So you tailgate once a year and like the game but you're not die hard. The last couple years your once-a-year tailgate spot has been put to shame by your more seasoned tailgating neighbors. As always, we are here to help.
The first step is good food. Preparing food in a makeshift kitchen can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t tailgate every weekend. How can you prepare awesome food with little preparation? As far as meat goes, if you buy a quality product and throw it on the grill, you’re tailgate crew will be happy. Spend a little extra and you can take care of your taste buds without prepping and preparing recipes the night or morning before. If you usually buy steak or chicken at your local grocery store, try purchasing from a Gourmet Butcher or Whole Foods. The price point will certainly be higher but the taste alone will be worth it. If you buy a tri-tip from Whole Foods, you won’t have to do much other than add salt and pepper to make it a tailgate star.
Sides: People love to nosh. You just need to give them something worthwhile to nosh on. Chips and dips are great. Splurge on quality prepared food. Ask yourself, is this something I would eat if I wasn’t at the tailgate? If the answer is no, don’t buy it.
Word to the wise - there is no such thing as too much food. Better to be forced to give away food to your tailgate neighbors than a member of your parking lot tribe going hungry.
Cold is key in this department but you already knew that. So lots of ice and a couple coolers. People’s tastes vary. We like to have something for everyone. So plenty of bottled water, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and a couple of cold ones. With so many beers now the options can be overwhelming. You can’t go wrong with Bud Light and a case of IPAs. Just make sure there is variety so that folks are happy.
Buy a football. You're set.
It can be overwhelming getting everything together. After all you need a lot of supplies - plates, paper towels, hand sanitizer, camping chairs, trash bags, grill, charcoal, grilling tools, utensils, etc.
Plan ahead. Make a list. Divide and conquer.