• Cashing in on Casino Cuisine

    Four Minnesota casinos offer winning options beyond buffets.

     
    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE
     
  • Cashing in on Casino Cuisine

    Four Minnesota casinos offer winning options beyond buffets.

     
    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE
     

    Black Bear Casino

    <p>Black Bear Casino</p>
  • Cashing in on Casino Cuisine

    Four Minnesota casinos offer winning options beyond buffets.

     
    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE
     
  • Cashing in on Casino Cuisine

    Four Minnesota casinos offer winning options beyond buffets.

     
    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE
     

    Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

    <p>Mystic Lake Casino Hotel</p>

With many high-probability payouts, casino buffets are a smart bet. But four Minnesota casinos offer big prizes from their sometimes overlooked restaurants, cafes and grills.

"The gaming cart is not always a win, but the restaurant gives value to the entire visit," says Mike Engel about the Grand Northern Grill at Grand Casino Mille Lacs. "We always say that we can’t guarantee anything that happened on the [gaming] floor, but we can guarantee that you will be completely satisfied in the restaurants."

And here are four winning options to host your next event:

GRAND NORTHERN GRILL
Grand Casino Mille Lacs

Near the west shore of Mille Lacs Lake, this restaurant will welcome your group into a quaint, cabin-like setting in the Northwoods. The grill can seclude your small group in a private setting with its library room, complete with bookshelves, as well as stone and wood accents. "It’s an Up North, woodsy feel," Engel says.

And its homestyle comfort foods will match that feeling. You can sip on Marge’s Wild Rice Soup, a famous recipe once distributed beyond the Northwoods, an Asian stir-fry or a cut of prime rib done the Grand Way, which is slow-roasted to start and char-grilled to finish.

The restaurant can host groups up to 25 in the library room or the balcony, while larger groups-as with all casinos included here-have the option of convention centers complete with choice cuisines.

SEVEN FIRES STEAK HOUSE
Black Bear Casino

This luxurious restaurant doesn’t call for a black tie dress code, but it’s complete with white linen service and an upscale menu of made-from scratch favorites.

Seven Fires serves certified Hereford beef, with popular cuts such as rib-eye, New York strip and prime rib, not to mention its succulent seafood specials. For special groups of up to 30, and total seating for about 100, Seven Fires has been winning over groups en masse.

"We take quite a bit of pride in the food; it’s very good," says Gerald Bayerl, executive chef at all of Black Bear Casino’s restaurant and catering options. "All the comment cards that we get, or at least a lot of them, say it’s the best one of any gaming casino that they’ve been to."

CURRENTS RESTAURANT
Treasure Island Resort & Casino

The Currents’ specials are the bison burgers, which are special because the restaurant purchases the meat from the nearby herd run by the Prairie Island Indian Community of Mdewakanton Sioux. "It’s a local product, and we are happy to sell it here," says Mark Dunn, director of hospitality at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

For large groups, such as corporate events and weddings, the Island Event Center can provide banquet service. Otherwise, Currents provides a casual dining atmosphere and a menu comprised primarily of comfort food to accommodate smaller groups.
 

MEADOWS BAR AND GRILLE
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel

It’s upscale, yet has the big game on television. It’s part country club, part casino. It’s onion rings, and it’s moo shu tacos.

Meadows Bar and Grille has the variety that will satisfy all members of your eclectic group, from eight to 20. With a recent bar face-lift, Meadows is a newer option at an established casino just south of the Twin Cities.

"It’s upscale bar food," and it’s much more than that, says Richard Fisher, executive chef at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. Besides traditional starters, tequila sunrise chicken, walleye and Angus burgers round out the palate pleasing menu.

As Fisher puts it: "There’s a little bit of everything for everyone here."

Meeting Information
Black Bear Casino
Square Feet: 17,000
Spaces: Six breakout rooms
Capacity: Groups up to 800

Grand Casino Mille Lacs
Square Feet: 16,000+
Spaces: Two grand ballrooms that break into nine rooms
Capacity: More than 1,200

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Square Feet: 64,000
Spaces: Four ballrooms, about 25 flexible rooms
Capacity: Consistent basis of 500 to 600

Treasure Island Resort & Casino
Square Feet: 50,000+
Spaces: Event center, about 25 flexible rooms
Capacity: Banquet seating for 1,000

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