time to tailgate
Huge Houston crowd and pro sports MVPs party like champs at CultureMap's Tailgate party
More than 500 Houston sports fans — and fans of great restaurants and bars — packed Silver Street Studios for the return of CultureMap’s newest signature event, The Tailgate.
Our annual tribute to all things sports, the event boasted a roster of all-star food and drink stars, visiting sports celebs, bucket-list sports memorabilia, and crown the best Tailgate dish. Thirst quenching came courtesy of all the event’s generous sponsors: Bud Light, NÜTRL Vodka Seltzer, Cutwater Spirits, 1800 (the Official Tequila of the Houston Texans), Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, and 8th Wonder Cannabis.
And this year, we stepped the game up with the first-ever Ultimate Sports Bar Showdown (read on for the winner).
Sure, the Houston Astros may not have brought home the World Series title, but that didn’t stop fans from showing the love with their orange and blue jerseys. The Texans, Rockets, and Dynamo were also heavily repped with jerseys, tees, and hats.
Partiers headed to the PicMe photo booth to fire off an IG-perfect shot with a custom backdrop.
Snappin' selfies at the PicMe Booth.PicMe Booth
Texans legend Jonathan Joseph was on hand to sign autographs, pose for pics, and talk C.J. Stroud, Will Smith, DeMeco Ryans, and the current Texans crew and their future. Another fan-fave sports celeb, Astros reporter Julia Morales, greeted guests as she served as charming host of her pop-up sports clothing boutique, Shop Baseball, Y'all. Always athletic Texans mascot Toro and Texans cheerleaders pumped up the crowd and mingled with the friendly squad from the Houston Dynamo.
It’s not a CultureMap party without drool-worthy bites and cool cocktails, and this year’s participants stepped up with major-league offerings for hungry and thirsty crowds.
Texans legend Jonathan Joseph joined fans for pics and autographs.Photo via PicMe Booth
Game day grub
Check out our Tailgate game day grub participants and use this list as a playbook for your next feast:
- RockHouse Southern Kitchen: Pulled Oxtail Sliders (with house-made habanero pickles and Rock Sauce)
- The Phoenix on Westheimer: Grilled Phoenix Wings (marinated and grilled chicken wings tossed in a Cajun or sriracha rub) and Dancing Beef SkewersBeef (tenderloin cubed and marinated, pan-fried with fresh garlic, onions, jalapeños)
- The Waffle Bus: Seasoned Waffle Fries (topped with fried chicken bites, spicy mayo, and honey butter)
- Good Vibes Coastal Kitchen: Little Knuckle Sandwich (cold-water lobster knuckles sautéed with Cajun garlic butter on a challah roll) and Elote Street Dogs (fresh fried masa batter wagyu dogs garnished with chili aioli, lime, cotija, and cilantro)
- Aiko — winner of the 2023 Tastemaker Awards for Best New Restaurant: Maguro Crudo (smoked bluefin tuna with crispy garlic and pickled cucumbers)
- Home Run Dugout: Chicken Tinga Tostada (charred chicken, chipotle slaw, cilantro lime crema served on a crispy tostada)
- Leaf & Grain: (Brown rice, kale, roasted cage-free chicken thigh, avocado, house TX Cheese blend, cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, black beans, tortilla chips with a chipotle-lime vinaigrette and a lime squeeze)
- FM Kitchen: Smash Burger Sliders (signature smashed patty, American cheese, and caramelized onions) and chicken flautas (served with guacamole, pico de gallo, cotija cheese, and salsa verde)
- Twin Peaks: Billionaire Burger Slider (with sriracha pimento cheese, billionaire’s bacon, lettuce, tomato, beer mustard, and mayo)
- Patterson Park: Bacon-Wrapped Quail with savory BBQ sauce and a Thai Chili Margarita and Berry Lemonade
- Ramen Tatsu-Ya: Chili-Cheese Mazemen (noodles, chili, cheese, pickles, crunchies)
- Wild Concepts: Breakfast tailgate (duck leg confit corn dog, hot mustard, take-out-style duck sauce, “fried egg”) and Coastal Harmony cocktail (1800 blanco infused with coffee, toasted coconut, orange, mandarin, fall spice tincture, ocean tincture, coffee foam)
- M Express Thai Kitchen: Mini Basil Beef Burger, Mini Satay Chicken Wrap, Mini Beef Drunken Hot Dog, and chips and chili dips
- Echoes Cafe: Pork and Chicken Souvlaki, Potato and Cheese Croquettes, Spanakopita
- Patra Lee's Kitchen Handcrafted Heritage Ice Cream (Patra Lee's Kitchen Handcrafted Heritage Ice Cream)
- Pizaro's Pizza — winner of the 2020 Tastemaker Awards for Best Pizza: Fried Alfredo Bites
- Little Woodrows: Chicken Pot (Pie) Stickers (braised chicken, mozzarella, celery, carrots, peas, and onion; served with a chicken cream sauce)
Refreshments included the Sideline Rita, QB Crusher, and Texans Ranch Water made with 1800, the Official Tequila of the Houston Texans; the Peach Fizz and Lemonberry made with Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey; Bud Light; Michelob ULTRA; Karbach Love Street;Estrella Jalisco; Cutwater Tequila’s margarita and Tiki Rum Mai Tai; Cranberry and fruit variety packs from NUTRL; THC seltzers from 8th Wonder; a THC Ranch Water and Paloma from HOWDY; and Beach Break’s SwellBerry THC Seltzer.
This year's tailgate Dish MVP
The battle for the best dish featured many worthy players; in the end, Best Tailgate Dish winner: The Waffle Bus took the prize for Best Tailgate Dish with its Loaded Waffle Fries.
Ladies and gentlemen: Houston's Ultimate Sports Bar is...
And as for the best sports bar? After some elimination rounds, Cobos scored the title of Houston’s Ultimate Sports Bar.
With the champs crowned, guests partied overtime while checking out the sports memorabilia and bidding on the live auction; proceeds benefited the Houston Texans Foundation and the Dynamo Dash Foundation.
Another season in the books, but like all serious sports fans and partiers, we’re 100-percent ready for next season.