowl run. He finished his career with the most sacks by a defensive back in a single season with eight, the most forced fumbles in Cardinals history (15) and one of few players to have over 20 interceptions and 20 sacks in their career.

There might not be a single dish that screams Arizona more than the carne seca plate. This shredded beef is marinaded in lime and garlic, slow-dried in the sun and cooked with green chilis, onions, and tomatoes. Serve with rice, beans, and a prickly pear margarita for a Southwest showcase. You also can’t go wrong with other Grand Canyon State favorites like the frybread taco and elotes; which is corn on the cob with mayo, cheese, chili powder, Cotija cheese and hot sauce (preferably something that makes me sweat like I’m in the Sonoran desert).

Washington (central and eastern Washington especially) shares Arizona’s love of Tex-Mex style food,  but being so close to the ocean gives us the opportunity to experiment with some of the freshest seafood you can find in the world. A Seahawks pre-game celebration might include raw oyster shots at Pioneer Square’s Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar and chased by a locally brewed brown-bagged cider on your walk to the stadium (Tieton Cider Works’ Apricot Cider comes to mind).

We also share a love of hotdogs (what American state doesn’t share that love though?) and Seattle and Arizona have a signature dog: the Seattle-style dog and Sonoran dog, respectively. Seattle’s signature is a simple Polish sausage grilled with onions and cream cheese. The Sonoran “like the desert” dog is wrapped in bacon, topped with pinto beans, and comes in a Mexican baguette called a bolillo. Dowsed in ketchup and mustard for Southwestern-American ballpark opus.

This Sunday at addo:incubator in Ballard, watch the Seahawks take on the Cardinals at University of Phoenix stadium while Chef Eric Rivera cooks up a game day smorgasbord featuring his takes on Southwest and Pacific Northwest cuisine. Buy tickets here (click)

 Written by Jonathan Olsen-Koziol