Football season is upon us, folks. There’s no better excuse to have people over and enjoy delicious grub than a game day watch party to cheer on your favorite teams. To minimize the fuss and add to the fun (for kids and adults), we’ve found a great way to serve up snacks or drinks during the game is to offer some type of “serve-yourself” bar. Here are a few of our favorite options.
A daytime game day staple, the bloody bar is a favorite because there are so many options. Make it easy with a premade mix and easy-pour vodka then get creative with additions and garnishes. Our favorites include some classics like celery and pickled veggies with cocktail shrimp and of course Tender Belly bacon. Provide beer for the Michelada-lovers. Designate a spicy part of the bar for your favorite hot sauces, horseradish and seasonings. It’s bloody delicious.
Something about a loaded potato is so comforting and decadent. A party planner’s dream, baked potato bars require little effort and a whole lot of reward. Go the extra mile with some beef chili or steamed veggies. Don’t forget to allow enough time for the potatoes to cool!
For this bar, I admit to buying premade home-style mac-and-cheese then putting most of my effort into the toppings: fresh cheeses, scallions, chicken nuggets, Tender Belly bacon, Tender Belly franks, cherry tomatoes, cooked veggies like broccoli or peas… yum! Finish it off with ketchup, ranch and a lot of Sriracha.
Trick your guests into thinking they’re being healthy and lay out lettuce heads cut into wedges. Set up a bar of blue cheese or other rich cheeses or your choice and do your best to add as many less-than-healthy goodies. I recommend bacon (again), toasted pecans, diced tomatoes, and every cream decadent salad dressing you can get your hands on. So much crunchy, salad-y goodness!
Perfect for the early games, get the assembly line going with stacks of waffles and/or pancakes. This is another opportunity to eat Tender Belly bacon – preferably wrapped in a pancake and smothered in maple syrup. Lay out a spread of sweet and savory toppings so your guests can get as creative as possible. Mixing chocolate chips, breakfast sausage crumbles, blueberries and granola? Go for it!
Although this is my go-to for game day watch parties, I love to set up food and beverage bars for almost any entertaining occasion. I will leave you with a warning: “serve-yourself” can get out of hand very quickly so make A LOT of bacon.