Feel your belt tightening just a bit? Just wait until next Monday (Feb. 3) and you may be scrolling the Internet about the benefits of bariatric surgery.
Why? Because Super Bowl Sunday is now considered America's favorite food holiday next to Thanksgiving!
So, when the New England Patriots battle the Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, chances are you'll be stuffing your face.
Don't feel bad. Your Weekender friends will be doing the same damn thing.
And what will most Americans be gnawing on? According to the National Restaurant Association, we'll be watching football's biggest night over a slice of pizza (the No. 1 Super Bowl food) or a plateful of wings (a close No. 2).
SAY HI TO A NEW KIND OF PIZZA PIE
Which is good news for Gannon Harsma, general manager of Bootleggers, a downtown Sioux City restaurant specializing in, you guessed it, pizza and wings.
"That's a method to our madness," he said at the restaurant that occupies the 419 Pearl St. space formerly home to The Big Snug as well as the 423 Pearl St. space formerly home to McCarthy & Bailey's Irish Pub. "We've had a bit of a cold opening for more than a month. But Super Bowl Sunday will be our first big test."
Harsma ain't kidding. From 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Super Bowl Sunday, Bootleggers will be taking off 25 percent off of everything, including liquid libations.
"We're looking to do high volume business," he explained with a smile. "That shouldn't be a problem during the Super Bowl."
And what sort of pizza is Harsma pushing? Many of Bottleggers pies seem traditional like a combination pizza or a meat lover's one.
A few of Bootleggers offerings are more offbeat.
A Siouxer City Special (cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and double the pepperoni) caught our eye as did the American Pi (beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, pickles, ketchup and mustard), which sounds more like a Big Mac than it does a pizza.
BOOZY PIZZA? YEAH, WE CAN DIG IT!
Perhaps the most eccentric pie on Bootleggers menu is also Harsma's creation and personal favorite.
The Tequila Sunrise pizza is made with diced chicken, sauteed banana peppers, onions, mozzarella and, here's the kicker, jalapenos that have been soaked in top-shelf tequila.
Are you tired of 'za? How about a platter of chicken parts?
Bootleggers offers chicken wings with such gluten-free sauces as Buffalo, sweet chili, honey garlic and Memphis heat.
The wings? Are they baked or are they deep-fried? Both, according to Harsma. That makes them more delicious.
CHEF TRAINED AT THE SCHOOL OF MOM
Although he has worked at pizzeria and casinos, fine dining establishment and food trucks, Harsma said he's had no formal culinary training.
Instead, he credited his mom Lori for showing him the ropes.
"When Gannon was younger, his friends knew a cookout at our place didn't mean wienies on a barbecue," Lori Harsma said with a grin. "Nope, it meant professional-quality carne asada."
Which isn't to say that there's anything wrong with a good, no-hassle pigskin wienie roast.
GLUTTONY BY THE NUMBERS
Let's say you were one of the lucky few to snag a ticket for this year's Super Bowl. Suffice it to say, you won't go hungry.
In fact, an estimated 40,000 sausages and hot dogs will be served to famished fans.
If you're working the grill at home, chances are burning up plenty o' moo meat. Nearly 14 billion burgers will be consumed during the 53rd Super Bowl game.
T IS FOR TEAMWORK
A few days prior to Super Bowl, Harsma doesn't appear overly nervous.
A former Denver-based coach for the Colorado Hawks boys Soccer Club team, he understands the importance of keeping calm in the face of competition.
"I'm not afraid of the pressure," Harsma said.
Plus he considers pizza to be ripe for reinvention.
"Pizza is a blank slate," Harsma said. "They're perfect for experimentation."
And he's willing to hit the ground running.
"Downtown Sioux City needs a pizzeria," Harsma said. "Bootleggers will be filling that niche."