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Monday, September 30, 2013

UH undefeated in tailgate parties

Lineups at Aloha Stadium last Saturday: opihi grilled with "secret sauce," apple-banana moonshine, squid Korean stir fry. These guys' tailgate parties dominate the competition.

Here are snapshots from the parking lot last Saturday, three hours before kickoff:

These fans are at Aloha Stadium for every home game. Their tailgate theme is based on where the visiting team is from. If it's Idaho, say, then they'd be cooking potatoes. For this game, against Fresno State, it's California beef. Sort of. Let's just say the rules aren't strict. I see a steak on the grill, but I also see kielbasa, pork ribs, and bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, courtesy of Knocked Up, the chef. Some extra California theme points: some ingredients smuggled in from Trader Joe's in San Diego.

"Some guy is walking around, selling opihi for $10 a pound," this group tell us. They're grilling theirs, topped with a white "secret sauce"; they refuse to give us any hints about the ingredients. It tastes a little like Alfredo sauce. Opihi Alfredo? Total winner. They've also got 40 homemade laulau and Molokai poi.

I stopped by this tailgate because I saw some Mason jars filled with liquid the color of pee. What, that doesn't make everyone stop? Luckily, they weren't the can't-get-to-the-port-o-potties-in-time jars, but moonshine. At least according to this guy, who says they had "dusted the pineapple one," but still had apple banana left, which he let me try. They're from his cousin, so he has no idea how they're made. It tastes like apple juice to me. Hooch or hoax? He swears it's booze and his cousin's working on a mango one.

(Also, Great use of the truck bed for cooking prep.)

This guy puts a lotta love in his steak. He massages it, then busts out restaurant-sized containers of pepper and garlic salt to season it. For pupus, he's brought smoke meat, which he believes brings mana, or at least some good luck to the gamblers. Also essential: good beer and pipikaula poke.

This group comes up with a different theme for every tailgate. Usually, it's based on the visiting team, but this time, they felt like Korean food. So there's a squid Korean stir fry, with all the ingredients and sauce pre-prepped and bagged, the dish put together over a portable stove come game time. Also part of the spread: bibim kook soo, and hamburger jun.

There's a lot of smoke meat in the parking lot; everyone we asked makes their own. But this is the only guy we've seen who's brought his portable standing wok to make smoke meat and cabbage.

What's your tailgate feast?

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013 in Permalink

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About This Column

From five-star restaurants to hidden holes-in-the-wall, Biting Commentary will let you know what’s hot and what’s not. Find out the latest restaurant news—who’s opening, who’s closing, which chef is moving on, where the great special dinners are. Discover the best menu items, fabulous wines, stunning cocktails, hand-crafted beers. Be the first to hear about upcoming food events and festivals.

Food editor Martha Cheng graduated from Wellesley College with degrees in Computer Science and English. She's a former line cook, food truck owner, Peace Corps volunteer and Google techie. Follow her on Twitter @marthacheng.



 

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