Food truck inside Meadows is no gamble in taste

| Thursday, April 3, 2014, 6:45 p.m.

Parking a food truck inside a casino makes perfect sense to Kevin Brogan.

“We are a casino. We are supposed to have things you don't normally see,” says Brogan, the director of marketing for The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County.

Within the next week or two, visitors to The Meadows will find the Band Wagon, an 18-by-8-foot food truck, cooking and selling fast-food items next to the Casino's Headliners entertainment lounge. Food-truck hours will be 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

“We have music (in Headliners) three nights a week. So, while watching the bands, you can have a snack,” says Ari Sobel, food-and-beverage director.

The food truck is Sobel's brainchild.

“We want to appeal to a younger demographic – (age) 30-60 – but once people see it, they will appreciate it,” Sobel says. “The menu will change every week with 100-percent, made-from-scratch, locally sourced food items. The emphasis is on high quality and fresh, fun food.”

Look for $3-$5 casual eats, such as brisket burger and lobster-roll sliders, french fries and fried Twinkies.

The Band Wagon is one of two new food options that the Casino is offering. Both are designed as efficient venues to fuel visitors who are eager to get back to the racetrack or casino floor.

At 11 a.m. April 4, The Carvery will have its grand opening in the restaurant space formerly occupied by The Terrace.

Newly remodeled with a red floral carpet and touches of red throughout the room, The Carvery seats 220 and overlooks the Meadows racetrack.

“I think it's beautiful,” says Washington resident Peg Wilson. “It's more professional. It looks like Vegas.”

As the name suggests, the focus of this self-serve, sit-down restaurant is its carving station with five meat options, including top-round roast beef, Huli Huli Rotisserie Chicken and Cantonese Pork Loin, as well as carved, roasted root vegetables.

“The chefs are carvers and are part of the entertainment,” Brogan says. “They can tell you about the (options), how they were made and how they were cooked.”

At separate stations, diners can select from entrées such as buttermilk fried chicken, potato-crusted rainbow trout and cauliflower mac and cheese and three soups.

There's also an extensive food station stocked with more than three dozen options.

“It's a comfort-food station,” Brogan says. “We wanted to be sure that there was fresh soup, salads, antipasti. Nothing frozen. It's all fresh.”

Bread and rolls from Breadworks are grouped with toppings such as black olive tapenade, apple butter and pesto butter.

Salad selections range from romaine and iceberg greens and chicken Caesar salad to composed salads such as redskin potato salad, chilled Thai peanut noodle salads Dutch peppers slaw and Tri-Color Israeli Couscous Salad.

An extensive display of choose-your-own add-ons include antipasto items such as grilled, chilled vegetables; a variety of Italian cured meats; chunks of fresh fruit; trail mix, a mixture of nuts and sunflower seeds and roasted red-pepper hummus.

An attendant at the dessert station will happily fry up some tiny doughnuts with a dusting of cocoa, powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. Additional toppings include apricot glaze, caramel sauce, whiskey sauce and maple syrup. Or you can help yourself to the Caramel Apple Bread Pudding.

“We call it the ‘endless dining option,' ” Brogan says.

The price is $14.99 for lunch, $19.99 for dinner.

Options such as burgers, wraps or other entrees or alcoholic beverages can be ordered from a separate menu.

The Carvery's transformation from The Terrace impressed Canonsburg resident Karen De Marino, who often ate at The Terrace.

“It's lovely. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into it. Every detail has been looked at,” Marino says. “And you don't have to be a gambler. You can just come here and have a wonderful dinner.”

Alice T. Carter is a features writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or

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