By Matt Starlight
When it comes to tailgating, everyone knows that beer is your top priority. But once everyone’s got a good buzz going, a heaping plate of deliciously catered grub is in order, and if your tailgate isn’t stacked with top notch drunk food, the group’s finally going to let Stacy run it. Once that happens, it’s all over.
So, in order to prevent Stacy (or whoever in your group is insanely particular and self-centered) from spearheading your tailgate straight into the ground, let’s lay out a couple of options that taste great and won’t break the bank.
Pot & Paddle
We’ve written about how much we like Pot & Paddle at DIG before, so taste is without question. But eating alone is not acceptable when the Tigers are playing at home. So instead of Stephen Glansberging it in the restaurant, why not get a big container full of the stuff to take to your favorite campus? For just $55, you can get an extra large serving of jambalaya or pastalaya. And, if their portions sizes remain true to their single servings, their recommended 16-20 people served is an understatement. They’ve also got gumbo for your tailgate, beans, salad, or a combination for any size or group. Pot & Paddle is a creole establishment, so you know they can be trusted to handle one of our most sacred traditions.
Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
Born and raised right on LSU’s very campus, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers is an obvious choice for your catered tailgate that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser every time. Juicy chicken fingers, savory Cane’s sauce, crispy fries, and buttery toast are all this chicken joint needs to make a big, lasting impression. I’ve been at a hundred tailgates catered by Cane’s and I’m sure I’ll go to a hundred more, but no matter how many times I’ve had it, the food just doesn’t get old on gameday. This option works if you’ve got a big group of picky eaters, so know you’ve got a failsafe in your back pocket if Stacy starts whining.
After six years in Baton Rouge, I can honestly say I’m surprised Voodoo BBQ isn’t more popular than it is. They’ve got some of the best drink deals in town, and their menu is all home cooking that you can’t find anywhere else. Slow cooked pork sandwiches and coleslaw are their bread and butter, but when you’re buying for the pack, nothing hits the spot like a juicy rack of ribs. Pair those ribs with some macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and beignets to make sure all your BBQ loving friends are full by kickoff.
Louisiana Bayou Bistro
When you name your restaurant Louisiana Bayou Bistro, you’re putting yourself up to some pretty high standards. Thankfully, LBB pulls it off with flying colors in big part thanks to its superb catering menu. Creole delicacies like boudin balls, muffalettas, fried catfish, boiled seafood, and crawfish pies come together to make a Cajun’s perfect meal. Selling this southern goodness in bulk is a blessing that we should all experience a few times. So be sure to take LBB down on your shortlist of catering options, because anyone big on Cajun food (see: everyone) will be thankful you’re skipping the hamburgers and hot dogs for a pick a little closer to our homes and hearts.
You can never have too much barbecue at a tailgate, so having a few options can’t hurt. With that in mind, Podnuh’s BBQ is a winner that deserves every bit of attention you would give our other contenders. With succulent St. Louis ribs good enough for Frank Underwood, Podnuh’s brings something a little different than the competition. Pulled pork and beef brisket are also go-to options at Podnuh’s, along with a tasty array of sides like green beans, corn on the cob, potato chips, baked beans, and potato salad. This soul food is sure to please the body and spirit, so take in that sweet autumn weather with a heaping plate of barbecue from Podnuh’s for a tailgate you’re sure to enjoy.
This isn’t meant to be an exhausted list. Baton Rouge is a thriving food city with more and more viable options popping up every week, but what we have here is a couple can’t miss prospects that are sure to please the group. Take that, Stacy.