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GABA Q&A: What is the best food for tailgating?

Welcome to GABA Q&A, the feature that asks us to share our experiences as Gamecock fans. We'll give our answers, and we encourage all commenters to share theirs in the comment section. The question won't focus so much on the state of athletics or analysis, but instead allow us to reminisce and tell personal stories about the highs and lows of our fandom.

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A sad day here as we say goodbye to an SEC institution: the teardown of the Bojangles across from Williams-Brice. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Andy Demetra (@GamecockRadio) <a href="">July 20, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The Bojangles across from Williams-Brice was torn down earlier this week and though there is a new one opening down the road, many people were sad to say goodbye to a place that has been a part of the game day experience for years now. A huge part of tailgating is the food, so here's our question for the day: What is the best food for tailgating on a game day at Willy B?


The key to any good tailgate food is the ability for it to sit out for hours in the oppressive South Carolina heat without spoiling.  So with apologies to the mayonnaise lovers in the group, things like potato salad are really a horrible idea.  You want something that's going to be good post-game, not spoil or require you to pack five coolers just to keep it from stinking up the car on the ride home.

With that, I humbly suggest the Chick-fil-A nugget platter.  It feeds a ton of people, is easy to share and continue to munch on without having to focus too much on the eating process (it's much easier to eat nuggets and chat than it is to navigate a chicken breast), and the nuggets will hold throughout the weather.  And that's really the key my friends - the nuggets will hold.


I have to agree with ‘Hoops: tailgate food is as much about its functionality as it is its form. In order for a tailgate to be good, the food doesn't have to wow you, it just needs to not be difficult. That being said, I feel that there are three attributes that make a good tailgate food item:

  • Durability - there will be leftovers, and I would like to have some without the threat of hospitalization.

  • Portability - not only do you have to get it to the spot, you have to pick it up and eat it. (Silverware and plates should be a last resort.)

  • Consumability - I KNOW THAT'S NOT A WORD, but, hear me out: you must be able to eat a sufficient quantity of it without getting too full or without getting sick of what you're eating.

Thus, I present you another list of the top-5 tailgate items:

  • Chick-Fil-A platters (any of ‘em...heck, order ‘em all)

  • Publix chicken tenders (for when Option #1 won't have your order in time)

  • Chips and non-dairy dips (See: Cowboy Caviar, Spicy Feta dip, Sausage Dip, Hummous)

  • Mini Country Ham biscuits (I'll even give you a recipe)

  • Bourbon (Don't act like I'm not right)


I think Hoops and DC3 have it right here with chicken being the best food for tailgating. When I went to games as a kid we always picked up a couple of buckets of KFC on our way to the game and we had a bunch of stuff like chips and cookies packed to go along with it. I agree though that the Chick-Fil-A nugget platter is easier to eat and is the better option here. But wherever you choose to buy it from, I think that you pretty much can't go wrong with chicken as the center of your tailgate. Though I do submit that chili in a crock pot is excellent for the colder games at the end of the season.

Really the most important thing is that you go into the stadium full enough that you don't have to miss any of the game waiting in long lines for expensive stadium food.