Who ever would have thought that the best place for lobster creme brulee is a sports bar—well, sports grill, that is. I used to think that sports-themed places always meant blaring television sets and at best mediocre food. Not true at many cool spots, as the trend continues to bring higher quality food, comfortable seating and an atmosphere that can let you relax and have a nice meal or cheer on your favorite team. In fact, acclaimed chef Emeril Lagasse even entered the sports restaurant arena in Las Vegas last year.
Sporting News Grill at the new Holiday Inn next to the Convention Center (in the old Sam’s Club space behind the airport) is anything but typical. The hotel itself has a South Beach feel without the beach. The lobby compares to the pricey boutique hotels in Manhattan. Just off the posh lobby with its Zen water wall sits Sporting News Grill, a casual eatery with large flat-screen televisions, comfortable space and executive chef Darrel Mizel’s flair for bringing a casual twist to his creations.
The lobby of the new Holiday Inn by the Convention Center is as posh as South Beach.
The menu is what one expects, but the daily creations are completely out of the box. We went the gamut from massive nachos, a menu mainstay, to the featured appetizer of the night, lobster crème brulee. At $7.95, it was creamy, cheesy and had plenty of Maine lobster, an uptown dish in an uptown atmosphere. The second feature, the Asian wrap, was refreshing and, again, a head shaker to remind us we really were at a sports watching venue.
The nachos really are massive, and a tip of the hat to the kitchen for ensuring enough cheese went all the way to the bottom, along with chili, guacamole and sour cream. Sure bet is the All-Star Angus Burger with blue cheese, bacon and barbecue sauce. And, of course, there are all those sporty foods like cheese steak and buffalo wings.
Now that’s what I call nachos.
So, as I was sitting looking out the glass windows at the large fire pit and outdoor couches, finishing every bite of Chef Darrel’s delicious homemade Key lime pie, I realized that fellow blogger Hannah Wallace and I have struck a common chord. When she’s coming back from a hockey game, I’ll have a cold one waiting for her and the team by the fire pit.
Chef Darrel serves up his homemade treats.
Look for cigars and sports talk when the weather cools.