I spent last weekend in the Twin Cities and had some great stuff to eat, so expect this post and a few others to follow detailing what I found. I won’t go overboard, though, and we’ll be back to local cuisine soon.
Not being a huge baseball fan, the prospect of sitting for 3 hours or more on stiff plastic seats doesn’t sound that fun. But at Target Field in Minneapolis, there are so many things to eat, you would never need to actually watch a pitch. You could just eat your way around the concourse and stumble out of the gates at the end, clutching your stomach in over-stuffed agony.
But after grabbing the ubiquitous hot dog and finding my seat, I actually really enjoyed watching the Twins try their best against the Texas Rangers. And the stadium is beautiful. But let’s get to the food already.
That aforementioned hot dog, a ball park staple across the country, was my first stop. And there are quite a few places to get a dog. Schweigert meats has a few different varieties like the Original Twins Dog, the Tenderbite which is a version made from the original recipe served at games in the ’60s, the Twins Big Dog (a monstrous quarter-pound dog), the Twins Dugout Dog which has “coarse ground pork and beef,” and the extra long Dinger Dog.
I got the original and loaded it up with relish, ketchup and deli mustard. The condiments came out of their dispensers quicker than I though they would, resulting in the messy photo. As for the actual dog, it was tasty but nothing really Earth-shattering. I didn’t really care for the bun, which was too big for the hot dog and seemed to be dusted with flour on the outside.
If you’re looking for other meats in tube form, check out Kramarczuk’s which offers Polish and Hungarian sausages made fresh daily. You can also get dogs and sausages at Hennepin Grille, Halsey’s Sausage Haus and Taste of Twins Territory.
Also give the Bloody Mary at Hrbek’s a try. They’re a meal in a cocktail with garnishes like a pickle, pepper, olive, beef stick and two types of cheese.
Oh, and they’re $12 a pop. Bring plenty of dough to Target Field or any other stadium, for that matter.
Hrbek’s and The Town Ball Tavern are the two full-service restaurants in the stadium if you’re not looking to nosh on the many concessions.
At about the sixth inning, our stomachs were rumbling again, so we set out to find the Tony O’s Cuban sandwich cart. Named for former Twins player Tony Oliva, the Cuban sandwiches are quite large and feature ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese and pickles on a roll that’s flattened and crisped up on a panini press.
I heard about the sandwich from a friend who gave it a glowing review and said it was a must-try. But I have to be honest: I was slightly disappointed. Yes, the bread is toasted perfectly and the cheese is warm and gooey, but the ham and pork don’t bring much to the ensemble. The pork tasted only a tiny tiny bit like smoke, but not like pork. The ham wasn’t much better than the store bought variety. And it needed a spicy, tangy kick that only yellow mustard could provide. It comes on a classic Cuban but was nowhere to be found on this version. There are a few places to pump some mustard on the sandwich around the concourse.
I could only put away so much, but when I’m back I’ll be trying some of these delicious offerings:
The Vincent Burger - Find it at the Hennepin Grille stands. It’s an Angus beef burger stuffed with braised short rib and smoked gouda cheese. Oh. my.
Bacon Sloppy Joe - A sesame bun is topped with ground beef, bacon, shredded pepper jack cheese and fried onions.
Señor Smoke’s - Empanadas, nachos, burritos and tacos.
There is definitely something for everyone to munch on at Target Field. Have you had something that was great at the game?