Tailgating: A Few of Our Favorite Things
Bourbon on ice cubes and pots of cast iron
Cornhole and washers with gas burners fire’n
Folding chairs bagged up and tied up with string
These are a few of our favorite things…
Tailgating is a part of LSU’s culture, but it’s a big part of our #BRAND here at ATVS. All of these posts in the past week are what we call service journalism. This is all supposed to be fun, and you should be having more of it when you try to go to your favorite game. And we want to help with that.
So with that in mind, here are a few of our regulars for a football weekend, whether we’re tailgating or homegating.
Zapps Potato Chips
Louisiana’s own brand of kettle-cooked chips right out of nearby Gramercy. But since selling out to the Utz company, they’ve become more widespread.
Don’t waste your time with that crumbly Golden Flake trash.
Voodoo Gumbo or the classic Spicy Cajun Crawtators are my go-to, but there’s a great variety with some new brands rolling out almost every year.
Utz Crab Flavored Chips
Wasabi & Soy Roasted Almonds
Look, once you try these you’ll inhale a whole tin without thinking. The Blue Diamond brands are great, but you can find plenty of off brands that are just as good.
If you’re out on campus, there will always a need for stuff and you might not know what will come up. Here are a few things that come in handy for us:
I keep a handy pocket-sized one to give my phone an extra boost before game time. Sometimes you wind up using your phone to stream games on a TV or something, and you never know if some stragglers or newbies will need directions to your spot. Always good to make sure you have extra power on hand.
It’s nice to have a surface to sit down, especially with little ones, whether you’re set up on grass or concrete. My folks were able to find an LSU-licensed straw one of pretty decent size. And its sturdy enough to clean off with a hose after gameday is over with.
Change of Clothes
Those September kickoffs are still pretty damn hot, and won’t take long to sweat through a shirt. Dri-fit is your friend.
Sunglasses with Croakies
Yeah, it’s cliched, but you’re gonna be in and out of the sun and will likely need to take sunglasses on and off frequently if you wear them, don’t chance losing them if you don’t have to. -Zrau
Your Favorite Koozie
Everyone has a purple and gold LSU koozie, you’re going to want something unique that stands out just in case you lose track of your beer. My choice this year is the hot pink koozie my wife got at her 10-year high school reunion, in the past it’s been a Wyoming flag koozie or an Ole Miss alumni association one I found after LSU-Clanga in 2012. -Zrau
Honda EU Series Generators
Ok, this doesn’t really fit into the “handy” category, but it’s a chance to wax rhapsodic about the most reliable piece of equipment under the tent. Until the day comes when portable solar and battery solutions come down to a reasonable cost, there is still only one answer when it come to portable power. The little red Honda EU2000 deserves a spot in the college football hall of fame for how many tailgates it powers around the country. It’s the purchase that means you and your friends are starting to take this whole tailgate thing seriously.
And yes, at ~$1000 it is expensive, but it’s also a tremendous value. They are rock solid and you have to really work at it to break one. Sure, you could spend 1/5th that much on a generator with 2x the output. And break your back hauling it around. And become the enemy of your neighbor tailgates because of the obscene noise and fumes. And have to buy another one in 2 seasons when it breaks. Don’t be that fool, buy a Honda. -PodKATT
The best bourbon for the money. Pretty easy to find for less than $23 for a fifth, and smooth enough to drink over ice.
The Chinese Bandit
A special simple syrup recipe here that uses Chinese five spice and star anise. Half-ounce of syrup to two ounces of bourbon.
A Bug Zapper
Crown Royal Green Apple + Sprite Zero. Mix according to how you like to fly. -Adam
A Pineapple Breeze
Mix some dark rum with equal parts orange juice and pineapple juice. Nice change-up on hotter days. -Zrau
Laphroig 12-year Scotch
Mildly unpopular take; if I’m cutting my whiskey, I still want to taste it. If I want a Coke or a Diet Coke, I’ll just drink one of those. Ginger ale complements the flavor of bourbon or Jack Daniels so much better.
As an aside, they also happen to be a refreshing bev on their own on a hot day.
As a general rule, I stick with a lite beer on gameday. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and too much of a heavier beer can just leave me feeling a bit bloated. That said, there are a handful of local crafts mostly light lagers, pale ales and ambers.
- Urban South Paradise Park or Holy Roller IPA
- Southern Craft Redstick Rye
- Parish South Coast Amber
- Tin Roof Uber Fruit
- Lakewood French Quarter Temptress -Poseur
- Abita The Boot -PodKATT (I’m also really partial to Strongbow, ciders in general are a good idea for really hot days)
If you don’t have a tailgate home base and want to catch a drink or a bite close to campus before game time, there are a couple of solid options within walking distance of either the north or south gates of campus on the east or west sides.
But the conversation starts and ends with The Chimes for me. Great food — especially the apps, which are a great pickup when you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. And of course, there’s also a fantastic selection of beer on tap. They’re even opening a roof top bar soon.
Another good northgate option is City Slice Pints and Pizza on Chimes Street. Its own by the City Pork group, so they use a ton of fresh local ingredients in their pizzas, salads and calzones. They also have a ton of TVs and a nice bar with a strong beer selection as well.