“There’s nothing better than smoked barbecue, bourbon, and beer while you watch a game,” laughs Chef Michael Symon.

The James Beard Award-winner would know better than anybody. With his Mabel’s BBQ restaurant now open at Palms Casino Resort, Symon is busy feeding hungry fans that arrive for major events such as the Super Bowl and Ultimate Fighting Championship matches.

Both however, pale in comparison to the “madness” of tournament time.

While the NHL’s Golden Knights and the NFL’s soon-to-be-relocated Raiders have out-of-town columnists anointing Las Vegas as the next great sports city, anyone who’s been here during the month of March has already experienced the ultimate in fan service. From luxury bashes in resort ballrooms to Strip-side restaurant specials and watch parties in the CG Technology Sportsbook at Palms Casino Resort, the city is built for tournament-goers.

Chef Symon, for his part, has all the gameday eats they’re looking for.

Tournament Menu Picks

The mouthwatering Mabel’s menu delights with everything from “Pig Parts” to “Meats by the ½ #” and a bevy of signature cocktails and drafts, but Chef Symon has named his “Final Four” top picks for tournament-goers.

  1. Beef Brisket. “Smoked for 16 hours to perfection!” ($17)
  1. Chicken Wings. “Whole wings smothered in our Alabama White Sauce. It’s a sweet and slightly acidic mayo-based sauce that was made famous at Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ. It’s the classic sauce for smoked chicken!” ($12)
  1. Chopped Brisket Burrito. “You definitely need both hands for this one! It’s a giant burrito loaded with brisket, cheddar sauce, Fritos, and onions.” ($18)
  1. The Sausage. “It’s J+J kielbasa with Cleveland barbecue sauce and poppy seed coleslaw. It’s one of my favorites!” ($13)

Symon Says: Mabel’s Is Where to Watch

For tournament time, Chef Symon wants to give fans a taste of something they’ve never had before. In addition to stocking Mabel’s with more than 150 varieties of the aforementioned bourbons and beers, the chef is hosting full-day tournament viewing packages with an open bar and smoked meat-carving stations for $200 per person, or $150 for those who want to stop by for just one game.

Fans who prefer to watch the games next door in the CG Technology Sportsbook at Palms can even take advantage of Mabel’s takeout. What better way to boast about your bracket than with a tray of “giant” beef ribs or pork belly tacos?

Hometown Love for ‘On the Bubble’ Buckeyes

A Cleveland native who has won both “Hottest Chef” and “Best Local Chef” honors in his home city, Chef Symon remains a “die-hard” fan of both the NFL’s Browns and Ohio State’s college basketball program. Neither has made the best impression of late, but Symon isn’t giving up hope.

“We’re on the bubble this year,” he says of his beloved Buckeyes. “But if we can make it in I think we have a chance to bust some brackets.”

Whether or not that happens, Symon will still sport a smile, knowing that his newest restaurant – a game-changing piece of the Palms’ $620 million renovation – is within the epicenter of the “madness.”

Chef Michael Symon’s Mabel’s BBQ opens daily at 11:30 a.m.