Manitoba Casino's Lead in Food Satisfaction
Manitoba's casinos are garnering rave reviews for their eateries — not only for the food itself but for the values and ethics that go behind the food production.
The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation has committed to supporting the local economy by buying as much of their food as possible from local vendors and suppliers. In the last year alone the food purchases from local merchants for the two Winnipeg casinos doubled, meaning that the at least 25% of the casinos' annual $4 million food budget will stay in the province.
Presently the program focuses on two Winnipeg casinos, the McPhillips Station Casino and the Club Regent Casino. These casino venues supply approximately 9,000 meals weekly.
One local food that is being highlighted at the Winnipeg casinos is a local fish, pickerel. The local eco-friendly pickerel is bought fresh from the only environmentally certified fishery in Manitoba. Diners can see the blue mark that shows that the pickerel is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council and is eco-friendly, having been caught locally. The blue label certifies that all of the companies that were involved in the supply chain,including the Waterhen Lake Fisheries and the Skownan First Nation in the Interlake region, north of Winnipeg, are independently certified and demonstrate the highest international standardards of environmental sustainability. Waterhen Lake Fisheries is the fourth fresh water fishery in the world to obtain the MSC certification. They demonstrate that their fish stocks are being fished at levels in which the stocks will be sustained indefinitely while they simultaneously minimize the impact on the ecosystem.
For the Manitoba Lotteries and Liquor Corporation, as well as for the casinos, the stress on local, sustainable food for its casino sites is a win-win situation. Increasing numbers of casino visitors are interested in enjoying their casino recreation in a way that promotes their values and commitments to sustainability and environmental consciousness. Stefan Epp-Koop, Director of Food Matters Manitoba, calls the casino's decision to focus on local, sustainable food "probably the best example of institutions that have really stepped up in the past year."
South Beach Casino and Resort
The South Beach Casino and Resort offers an example of how a commitment to local food can positively impact on a restaurant's creativity and quality. The casino's flagship restaurant, Mangos, is overseen by Chef Dave MacPherson. who recently returned home to Manitoba after apprenticing at Chateau Lake Louise. He was working at a five-star restaurant in Winnipeg when an executive from South Beach convinced him to take over the casino's restaurant.
MacPherson brings his Manitoba pride into his kitchen where he focuses his culinary efforts on preparing local products and produce to the best advantage "I believe in using food that is as fresh as possible. Everything here is prepared in-house from scratch," he says.
His signature dishes include Bison Ribs which honor the cuisine of the First Nations. "We incorporate bison meat and bannock into the menu" MacPherson says. "Our biggest focus here though is giving people outstanding value for their money." Additional locally-inspired dishes include an Angus beef T-bone steak and the Seafood Feast Buffet.
Reviewers unanimously report that the food is mouth-watering, fresh and is served hot all throughout the day. "We want to bring people out to the casino and make them happy," MacPherson says. "We often have more people than staff and yet each week we not only pull it off, but we have people eagerly coming back for more."
South Beach Casino and Resort
The South Beach Casino and resort has a lot more to offer than the restaurant. On the gaming floor the expansive casino venue offers 600 slot machines with the best from IGT, Aristocrat, Williams, Konami, Bally and Spieto software developers. The slots range from 1 cent slot machines to $5 machines and include penny slots and games with progressive jackpots. People who want to play old-time slots can access a traditional mechanical-reel style slot machine while gamers who want a more interactive, high-energy slots experience can play a five-reel video slots with bonus features.
Table game options include Classic Blackjack, Double Deck Blackjack, Midi Baccarat, Texas Hold â€˜Em Poker and Fortune Pai Gow Poker.
An Ocean Club membership grants valued casino guests Players Points for all of their slots and table game activities. These points can be redeemed for cash and complementary services including special events and exclusive promotions that occur throughout the year. Complementary services are available at the Mango's restaurant, the Blue Dolphin Lounge, the Coral Reef Gift Shop, the South Beach Cafe and the South Beach hotel.
If you're an Ocean Club member you'll be able to earn Beach Bucks for slot machine play or Comp Dollars for your table game activities. Every time that you collect 400 points for slots gaming you receive $1 in Beach Bucks. The table game that you play determines the Comp Dollar give-aways.
All players are eligible to join the sports pools and other contests for sports event ticket give-aways that are held periodically at the casino.
The Blue Dolphin Lounge hosts a wide range of performances every Friday and Saturday night.The free live entertainment includes single performers and bands singing everything from Country and Pop music to Classic Rock, Jazz, Blues and more. The performances are begin at 8:00p.m. and run until 12:00a.m.
South Beach Casino and Resort is located Hours on the southern shores of Lake Winnipeg, approximately an hour northeast of Winnipeg. Hours of operation are Mondays through Saturdays from 10:00a.m. to 3:00a.m. and on Sundays from noon to 3:00a.m.