"I'm not a football man, I'm a party man, so if there's a party, I'm in. If there's something where people are gathering around the TV to watch, I'll be there," says Marc Murphy, owner and executive chef at the Benchmarc restaurants in New York City. We hit up Ditch Plains, his surf-themed fish shack on Manhattan's Upper West Side, to grab some ideal tailgating recipes and found something better than a chili dog. This sloppy joe dog wishes it was a chili dog.

"When I compose dishes I like to have the right amount of protein, the right amount of sauce. Same thing with tailgating food, like these Sloppy Dogs — you've got the meat in the sauce, the hot dog and the bun. You get all three components at the same time and it's a harmonious bite. That's a good moment to me, the perfect bite."