Looking for the parking lots at MetLife Stadium? Just follow your nose. The heady scent of grilling steaks and burgers will get you there in no time. Whether you’re going basic or gourmet, the centerpiece of most Giants tailgate parties is the all-American barbecue. That grilled delight may be soy protein or grade-A black Angus beef, but either way, no self-respecting grill master will let it be seen naked. Whatever it is you’re cooking up on game day, it’s the little extras that make or break your feast. Here are the condiments that Giants fans know make the party.
Ketchup – Don’t even think about forgetting the ketchup, especially if kids are part of your posse. You can, however, forget about pouring the red stuff on French fries. Deep fryers and oil-based cooking are prohibited at MetLife Stadium.
Mustard – Everyone’s got a favorite kind, so make sure to bring a selection that includes some interesting options like chili or raspberry, as well as solid standbys like stadium yellow, deli and honey mustard.
Mayonnaise – Someone is bound to need it for something. If you are a potato salad fan, a couple dabs of mayo will help freshen up the bowl. Also, think about mixing plain mayo with other condiments you’ve towed to the game like horseradish or Dijon mustard. Chopped, sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil make a great mix-in for mayonnaise and taste amazing on chicken-sage sausages or traditional brats.
Salsa – Go for a little hot, a lotta hot or all of the above. Salsa can spruce up raw veggie platters and is great when spooned onto deviled eggs. Kids love milder varieties like tomato-corn salsa, especially when served with taco chips.
Tabasco – Everybody’s favorite pepper sauce, tabasco can jazz up grilled chicken, veggies and a variety of other foods. It’s a must-have condiment if Bloody Marys will be served at your tailgate. Bring a variety of flavors like buffalo or chipotle, but don’t forget to tow along an original recipe.
Relish – Relish can turn a hot dog into a gourmet feast and adds flavor and texture to a variety of other foods. Traditional dill pickle relish is the trusted standby that dresses up any bun, but think about mixing it up with cranberry-orange or sweet-onion balsamic relish for an interesting change of pace.
Chopped Onions – Chop them at home but seal them up tight and spoon them on everything. If you’re a particularly enthusiastic fan, don’t forget the breath mints.
Guacamole – Go basic or make up a batch of this amazing Smoky Guacamole from Rachel Ray. Guacamole works as a side dish or can instantly yum up a burger. It may also be one of the healthiest foods you serve at your tailgate. Spoon some of those onions on top and you’re good to go.
Barbecue Sauce – At last count, we found over 5,000 barbecue sauce recipes for you to choose from, not to mention the bottled stuff. Whatever your pleasure, if steaks, wings or ribs are on the tailgate menu, you’ll want to cart along your special signature sauce for extra dipping and dripping.
Salad Dressing – It’s a toss-up between blue cheese or ranch, but everyone loves cool, creamy salad dressing as a condiment for veggies, wings or Rockaway’s favorite, pizza. Make a batch of Maytag Blue at home or grab a bottle of Marie’s. Either way, be sure to pack some carrot sticks and raw broccoli as the ultimate red-meat redemption.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.