Particularly as we head into playoff season, football in America is a beloved ritual (we think because of all the noms, which, let’s face it, are almost as important as the outcome of the game). While tailgating at a stadium is a fun tradition for fans, you can also score authentic flavors of classic football foods at one of these five gridiron-loving restaurants.
Vince Young Steakhouse, Austin, Texas
During football season, order the tailgate-inspired Short Rib Chili (boneless beef short ribs, light beer, fresh jalapenos — and no beans, Texas style — and served with housemade cornbread and brown sugar honey butter) at this chic restaurant that’s named after former University of Texas and NFL football great Vince Young. Sip one of the football-inspired cocktails (you know, special teams) like The Rose Bowl, a combo of Miller’s Gin, Texas grapefruit and Rose Cava, or the InVINCEable, inspired by the restaurant’s namesake, which is made with Patron Silver, Patron Citronge, agave nectar, and fresh lime. Make a reservation at Vince Young Steakhouse.
Beer Park, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Strip’s first rooftop bar and grill gives football fans an open-air experience to view the game on dozens of hi-def TVs. There are more than 100 beers served, including 36 brews on tap, and an all-American menu. Order off a full menu or from roaming carts reminiscent of concession-style stadium offerings. Signature grill meats (gourmet burgers, brisket, ribs, sausages) are slow cooked — smoked or grilled over an open flame fueled by Budweiser-soaked Beechwood chips. Touchdown: The restaurant opens in the early morning for breakfast during football and other early sporting events. Make a reservation at Beer Park.
American Cut, New York, New York
This Tribeca restaurant kicks it up a notch with a full-on tailgate menu (translation: beer, burgers, beef fat fries with AC secret sauce, porterhouse steak, Rookie of the Year chili lobster chicken wings, steak, and more beer.) There’s also a Tailgate Prix Fixed menu: First Half dishes are Dried Aged Wagyu Sliders, “Chili Lobster” Chicken Wings, and Caesar salad; Second Half dishes include the New York City Cut steak and Beef Fat Fries. Make a reservation at American Cut.
David’s Club Bar & Grill, Orlando, Florida
This elevated sports pub is all about local and craft beers, pool tables, fire pits, floor-to-ceiling TV walls — and college and NFL football games. Chef Andrew Vollitier showcases football-viewing favorites on his menu like David’s Steak (10oz. New York Strip, baby spinach, foraged mushrooms, house steak sauce) and wings (choice of peach, jalapeno, buffalo, or Florida orange glazed.) Naturally, they are open Saturday and Sunday for lunch during football season. Make a reservation at David’s Club Bar & Grill.
Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s tailgating menu features Stadium Cheese Nachos, Signature Stadium Chicken Wings and sideline favorites like Truffle Parmesan French Fries & Foie Gras Black Truffle Oil. Throw in cold brews on tap, hi-def plays on 100 screens, and stadium style seating—and you’ve made a nice lateral move. And Monday night football specials are themed to the teams, such as the New York Giants/Philadelphia game—Meatball Sub and Seasoned Fries for New York fans and Philly Cheesesteak with Mushrooms and Onions and Seasoned Fries for Eagle fans. Extra point: Listen to any game showing via the free hearTV app on their smartphone. Make a reservation at Lagasse’s Stadium at the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino.
Laurie Bain Wilson is a Boston-based journalist, author, and essayist who writes often about travel, food, and baseball. Find her on Twitter @laurieheather.
Photo credits: Chris Wessling (Beer Park).