Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel – Tama, Iowa
An Interview with Brian “Boomer” Ehrig, Executive Chef
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel offers many dining options. Starting off with its original Jackpot Buffet and concessions, Meskwaki later added the Food Arcade Grab & Go and the Prime Cut Grill. We opened Luckys Grill & Taproom, which features Iowa steak burgers, signature pizzas, toasted subs, fresh cut fries, and hand-breaded onion rings. A large selection of Iowa craft beers is on tap, as well.
How did you get involved in cooking? What has been your career path to your job now?
I started out when I was 14 years old, cooking breakfast at a local bowling alley. I then moved to a diner, along with a steakhouse that recently opened, until I got hired at Meskwaki Casino. I worked here as a baker, then a buffet cook, back in the mid-90’s, for roughly one and one-half years: that’s when I decided to attend culinary school in Cedar Rapids at Kirkwood Community College. During my last year of college, I got my foot back in the door at the Casino as a buffet cook. After graduating in 1998, I was promoted to Banquet Chef and in 2000 I was promoted to Executive Chef.
What kinds of meals do you serve?
We do a wide variety – American, Italian, Asian, etc. – here, but focus on top-quality products and the most homemade entrees possible, as that is what separates us from the rest. We are very well known for our Friday night Seafood night, where we serve a minimum of 1,000 guests or more. We do offer a wide variety of burgers, fries, wings, etc. in our food arcade grab and go, along with our popular Homestyle Broasted Chicken, where you can buy just a single meal or enough for a picnic with all of the traditional sides.
Why did you begin using Iowa Choice Harvest products?
Locally-grown food tastes and looks better and we are proud to support the surrounding communities.
What types of dishes do you prepare using Iowa Choice Harvest foods?
Casseroles, soups, chowders, and vegetable of the day.
What do you like about using Iowa Choice Harvest foods?
It is the highest quality and best flavor.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Bill Goodman, our Food and Beverage Director, has been great about supporting local foods here at Meskwaki.
Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel is located at 1504 305th Street, Tama, Iowa. Contact at 800-728-4268 and visit online at www.meskwaki.com.