It’s August, which means football season is nearly upon us. NFL preseason is already underway, and college football’s regular season is ready to go this weekend. A favorite pregame festivity among gridiron fans is tailgating. The food, the beer, the table smashing (okay, maybe just in Buffalo), it’s a great weekly community get-together whether you root for a Super Bowl contender of a perennial cellar dweller.
For as notoriously noisy and boisterous as Seattle Seahawks fans can be during home games, there isn’t much traditional tailgating to speak of. Lumen Field specifically prohibits tailgating at the stadium parking lot, instead directing fans to nearby public lots.
Last year when we did this sponsored post I gave a little rundown of the most popular Seahawks tailgate spots, so this year we’re doing something different. We’re talking food, food, and more food!
Five years ago, our own John Fraley did a poll on foods that are absolute must-haves at a Seahawks party, tailgate, etc. I have absolutely no recollection of this despite working for Field Gulls since 2016. I’ve reviewed the answers and have my takes on the top choices.
1.) Wings. And more wings. I find chicken wings to be too expensive (even before this inflation we’re experiencing) but if you do wings properly you’ve got something golden. I lean towards drums over flats due to having more meat, but good flats have succulent skin and I love me some chicken skin. There’s a spot near where I live that does great dry rub wings, and you can add their sauces from the refrigerator on the side. I’m partial to spicy food so hot wings > BBQ wings. I save barbecue for sausage, pork, and ribs.
2.) Sausages/brats. Oh yes! Now we’re talking. Bratwursts, kielbasas, they’re all good to me. Just make sure that they’ve got those grill marks on them and have just enough crunch on them. I can eat sausage links plain or in a regular ol’ hot dog and dress it up with relish, condiments, maybe some grilled onions as well.
3.) Nachos. Another good choice. This is where regular Seahawks fans separate themselves from the usually unserious food takes of Seahawks Twitter. I go heavy on the cheese (actual cheese, not cheese sauce) and don’t need any choice of meat for my mixes. For whatever reason I don’t eat sour cream with anything other than nachos. Green onions also go great with nachos, especially when blended with the melted cheese. Restaurant-style chips are the best for nachos bar none.
4.) Guacamole. Overrated. Come at me!
5.) Bean dip (or seven-layer). Traditional bean dip? Meh. Hummus, though? I’m there. Hummus is made with chickpeas aka garbanzo beans, so therefore hummus can function as a bean dip.
6.) Pizza (but a creative one). Define “creative one” because I am a simple man with simple needs and do not believe that anything beyond one topping is necessary for pizza. Try as some might, I will not be swayed to putting pineapple on a pizza. In my few years living in New York I realized that less is more when it comes to a great pie.
Sorry to fans of potato (or macaroni) salad, which was the only poll option that didn’t garner a single vote. I’m a bit surprised chili didn’t poll better and I don’t even eat chili.
Let’s wrap this up by thinking globally. Football tailgate cuisine doesn’t have to be limited to the usual North American fare, why not expand your horizons beyond the usual burgers and pizzas and nachos? There is so much great, quickly consumable food all around the world that can absolutely be added to a tailgate menu.
Jamaican Beef Patties
The flakiness of the pastry, the spices and flavor of the ground meat filling, it is simply irresistible. New York’s bustling Caribbean neighborhoods are the best places in the US to get them. Unfortunately, the Pacific Northwest is not an area populated with Jamaican cuisine when compared to NYC or Miami. If you can get your hands on some authentic, fresh beef patties — not the frozen ones distributed in stores by the Golden Krust franchise — you will not be disappointed.
These can be full meals all on their own and there are so many different varieties throughout Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Even as a pretty heavy meat consumer, I gravitate towards the meatless filling of potatoes, peas, and spices, with a chutney on the side for dipping.
Indonesian Satay (Meat Skewers)
Sometimes you just need meat on a stick. Pork, beef, chicken, doesn’t matter, it all tastes good and satay is one of the staples of Indonesian cuisine. Satay usually comes with peanut sauce on the side but if that’s not your thing or you have a peanut allergy, no worries.
As always, party and drink responsibly!