FOOD IDEAS FOR THE UNOFFICIAL KICKOFF TO SUMMER
Memorial Day is one of the most eagerly-anticipated holidays of the year, and with good reason. It’s the unofficial start of summer and the official end of sweater weather, when we can pull our shorts and tank tops out of mothballs, get together with friends, enjoy a day off work, eat some great memorial day food, crack open a cold one, and give a toast to those who have served our country.
Do People BBQ for Memorial Day?
If someone has a BBQ grill and doesn’t fire it up at least once over Memorial Day weekend, then they might as well not own a grill at all. Grilling is the ultimate warm-weather activity, and over the years grilling up some meats has become synonymous with celebrating Memorial Day.
What Do Americans Eat on Memorial Day?
Food is a central element of any proper Memorial Day gathering, and certain foods just lend themselves to the holiday better than others.
Smoky barbecue is the perfect food for a warm-weather gathering. Whether it’s Texas-style smoked beef brisket or ribs, saucy Memphis ribs, or tangy Carolina-style pulled pork, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Terry Black’s Texas-Sized Smoked Beef Ribs
With four generations of pitmaster experience, the Black family knows Texas barbecue, and Terry Black’s is home to some of the best BBQ in Austin. Terry Black’s sources the best Prime beef ribs, which they smoke for over 12 hours using slow-burning Post Oak wood, giving the meat a deep smoky flavor that the pretenders can’t match.
Melissa Cookston’s Memphis BBQ Sampler
The only woman to be crowned a World BBQ Champion, Melissa Cookston forged her reputation in the fires of the world’s toughest BBQ competitions. She has gained great recognition and respect, winning literally thousands of awards and 7 World BBQ Championships.
She’s curated this Barbecue Sampler Box containing slow-smoked ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken, and smoked wings with her new Buffalo Flavor Dust. Round out the meal with some amazing slow-cooked baked beans and her signature Poblano Creamed Corn.
Kings BBQ’s Carolina BBQ Sampler
Kings BBQ was founded more than 75 years ago in Kinston, North Carolina. Three generations later, Kings is now renowned for its signature hand-chopped pork — slow-smoked, pulled, and doused with a mild vinegar sauce, as only true North Carolina ’cue is prepared. The BBQ Oink Sampler includes all of Kings’ top sellers, including Hand Chopped Pork, Pork Ribs, Brunswick Stew, Potato Salad and more!
Burgers & Hot Dogs
When it’s time to fire up the grill, nothing gets the party started like a thick burger made with top-quality beef or a snappy hot dog. Don’t forget to load up on the toppings!
Pat LaFrieda’s Steak & Burger Sampler
In New York City, Pat LaFrieda is synonymous with top-notch beef. Founded as a Brooklyn butcher shop by Anthony LaFrieda in 1922, the New York butcher has been passed down through the generations and is today run by LaFrieda’s great-grandson, Pat. This steak and burger combo pack is perfect for the grill: four custom-blend six-ounce Gold Label Burgers and two inch-thick dry-aged bone-in ribeyes!
Geoffrey Zakarian’s Ugly Burger
New from legendary New York chef and Food Network legend, the Ugly Burger is actually a real beauty. A Certified Angus Beef patty is tucked into a fresh-baked onion bun and topped with Gruyere cheese and pickled cucumber, onion, and jalapeño before being finished with a signature sweet & tangy burger sauce. Served with a side of crispy fries!
Gray’s Papaya’ New York Hot Dog Kit
For five decades, Gray’s Papaya has been THE place for hungry New Yorkers to get their hot dog fix. Snappy-skinned all-beef hot dogs are loaded with sauerkraut, onions in sauce, and spicy mustard, tucked into a locally-baked bun, and accompanied by Gray’s signature frothy Papaya Drink. It’s tart, creamy, and made with real papaya purée.
We’re not talking about your standard ham & cheese here – these legendary sandwiches are downright life-changing, and hefty enough to feed a crowd!
Shaq’s Big Chicken Feast
Big Chicken is Shaq’s fast-casual concept, and it’s already made a Shaq-sized splash on the Las Vegas Strip and in Glendale, California, with more locations in the works. His signature chicken sandwich is made by serving crispy chicken on an artisan brioche bun with Nashville Hot Sauce, Shaq Sauce, and pickles included. This Big Chicken Feast also includes mac & cheese and jalapeno slaw!
Central Grocery’s Original Muffuletta
Central Grocery first opened its doors in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter in 1906, and it’s the birthplace of one of the city’s quintessential sandwiches: the muffuletta. Each muffuletta sandwich is made on a 10-inch round Sicilian sesame loaf that stays crusty despite all its fillings and is big enough to feed a group. It’s piled with ham, salami, mortadella, Swiss, Provolone, and a signature briny marinated olive salad made with olives and other tasty pickled veggies.
Tony Boloney’s Sub Sandwich Sampler
A true Jersey original, Tony Boloney’s is much more than just a pizza joint. Case in point: owner Mike Hauke’s wildly creative – and wildly delicious – sandwiches! This Sub Sandwich Sampler is a pack of eight of his most iconic sandwiches, including:
- Olé Cheesesteak (mezcal-marinated shaved ribeye steak, chipotle sauce, homemade queso Oaxaca “Mexican string cheese,” caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, and cilantro)
- Punjabo Parm (tikka masala fried chicken, fresh mozzarella, green chutney, cilantro, seeded roll)
- The Snuggla (chicken cutlet, creamy tomato soup, melted muenster, smoked bacon, crouton dust)
A lobster roll is so much more than just a sandwich – this taste of New England is arguably the best way to enjoy fresh Maine lobster, and it’s one of the most luxurious handheld foods in existence.
