Beef, it’s what’s for dinner — at least if you’re an NFL player fueling up.
Polling teams' media relations staff members and city insiders reveals that their players, and visiting ones, like to eat prime-grade steaks and chops, and large portions of them, when eating out in the NFL's 32 cities.
Like their colleagues in the NBA, many NFL players tend to stick to the tried-and-true upscale chains, places where they know what they like and know they can expect food that, while it may not be inventive, will be reliably palatable.
Whether they're linebackers, wide receivers, or quarterbacks, players know that these joints will have big portions of their favorite foods, and proteins of all kinds. Every NFL market seems to have a Ruth’s Chris, Del Frisco’s, Morton’s, or all of the above. And not surprisingly, they are regular hangouts of the pros.
But local establishments and non-protein centered restaurants aren’t completely out of the question, either. For instance, when visiting Miami, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady likes to hit up Prime One Twelve. In Kansas City, Chiefs running back Thomas Jones is a huge fan of the barbecue chicken wings at Fiorella’s Jack Stack. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler reportedly likes the retro steakhouse Wildfire in the Windy City when seeking out meat and potatoes, while Charlotte Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been known to fuel up on the all-day breakfast at the Original Pancake House.
Find out where teams say other pros like to eat in 10 NFL cities.
The Windy City haunts of the Bears tend to serve the meat-and-potato fare of the heartland. Quarterback Jay Cutler likes the retro steakhouse Wildfire while offensive tackle J’Marcus Webb frequents the Chicago original, Harry Caray’s. Other places to spot players include the landmark Gene and Georgetti’s; Joe’s Prime Seafood, Steak & Stone Crab; and, of course, Ditka’s.
Athletes love Miami. Those in town for a game appreciate its sunny clime, and those living there enjoy not having to pay a state income tax. Both are reasons to celebrate. And Prime One Twelve, the trendy South Beach steakhouse in the Browns Hotel, is one of the top destinations.
New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco and former teammate Terrell Owens celebrated Ochocinco’s birthday there earlier this year. And in 2009, Ochocinco’s new teammate Tom Brady took his eight-month-pregnant wife Gisele Bündchen there for a Halloween dinner.
It’s no surprise that Morton’s is a favorite stop for visiting and local players alike. But the Redskins' players also like to carbo-load at the off-the-map Italian Ristorante Bonaroti in Vienna, Va.
In fact, it's so adored by Redskins tight end Chris Cooley that he has a namesake antipasti dish. The “Chris Cooley Bresaola" has thin slices of cured beef rolled up with buffalo mozzarella and drizzled with olive oil and a hint of lemon.
Nick & Sam’s is beloved by NFL players because they always deliver dependable, quality steaks and chops, and the portions are huge. The menu boasts aged beef that starts at 16 ounces for the rib-eye and goes all the way up to three pounds for the porterhouse. Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman is a fan, while Reggie Bush scored a coveted table during Super Bowl weekend in February.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City offers a free pass to indulge in baby back ribs and burnt ends and players get their fingers dirty over at Fiorella’s Jack Stack, where the meat is “hickory-kissed.” According to The Pitch, running back Thomas Jones is a huge fan of the chicken wings.
Vic & Anthony’s is a go-to steakhouse for Houston Texans players like quarterback Matt Schaub. In addition to the red meat, seafood, and chicken, the menu offers 12 different vegetables sides, the majority of which come fried, buttered, or creamed.
More stories from the Daily Meal