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Redfield's chef delivers high-end comfort food for watching sports

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Chef Andy Mangiduyos oversees the kitchen and menu at Redfield's, the sports bar and restaurant at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

Q: Why has Redfield's focused on feeding sports fans as they watch games?

A: Like every business should, at Redfield's we strive to give our patrons what they want, and statistics confirm that most everyone loves to both eat and to watch sports. Even as more and more people are losing interest in network primetime television, not only do they remain dedicated to viewing sports on TV, the audience is growing.

Catering to this growing group, we created Redfield's as a high-end sports restaurant and bar with a layout that is perfect for watching sports while you eat and drink. Because NFL television ratings are the highest of all major sports, Redfield's serves Sunday brunch only during football season.

Q: How do you decide what's the best food for watching sports?

A: It is not easy. Because sports fans number in the millions, even in San Diego alone -- not to mention our hotel guests from around the world -- Redfield's has to offer a lot of options. These include easy-to-eat items like Redfield's famous wings, prime rib sliders, Kobe beef dogs, and buffalo chili nachos prepared with a Hawaiian style I brought here from my native Maui. Beyond these forkless items, many restaurant guests want the works, so we have a full Sunday breakfast buffet. Someone always wants a fresh salad. And you have to have a soup, even if it's 70 degrees outside -- football is a fall/winter sport.

Q: What are the most popular drinks among sports fans and does it vary from sport to sport?

A: Beer without question is the most popular drink for all sports. With annual per-capita consumption of beer at 29.5 gallons (Beer Institute), this is not surprising. For the 2010/11 football season Redfield's has introduced a "Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar," which is particularly popular for early morning games played back East. We have a full bar and a wide variety of fine cigars too.

Q: How have sports restaurants and bars evolved and what should fans seek in their sports restaurant?

A: Technology has been the biggest change. Now everyone has HDTV at home, so you have to have lots of HD monitors, WI-FI and fantasy sports stations. Today, you also should offer games for viewers to actually play themselves before and after they watch their team on TV. So, Redfield's does offer Wi-Fi, fantasy football stations, billiards and darts.

As far as new sports, on Saturdays we frequently show UFC fights. This draws a younger crowd than football or baseball. It's a big crowd -- even a broadcast of a weigh-in for a UFC fight draws 645,000 viewers.

Unchanged over time is the fact that a good sports restaurant should create a comfortable atmosphere for friends and family to gather and share their enthusiasm for a particular team -- and get a good value for each dollar spent. To that end, we have lots of sports paraphernalia, including nine-pint beer towers adorned with a football, baseball or football helmet. Waitresses and waiters wear the jerseys of their favorite teams -- even an occasional Raiders' jersey. Also, we provide free parking for three hours and lots of food and drinks specials.

We even offer advice for sports fans from our mythical Mr. Redfield. His philosophy on sports, drinking, friends and life in general inspires and entertains through quotes found throughout the bar on signs, coasters, in the menus and more. As Mr. Redfield always said, "Watching sports is the greatest sport on earth."

Q: Do football fans eat and drink differently than other sports fans -- baseball fans or basketball fans?

A: No, sports fans, men and women, hotel guests and locals, all seem to have a universal love for nachos and wings. We do offer daily specials that influence what is ordered, including Dog Day Monday, Taco Tuesday and Wing Wednesday.

Q: When you're not at work, where is your favorite place to catch a football game?

A: Aloha Stadium in my native state of Hawaii, maybe a University of Hawaii game or better yet the NFL Pro Bowl. The first game I remember watching at a sports restaurant was a game during the 1999 NBA finals. I enjoyed eating a hot dog and nachos while savoring the play of Shaq and Kobe.

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The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina is now certified by Green Seal. In order to receive the certification, the hotel had to undergo an inspection and meet a checklist of criteria, which included environmental compliance, waste minimization and recycling, bulk and environmentally preferable product purchasing, use of energy efficient equipment and supplies, and water conservation measures.

According to Green Seal, the average hotel purchases more products in one week than 100 families will purchase in one year.

Send your comments to Jada.Thomas@sddt.com

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