In search of tailgating supremacy
November 13th, 2011
12:30 AM ET
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Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to get our grub on, we listen up.

Now that the game of the century is over (in case you turned it off during one of those missed field goal attempts, LSU beat Alabama 9-6) we can turn our attention to the matter of tailgating. I wish there was space to name 10 notable tailgating schools. Unfortunately, I can only say honorable mention to Tennessee, Colorado, Texas, Ohio State and, of course, Ole Miss. Note to anyone who’s about to get mad: I didn’t say ‘top’. I said ‘notable’ tailgating schools.

Louisiana State University
A few weeks ago, I got into trouble for not including LSU in my best food universities round-up. Whoops. After all, this is Louisiana, where everyone takes their food seriously and that includes Tiger fans. Pre-game spreads range from staples like jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etoufée to whole roasted pig. There’s even an MVT (or more specifically, tailgater of the game).

University of Texas
I’ve heard stories about the scene: every single parking space in the vicinity of the stadium is wall-to-wall tailgaters, whole herds of beef and pigs are laid out on various grills and smokers while breweries worth of beers chill in ice chests—if there’s even time for those beers to chill. Also look out for the occasional margarita machine.

University of Alabama
Alabama didn’t make the list as a sympathy vote because of their drop in the BCS standings. They’re here because the 100,000 or so fanatical fans that yell “Roll Tide” at home games cook some mean barbecue. Also because they have all manner of drinks on game day, from spiked sweet tea to the vodka soaked cherries that are called ‘Bama Bombs.’

University of Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin calls itself the Bratwurst capital of the world. No surprise, the official food of UW is bratwurst. So you know what you can find plenty of at Badgers games. If you want to be completely local you can cook those brats in Milwaukee beer. (A typical UW tailgating recipe is bratwash, which calls for a cooler, three bags of ice and a case of beer. Instructions include removing the cans from the recyclable cardboard holder.)

University of Washington
UW tailgaters have a special name for their special version of the pre-game party: boatgating. Specifically, fans go out on Lake Washington in whatever boat they have available to them and get out on the water. And those boats are stocked with grills, for anything from burgers to sides of salmon, not to mention copious amounts of local microbrews.

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Best Burgers in the U.S.

© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Rituals • Sports • Tailgating

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Brennan Cronin

    I believe I'm the best tailgater out there. Your argument is invalid!

    May 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
  2. Ann

    So, is Penn State now left off the list just because of Jerry Sandusky?

    November 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  3. Grothnar, Troll King

    FIRST!!!! I claim this illustrious spot for trolls and troglodytes everywhere!

    November 14, 2011 at 9:59 am |
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