Read More: What is a Lobster Roll, Exactly?
Beal’s Lobster Pier’s Lobster Rolls
Beal’s Lobster Pier has been providing Bar Harbor and the rest of Maine with the freshest boat-to-table lobsters and seafood since 1932. Each Beal’s lobster roll is a butter brioche piled high with 1/4 pound of lobster per roll.
The Clam Shack’s Maine Lobster Roll Kit
The Clam Shack, perched on a bridge in the heart of Kennebunkport, has been serving up irresistible fried seafood, clam chowder, fried clams, and — most importantly — some of Maine’s best lobster rolls since 1968. The lobsters used in these impressive sandwiches are caught a five-minute drive from the shop, and they’re boiled, picked and tucked into a toasted custom-made round roll with a smear of mayo and a drizzle of butter.
McLoons Lobster Shack’s Complete Lobster Dinner
McLoons is a family-owned lobster shack located on a working lobster wharf in South Thomaston on Maine’s off-the-beaten-path Spruce Head Island. This sweet, fresh, and meaty lobster is plucked fresh from local waters, and it’s served in a signature half-and-half lobster roll (half butter, half mayo). This Complete Lobster Dinner includes creamy lobster stew to start and blueberry white chocolate bread pudding for dessert.
BBQ Side Dishes
No cookout worth its salt is complete without some incredible side dishes. Skip the gloopy macaroni salad and go with BBQ sides hand-crafted at some of America’s top BBQ joints to really wow your crowd!
Ed Mitchell & Sons’ Eastern Carolina BBQ Sides
Growing up in small-town Wilson, North Carolina, Ed Mitchell learned how to smoke whole hog barbecue while helping his parents run their grocery, and he continues to carry on this tradition of old-school, homestyle BBQ. With this Side Sampler, you can take your pick from Ed’s signature Carolina-style collard greens, braised for hours; Traditional Brunswick stew chock-full of pork, chicken, corn, okra, and lima beans; his famous triple bean Carolina baked beans; and his decadently rich sweet potato casserole with marshmallow pecan topping.
Mighty Quinn’s BBQ’s Southern Sides
Mighty Quinn’s founder and pitmaster Hugh Mangum, who opened the barbecue joint in the East Village in 2011, has created one of the absolute best BBQ joints in New York City, with some of its best BBQ sides. Mighty Quinn’s sweet potato casserole is from an old family recipe and finished with maple and pecans for a flavor you’re not going to find anywhere else. Add in a container of Mighty Quinn’s famous baked beans, mixed with their delicious burnt ends, and award-winning mac & cheese, and you have the perfect sides for any meal.
Jack Stack’s Kansas City BBQ Sides
Founded by Russ Fiorella, Jack Stack BBQ began in 1957 as a traditional Kansas City storefront barbecue restaurant, and since then it’s evolved into one of America’s most legendary and celebrated BBQ joints. This is an assortment of Jack Stack BBQ’s famous sides, including slow-cooked hickory pit beans, deliciously creamy cheesy corn bake, and savory cheesy potatoes.
Cakes & Pies
You can’t forget about summer dessert! From ice cream cakes to whoopie pies to pies loaded with fresh seasonal fruit, these are an ideal way to send your guests home with a smile on their face.
Davey’s Ice Cream’s Vanilla and Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Cake
David Yoo decided to quit his career in fashion and design to pursue his dream of launching his very own creative ice cream company. Davey’s Ice Cream was the result, and it proved to be one of the best ice cream shops in all of New York City.
This spectacular ice cream cake has a base of cookies & cream ice cream made with dark chocolate wafer cookies. The top layer is classic vanilla ice cream, and in-between the two is rich chocolate cookie fudge crunch! It’s topped with homemade whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.
Petee’s Pie Company’s Wild Blueberry Bake-at-Home Pie
Petra “Petee” Paredez grew up in Leesburg, Virginia, where her parents own a pie bakery, and she founded Petee’s Pie Company in New York in 2014, This Bake-at-Home Blueberry Pie is made with organic wild blueberries from Josh Pond Farm in Whiting, Maine, organic flour from Champlain Valley Milling, and grass-fed butter from Kriemhild Dairy, and it will make your house smell absolutely amazing!
Good Cakes & Bakes’ Strawberry Crunch Cake
Detroit native April Anderson knew that she wanted to be a baker by the age of 9, and in 2013 she teamed up with her wife Michelle and opened Good Cakes & Bakes in Detroit. This show-stopping strawberry cake contains two layers of strawberry cake (made with fresh strawberry purée) and one layer of ultra-moist yellow vanilla cake, It’s topped with whipped cream cheese frosting and crunchy Golden Oreo crumbs.
So invite over your friends, fire up the grill, crack open a cold one, enjoy the sunshine, and dig into the finest Memorial Day foods on earth, shipping nationwide on Goldbelly!