Up all nite

Phillip Brents

Fri May 27, 2016 1:19pm

Up late at night? Got the munchies? Then Harvey’s Lounge at Seven Mile Casino has something tasty for you.
There’s more to the casino, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, than just gaming. There’s food – and a surprisingly diverse menu that is starting to draw denizens off the street for a taste and see.
Many are coming back.
“Nobody is serving anything like this,” explained Chris Logan, who serves as the casino’s food and beverage director. “We’re a little different from card rooms in that we cater to the high end and the regular customer as well. We offer good quality at very reasonable prices. We want to accommodate the diners who come in but we also want to take care of the gamers because that’s our primary business.”
Inside there are about a dozen tables for customer seating, plus a bar.
Outdoors is the real payout with heat lamps and a fire pit. The bar also opens to the outside for easy ordering to quench one’s thirst.
The casino can accommodate about 80 people for private parties.
The kitchen is open 24 hours.
Breakfast is served from midnight to 11:30 a.m. Starters and appetizers are served from 11:30 a.m. to midmnight. The popular Asian flavors menu is served from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.
The lounge also offers daily specials.
The garlic pepper chicken wings are among the most popular menu items. Logan estimates the casino goes through about a thousand pounds of the single-joint meaty wings each month.
They’re crispy, not wet, with a hint of Asian spices. Best of all, they’re easy finger food whether dining in the lounge or playing at a table.
Logan, who has been in the food and beverage business for 42 years, is especially proud of the prime grade of meat served at the casino. It is rated among the top two percent of meat sold to restaurants, he said.
The meat used in the kung pao beef we had a chance to sample was tender and tasty.
Breakfast items run the gamut from pancakes to oatmeal. Want an omelet? Harvey’s Lounge has those!
How about a deluxe hamburger? They’re good any time of the day.
Did we say the menu is diverse? The 62 items we counted to choose from include appetizers, salads, sandwiches, tacos, sides and desserts besides main entrée items.
Prices are very reasonable, with many items on the menu under $10 and most under $15.
What makes Harvey’s Lounge unique is that the menu includes regular dining fare as well as that geared more toward gourmet cuisine, especially with colorful design and presentation.
The casino does not skimp on portions. A 14 oz. prime grade New York steak is $29, a 16 oz. prime grade rib-eye steak is $37, a Colorado lamb chop is $39, fresh seared salmon is $18 and a whole fish is $17.
Everything we tasted during our visit we liked, especially the roasted beet salad with its bursting-with-amazing-flavor vinaigrette dressing. The pork carnitas plate was piled high with tender, non-stringy meat.
The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Sixteen beers are on tap, plus specialty drinks, vodka, cognac and tequilas.
It’s meeting and serving people that pleases Logan. Working at the casino offers the best opportunity to do just that.
“I love cooking, I love people,” he said. “There are other things you can do. But where can you come into contact with people from so many walks of life and cook for them?”
Seven Mile Casino is located at 285 Bay Blvd., Chula Vista. For more information, visit the website at www.sevenmilecasino.com or call (619) 425-3333.