OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Blue Chip really on its 'Game' with new dining menu

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-09-16T00:00:00Z 2013-09-16T12:00:06Z OFFBEAT: Blue Chip really on its 'Game' with new dining menuBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

Tailgating football festivities were in full gear over the weekend with Notre Dame's big win over Purdue on Saturday backed by great September weather.

Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa offers guests the best of every world for sports fans with a great combo of fine yet casual dining, mixed with a bit of tailgating excitement and blended with all the TV comforts of home times 20!

Though I've written about their unique and entertaining restaurant It's Vegas Baby! at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, the next door adjoining eatery called The Game offers some tough competition, providing an equally royal treatment experience, surrounded by large screen televisions at every turn.

Last month, I teamed up with my columnist colleague Eloise Valadez, who pens our Friday Restaurant Scene feature, to join her for a night out sampling a brand new menu just unveiled at The Game on Sept. 1. It's a collaboration between the casino's specialty chef Erik Keever and executive chef Patrick Higgins. This new packed menu features a variety of items in all categories from appetizers to desserts.

"We want to bring something unique to diners," Keever told Eloise as we dined.

He received a degree in culinary arts at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago and began working at the casino's buffet three years ago and stepped up to his position as specialty chef for The Game and It's Vegas Baby! at the casino last fall. Previously, he was assistant food and beverage manager at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton.

During the menu unveiling event I attended with Eloise, Keever showcased an array of recipes stamped with innovative and creative touches. We both agreed the offerings surpass the usual expected recipes found at a typical sports bar.

As Eloise described: "Even hamburgers and hot dogs are transformed into unique creations blending unusual flavors that pleased the palate."

From Frickles, which Keever explained were pickle chips (made in-house) served with a Dijon aioli sauce to loaded nachos, featuring a pico de gallo-style fire-roasted salsa and cilantro lime sour cream and main entrees like a hearty salmon salad which showcases raspberry vinaigrette and is garnished with dried cranberries, egg and toasted almonds, there's something for every taste.

Keever likes to surprise tastebuds and has made it his trademark to dream up innovative takes on traditional fare, like his PB & J Burger slathered with peanut butter and also his "bacon jam" on top of an Angus beef patty. His Reuben Hot Dog is a Vienna beef dog adorned with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.

Some of Eloise's other favorite picks included a Shrimp Po Boy, Italian Beef Pizza and Fried Chicken and Waffles. The last, as Eloise describes it, is "a hearty sandwich-type dish, which is a double-battered chicken breast, waffle, bacon, egg, maple syrup and Tabasco honey glaze."

The Game's prices range from about $8 for appetizers to about $12 for pizzas and assorted entrees. Hamburgers cost $10.

FYI: The Game at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays; noon to 11 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 9 p.m. Sundays. Visit bluechipcasino.com

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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