There is a Seafood Tower brimming with lobster, crab legs, shrimp, mussels and clams. But this isn't some upscale Manhattan eatery. The patrons cracking claws have come to watch a race. And although Tony Stewart grabbed the checkered flag Sunday, the real winners this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway were in the Speedway Club & Suites.
On Saturday night, the track hosted a Lobster Fest as a special treat for their Club members.
"In the Speedway Club we did a grand chef's table that featured lobster tails, Alaskan King crab legs, crab cakes, bone-in rib eye carved to order and many other culinary masterpieces," executive chef Heath Miles said. "It's a very special treat for our Speedway Club members, and it is a way for us to showcase our culinary talent and passion."
The Club is a private, members-only dining room that features a much higher-end menu than most NASCAR fans require. There are also suites which hold 64 fans that offer the upscale fare. These discerning gear heads don't want hot dogs or barbecue sandwiches. On Sunday, there was Texas chili, as well as turkey, cranberry sauce and squash to go along with the seafood bounty.
The home-made pork and green chili tamales were a hit as well, as was the Signature Six Layer Carrot Cake.
Chef Miles welcomes the challenge to create upscale food and says that racing fans are more enthusiastic about their food than a lot of people think.
"NASCAR fans are great and very fun to cook for," he said. "We also have an opportunity that most other restaurateurs don't get -- we get to please more people in a weekend than most other businesses do in a year and we do it well."
They also have a commitment to responsibly grown foods that they showcase on their Harvest Tables which feature local and organic items such as their Rotisserie-Style Herb Chicken.
The only bad news is that the AAA Texas 500 was the last NASCAR event of the year at Texas Motor Speedway. The next race is 158 days away, but you don't have to take my word for it.
There is a clock on the track's website counting down the seconds. No doubt installed by a lobster-loving member of the Speedway Club.