On Saturday, hundreds, if not thousands, of fans will return to Charlottesville to watch the undefeated Virginia Cavaliers continue their road to the College Football Playoff against Indiana. You’ve been following all week long with our substantive coverage, but we know what’s really on your mind: tailgating.
This week’s matchup is a 3:30 contest, which means most of you will probably go with the tried and true tailgate: burgers, brats, maybe even wings if you’re going fancy in the parking lot. But as a Virginia fan, you already know that you’ve got a lot of noon kickoffs ahead of you.
Noon kickoffs are actually great. By the time the game is over, you’ve got plenty of time to take a nap, or drive back to DC or Richmond or the 757, and still make it in time for prime-time games. And if you dread the noon kickoffs because you think you’re going to miss out on all the glory that is grilling, you’re not doing it right. You’re missing out on one of the greatest tailgate traditions: the breakfast tailgate.
Grillmasters get sad when noon games are announced, not because they can’t grill a half-pound burger at 7am, but because they get super judgmental looks when they do. But a noon game doesn’t mean everyone needs to settle for a bunch of pre-baked items that you hope will stay somewhat warm in your mountain of towels.
The trick? Buy yourself a cheap cast iron griddle pan. It sits right on top of your grill, and the rest is easy as pie (just kidding, I have no idea how to make pie on the grill). With a griddle sitting on top, suddenly, the world is your oyster (not literally — oysters are not a breakfast food). Go ahead and bring some eggs – you can fry ‘em or scramble ‘em right on top of the grill. Hash browns? Simple. Bacon? Easy. (Although, be sure your grease pan isn’t overflowing! We’re not trying to start any fires around here!)
Pro tip? Cook up your bacon and set it aside. Scramble up your eggs and set it aside. Then, just bring a container of Bisquick – all you need to do is add water and shake it up. You can use your griddle to make some super simple pancakes. Then the real magic happens. Fold that pancake in half, add the scrambled eggs and the bacon, and you’ve got breakfast pancake tacos. That, friends, is the ultimate tailgate tradition.
Though Saturday’s game is 3:30 and the bulk of the fans will be showing up around 1 or 2, we encourage you to seize the moment and make the trek to Scott Stadium at 7am and take part in one of the greatest tailgate traditions of all time.