March Madness Menus Are Crazy Delicious

LAS VEGAS ( MainStreet) -- The March Madness phenomenon that grips the national sports psyche kicks off this month, and restaurants and bars across the country participate in the "madness" with specials created for their basketball-loving guests.

TravelsinTaste selected some of the more interesting and pleasurable ways to watch the game.

In New York, upscale sports bar and restaurant The 40/40 Club has reopened after a $10 million dollar renovation and expansion in time to serve March Madness recipes from Executive Chef Mike Shand. "We launched a new happy hour menu from 5 to 7 p.m. daily at the beginning of March, in addition to our full dinner menu, wanting to give our loyal customers an added incentive to come straight from work and settle in for the action," says Shand, previously the private chef for Jay-Z. "The menu consists of drink and food specials for $6, with one of the highlights being our signature 40/40 wings. On a big NBA night, we'll sell over 100 orders of these wings -- the equivalent of 120 pounds of wings total, so with March Madness and this new pricing earlier in the evening, we're expecting to see the numbers skyrocket."

Holsteins Shakes and Buns in The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas will be serving The Bracket Burger during the entire NCAA tournament. The 8-ounced dry-aged beef patty is topped with American cheese, a fried egg, firecracker onions, lettuce, tomato, avocado, spicy mustard and barbecue sauce and served with a choice of shoestring or steak fries. "Nothing goes better than burgers and basketball. The Bracket Burger was created for the big tournament and pairs perfectly with a beer while cheering on the March Madness action," says Anthony Meidenbauer, the restaurant's corporate executive chef.
Lagasse's Stadium in Las Vegas offers more than 100 televisions for watching March Madness games.

Guests can enjoy prime game-watching and slam-dunk drink specials during the monthlong celebration at the newly renovated Minus5 Ice Bar at Mandalay Place. Minus5 now features 10 state-of-the-art high-definition televisions, including a 72-inch LED, as well as some of the finest imported glass tiles, exotic designer stone and innovative lighting. Guests can indulge in the new premium daiquiri bar, which features seven frosty flavors including the -5 Margarita, Frozen Coconuts, Watermelon Freeze and Grape Glacier. An array of sizes are available, from the 20-ouncer to the impressive 100-ouncer yard drink.

At Lagasse's Stadium in The Palazzo guests can enjoy celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse's signature fare (such as the grilled chicken and cheese quesadilla or variety of sliders with shoestring fries in addition to small bites such as pretzels and beer cheese sauce washed down with drink specials) while watching the games on more than 100 high-definition televisions, including the 9-by-16-foot main television. They can also use "pocketcasino" devices to place bets.

There's also drinking for a good cause. The Sports Bar at MGM Mirage is serving up mix-and-match buckets of five beers in addition to shots of Jameson with a portion of all proceeds going to the V Foundation, dedicated to helping cure cancer in memory of North Carolina State University Basketball Coach Jim Valvano.

At The Sporting House Bar & Grill at New York-New York, you can enjoy the game on more than 130 television monitors throughout the facility. The Screening Room features two 16-foot, high-definition screens and a dozen 36-inch high-definition video monitors. Tiered seating assures that all guests have a perfect view for every game. Individual video monitors allow guests to keep track of the action while they enjoy favorite items such as a 24-ounce Big Daddy Domestic Draft Slow Roasted Prime Rib of Beef.

At Society Cafe Encore in Wynn's Encore resort, executive chef and managing partner Kim Canteenwalla is serving up a slam-dunk selection of his most popular signature items. The menu includes macaroni and cheese bites with a truffle dipping sauce and "lollipop" chicken wings with a blue cheese dipping sauce. "We selected small-plate items to complement the fun and social setting in our bar and lounge," Canteenwalla says. "The area has seven flat-screen televisions, making Society Cafe Encore a great location to watch sporting events." Two-for-one drink specials are also available.

In California, The Malibu Inn, an iconic restaurant, bar and live music venue on the Pacific Coast Highway across from the Malibu Pier, plans to offer its "Final Four" -- Buffalo Soldiers, Highway to Hell Burger and the Beer in the Bag special (a 24-ounce Pabst Blue Ribbon in a brown paper bag with a shot of Jack Daniels) plus the Slam Dunk -- a deep-fried PB&J with a specialty cocktail. The beachside restaurant has 16 flat-screen TVs and a 6-by-10 projection screen. "The Malibu Inn is a great spot to watch all the big games, from outside viewing on the patio TVs to inside at the bar. Our signature Highway to Hell burger is a favorite, and for March Madness it gets even better paired with the Buffalo Soldiers, a beer and a shot. Or go a little sweeter with the Deep Fried PB & J," says Justin Lewis, executive chef.

Go team!

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