New York Giants tailgating in the books!


By Thom Profeta

Tailgating at MetLife Stadium


There’s nothing quite like the excitement of tailgating before a big football game, or, in this case a not so big football game, as both the Giants and the Patriots are having an under 500 season.  Playing for pride, or a move up in the draft spot.  Either way, it’s a win win.

We started our morning waking up to a frigid 31 degrees at 6:30.   Departure time from Toms River, 7:30 sharp!   If you’re not ready, you can take an Uber!  The Drive was a little more than an hour to Met Life Stadium, although it seemed quick, as my brother and I shared great stories of past games, current events, and reminisced of the stupid things we’ve done in our past!   Thanks for reminding me.  

We arrived 8:50.   Ohhhh, those smells!   Not the dank, sulfur smell of the Secaucus wetlands, but the array of aromas of the barbecue pits firing up, the unforgettable smell Of Kingsford original, doused in lighter fluid and of course the burning off of fat on the grill irons from the games before.

As we arrived at our tailgating space of many years, there was the newbie unloading his truck. Now let me explain something, my brother and his friends have been tailgating at Giant games for 30+ years and when a new person comes into the fold, they have to prove themselves to gain a spot.  The newbie is unloading a 36 x 24 Blackstone flat top grill hoping to impress. 

He didn’t disappoint!   Here it comes, dozens of eggs, American cheese, Kaiser rules, and yes, North Jersey sports fans,  TAYLOR HAM!  Yep, I said it!!!  Not pork roll!!! TAYLOR HAM!  

The combination of the Taylor ham, fried eggs, and melted cheese on a fresh Kaiser roll finished off with Heinz 57, provided a delightful burst of flavor to energize us for the exciting day ahead.  If I were a regular, he’d get my vote!

Mark, a childhood friend of mine, pulled in, unloaded his restored Buick station wagon with his typical Italian meat and cheese platter, cooler of beer, and of course, the big bottle of Jamison.   Shots for everyone!   It was early, but who am I to say no to Jamison!   

Next, my brother Timmy went through his normal routine of setting up, barking orders, Tommy do this, Tommy do that! Get this, get that!  Hey, I always comply, I’m staying at his house, he’s feeding me great food, we’re drinking great wine, and let’s not forget!  He has the Giants tickets!   What ever you say Timmy!   

Timmy a fantastic home chef, went easy this game.   Typically he goes all out when he cooks, but today he kept it simple, roasted red, green and yellow peppers, (which were out of this world), and of course, potato pirogies and onions. Simple but delicious! 

The peppers melted in your mouth with a slight aftertaste of spices, and the pirogies were slightly browned, onions caramelized to perfection.  Between the Taylor ham, egg and cheese, the pirogies and peppers, I think I’ve created a good base in my stomach to move on to the hot stuff!

No tailgate would be complete without a signature dish, and my famous Buffalo hot wings were a hit.  The wings were perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside, and dripping with tangy and spicy Buffalo sauce. Each bite was a symphony of flavors, leaving us craving more. The tantalizing aroma attracted fellow tailgaters, and soon everyone was indulging in these fiery delights.

My hot wings were smash, for those who like hot!     Typically, I use Frank’s Red Hot, and a stick of butter.  Only this time, I added some habanero hot sauce that Timmy had hidden in the fridge!   They were crispy and ohhh, very hot! 

We had an array of other Tailgate favorites, Pulled pork sliders, tender with tangy barbecue sauce. The only thing missing was the coleslaw but they were still delicious… burgers, dogs even a pasta dish.   

Tedd, from South Carolina had brownies that his wife had made. They looked perfectly baked, crispy outside and chewy inside.   Some of us were a little apprehensive at the outset of trying the delicious treat.  

See Tedd started his day off with gummies and THC laced energy drink.  Sounds like an oxymoron!  After assuring us they weren’t laced, we all dug in.   Only crumbs left on the platter.  

The Giant game tailgate was an unforgettable experience, filled with mouth-watering food and an abundance of drinks. From the breakfast sandwiches that kickstarted the day to my famous Buffalo hot wings and an assortment of delectable dishes, the tailgate was a culinary adventure.

The camaraderie, laughter, and shared love for the game made this tailgating experience one for the books. Cheers to many more memorable tailgates in the future!


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