John Howie, chef and owner of Bellevue's and , is built like a defensive end at a stout 6-foot-3. The avid football fan built SPORT, the sports bar-cum-sports fanatic playground under the shadow of the Space Needle, almost exactly seven years ago.
On Saturday, Feb. 4, Howie will combine his passion for food and football on the largest football stage, the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. Howie will be part of the Super Bowl of food events, the Taste of the NFL, the day before the NFL championship game.
The Taste of the NFL is a food and wine fundraiser featuring chefs from each of the 32 NFL teams serving their signature dishes with a player from the representing team. Howie will be joined by former Seahawks defensive tackle Craig Terrill to serve more than 1,000 portions of ancho chili applewood scented king salmon on Southwestern roasted corn mashed potatoes with sweet chili Hollandaise and lime cream.
“I do unusual and different flavors,” Howie said of his Super dish. “It is a Southwestern dish but with local product.”
Tickets to the Taste of the NFL are as expensive and as rare as those to the Super Bowl. The $600 tickets are almost sold out.
The evening’s festivities also include a silent auction of sports memorabilia and other exclusive items. Proceeds benefit hunger relief organizations in NFL cities. Food Lifeline is the Seattle beneficiary. Since 1992, the Taste of the NFL has raised more than $11 million for hunger relief organizations nationwide.
Howie has been participating in the Taste of the NFL since 2005, when Minnesota chef Mark Haugen invited him to the Super Bowl XXXIX Taste of the NFL in Jacksonville, Fla.
“I am a big football fan,” Howie admits. “When they asked I said, ‘Why not?’”
Local diners can enter to win a trip to next year’s Taste of the NFL in New Orleans. Guests dining at John Howie Steak can enter a weekly drawing to win one of three gift cards for the value of their bill: one for lunch up to $200, one for the lounge up to $250 and one for dinner up to $400.
Guests also qualify for the final drawing on April 17 to win a trip to New Orleans with Howie for the February 2013 Taste of the NFL or a $5,000 gift card to John Howie Steak.
As for tickets to this year’s game, Howie is out of luck.
“I’ll be watching the game with the rest of the country … on the television,” Howie said.
Super options for Super Bowl
If, like Howie, you plan on watching the Super Bowl on television consider the sports bar recommendations from my late last year, including the , , , in Bellevue; in Redmond; , and in Kirkland; in Woodinville; Malarky’s Sports Grill in Issaquah; and the on Mercer Island.
Additional restaurants and sports bars showing the Super Bowl on Sunday include, , , , , , , and in Bellevue; in Kirkland and l.
If you prefer to watch the game at home, and Barrio in Bellevue will cater out on Sunday. Burritos by the Box ordered online at Chipotle.com are half off. Barrio is offering a special Super Bowl catering menu available here.
Bellevue Lunchbox Laboratory opens on Feb. 4
Lunchbox Laboratory will be opening on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the lobby level of the Elements Apartment Homes in downtown Bellevue at 989 112th Ave. N.E. Lunchbox Laboratory will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.