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Food for sports fanatics is fueled by new twists

This Fried Chicken   Waffle is different kind sports-viewing meal offered The Game located Blue Chip Casino Hotel

This Fried Chicken & Waffle is a different kind of sports-viewing meal offered at The Game, located in Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City. Costing $11, the comfort food features double-battered chicken breast, waffle, egg, bacon, Tabasco honey glaze and maple syrup. | Photo provided

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Throwing a changeup

Whether it’s called sports grub or game-day food, the fare that is wolfed down while watching the big game doesn’t have to be pedestrian.

Here are three examples of culinary diversity at The Game, the sports-themed restaurant at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City.

† Dijon aioli sauce, served with house-made pickle chips.

† Cajun remoulade sauce, served with Shrimp Po Boy sandwich.

† Buttered brioche bun, for Meatloaf Sandwich.

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Updated: January 5, 2014 6:10AM



Game-day food is comfort food.

It’s often rich and perhaps a bit sinful.

Blue Chip Casino likes to say it serves comfort food “with sophistication” at The Game.

Featuring salmon salad and Italian beef pizza, The Game has been touting a new menu designed to dish out a flavorful twist to sports watching at the Michigan City casino.

Specialty room chef Erik Keever said it was a matter of reviewing sports-bar food, and asking, “What can you do to enhance it?”

In that vein, the revamped menu features The Doughnut, an Angus beef patty between two glazed doughnuts, accented by bacon and a maple glaze.

“It brings back that whole salty-sweet thing, like caramel popcorn,” said Keever, the culinary guru for The Game, which is the 116-seat restaurant with a Las Vegas sports-book theme inside Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa.

The restaurant-bar has plenty of large television screens for fans of athletic competitions who are hungry to catch their favorite teams ... and just plain hungry.

According to Keever, The Doughnut is an unorthodox hamburger at first glance, but it wields clout: “You’ll get people that might cringe, but then when they try it, they love it.”

Debuting in late summer, The Game’s new menu stemmed from the efforts of Blue Chip folks to “see what’s trending,” said Keever, a LaPorte resident.

“It’s just taking a twist on a classic item, and then making it your own,” the chef said.

The Game’s Reuben hot dog is an example of putting a spin on popular mainstream chow.

The Reuben hot dog is a Vienna Beef dog with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and thousand island dressing.

Also unique are The Game’s Fried Chicken & Waffle, and the crowd-pleasing Loaded Nachos, which are spiced up with chorizo and queso fresco.

At Bridges’ Scoreboard Restaurant & Sports Bar in Griffith, there is room for a lemon pepper salmon fillet that adds seafood muscle to the hearty offerings at this haven for sports enthusiasts.

“We might take a version of our burger, and add to it and kind of experiment,” said Scott Bridges, who owns the restaurant-bar along with his brother, Jeff.

Outfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who used to play for the Chicago Cubs, was honored with the Fukudome burger when he still played for the Windy City club.

Bridges’ tops the meat with teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple.

Scott Bridges believes such finger food — which does not require dining utensils — is more accommodating for watching the big football matchup.

“People are into the game and they can just kind of still be focused on the TV, reach down and grab something to eat,” Bridges noted. “They’re not worrying about slicing a steak ... . They got a lot going on at one time. You get a lot of guys that are following their fantasy football team.”

Over at The Game in Michigan City, 10-ounce gourmet burgers — a favorite non-utensil meal — start at $10, while a distinct appetizer like Smoked Brisket Chili with Cornbread goes for $6.

A noteworthy contribution to game-day food is the Brew Burger — with onion rings — at Wings Etc. Grill & Pub in Valparaiso.

This particular hamburger is topped with house-made beer cheese that is crafted with light beer, according to Wings Etc. general manager Ryan Moss.

Laced with honey mustard, the burger is served on a pretzel bun — a trendy bun at casual-dining places in the United States.

“It’s definitely different than your average onion or wheat bun,” Moss said. “It’s a little bit thicker. It kind of holds the burger together pretty well.”

Jumbo shrimp is one of the seafood items at Wings Etc., which showcases sports on 17 large screens, Moss said.



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