Bob “Cav” Cavanaugh: the definition of TAILGATE

Oct 6, 2010

By Patty-Pat Kozlowski

Cav_Eagle_ExpressTAILGATE–noun 1.) the board or gate at the back of a wagon, truck, station wagon, etc., which can be removed or let down for convenience in loading or unloading of picnic items to be consumed before a sporting event. 2.) Bob “Cav” Cavanaugh.

You can find the definition of TAILGATE in the upper lot of the Jethro Parking Lot located a Hail Mary Pass away from Lincoln Financial Field hours and hours before the kickoff of a Philadelphia Eagles Game.

All you need to do is look for the Eagles Express Minibus and yell “Yo Cav!” and you’ve got yourself front row seats on the 50 yard line of the ultimate tailgate. Just follow the roaring sea of green jerseyed fans flocking around Cav’s Catering.

25 years ago, Bob Cavanaugh, a northeast Philly guy and PGW employee was cooking on a small grill for ten guys in the Vet Stadium Parking lot before an Eagle Game.

But the purchase of two big green machines changed all that and his tailgates exploded.

The first, of course was his Eagles Express minibus. “Since I bought the bus, the parties got better,” Cav said.

On the side of the bus, two taps of Coors Light and Yuengling keep everyone happy whether the Eagles win or lose.

But the real deal came in 2008 when Cav bought his six burner Coleman Event Grill (The Godfather of Tailgate grills) with lids that he customized with Eagles logo and had specially made with steel handles.

Sitting on two steel carpenter horses, Cav’s Coleman cranks out his infamous filet mignon sandwiches, sausage and peppers, penne pasta with shrimp in a blush crème sauce, chicken cutlets, roast pork sandwiches on Cacia’s bakery rolls, kielbasa and sauerkraut and shrimp and scallop kabobs. Oh and a roasted pig!

Yeah. Hot dogs it ain’t. And Cav is more than just a guy in the parking lot with a grill. He’s the three-time winner of the Jack Daniel’s Great American Tailgate Party contest. Winner of the Philadelphia Daily News 2004 Tailgate Award. Cav has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Food Section and on the Food Network.

And it’s not just the parking lot of the Linc that Cav cooks on-he’s a mobile caterer and has a unique product that brings the ultimate tailgate experience to you. Cav’s Catering is available for all types of events; Weddings, Bachelor- Bachelorette parties, Graduation parties, Birthday parties, Family reunions, outdoor BBQ parties, corporate luncheons, and fundraiser parties. You name it and Cav can cater it.

Go to or call him at 215-301-8337 and you’ll never go back to hot dogs on game day again.

Here’s Cav’s recipe for his award winning Filet Mignon Sandwich:

*Just like the night before Thanksgiving, you brind your bird in sea salt to make it moist and juicy, Cav recommends mixing and combining all marinade ingredients together.

¼ cup of jack Daniels Whiskey

¼ cup of soy sauce

¼ cup Dijon-style mustard

¼ cup minced green onions

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon of course salt

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Pepper to taste.

Now for the meat, Cav uses inch rounds of filet mignon. Grab 2 bell peppers-your choice of red, yellow or green, an onion and a 12 ounce can of the beer of your choice. Cav preaches that Cacia’s Bakery in South Philly is the epitome of tailgate sandwich rolls and your choice of American or provolone is all good.

You’ll want to pound the filet to tenderize and flatten them the night before and throw them in a big gallon zipper bag with your marinade and let them party together overnight. Cut up your peps and onions and plastic baggie them too overnight.

On game day, sauté your peps and onions in beer over medium heat until al dente. All that marinade for the steaks pays off for you. All you gotta do is grill them 3 minutes per side on medium high heat for medium rare. You can figure out the roll and cheese construction. Enjoy, it feeds 6 but you’ll want seconds.

by | Categories: Dining Out, Restaurants |