Food from Twins Stadium
Photos by Caitlin Abrams
The upstart Minnesota Twins have yet to win a game in 2016* and with their once-promising season on the skids, fans will need Target Field’s annual haul of new food and booze to get them through now more than ever. So, with the hopes of myriad loyal Twins fans now resting, perhaps unfairly, solely on our shoulders, we ventured into Target Field’s abyss for their seventh annual new food and beverage preview. We ate. We drank. We scrutinized. And, most importantly, we did it for the fans.**
*At the time of this writing the team was 0-1 having lost their April 4th opener 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth to the Baltimore Orioles.
**We actually did it mainly for us. Target Field’s annual food and beverage preview is widely understood to be a gluttonous media bacchanal in which normally-reputable journalists throw their better judgement and ethics to the wind in order to enjoy vast, glorious spreads of free food and beer. We wish we could’ve taken you with us; truly we do.
MANGO LASSI AT HOT INDIAN FOODS - SECTION 120
After debuting last year with show stealing chicken tikka and vegan aloo gobi, Hot Indian Foods's new addition for 2016 is a yogurt-based, mango-spiced smoothie of sorts.
The verdict: Kinda an interesting taste and texture, and potentially pretty refreshing on muggy July day, but probably too understated for the clamor of a baseball game.
BARRIO BURRITOS/BURRITO BOWLS AT SENOR SMOKES - SECTIONS 105 AND 205
The house that Berengeur built wised-up and asked noted-purveyor of upscale Mexican, Barrio, to make their burritos/bowls. Your options are barbacoa or vegetarian.
The verdict: Nothing to write home about, and maybe a little too much flour tortilla gumming up the works in the burrito, but the barbacoa had some pretty good flavor. Plus points for extreme portability.
LONGFELLOW LEMONADE AT DU NORD CRAFT DISTILLERY KIOSK - SECTION 112
L'etoile vodka, fresh lemon juice, and strawbewerry coulis (dense syrup), served over ice.
The verdict: A truly lethal mix of flavor, refreshment, and booziness.
PRETZEL BITES & BREWS CART - SECTION 101
A brand new cart offering three varieties of pretzel bites ("savory", topped with gravy and cheese; "sweet", topped with macerated berries, Nutella, and whipped cream; and "local", topped with Summit beer cheese sauce, candied bacon, and a hint of cayenne),
The verdict: Nutella's not my jam, so I skipped those, but the Summit beer cheese "locals" were actually kinda perfect, and super easy to eat whilst walking around the concourse.
CLUCK & MOO BLOODY MARY AT HRBEK'S - SECTION 114
A $23 bloody garnished with all the normal stuff (cheeses, beef stick, peppers, pickles, etc.) plus a bacon cheeseburger and a buffalo chicken wing.
The verdict: Almost totally impossible to actually consume, but a noble effort in Hrbekian excess nonetheless.
IZZABELLA! GELATO AT IZZY'S - SECTIONS 119 AND 202
Gelato from one of the best local ice cream makers in town.
The verdict: Yes, please.
GRAPE APES AND PECOS RIVER RED CHILI AT THE LOON CAFÉ CART - SECTION 101
The Pecos River Red Chili contains huge hunks of steak and a side of Texas toast, and the Grape Ape is Pinnacle citron vodka mixed with Buddy's Grape Soda.
The verdict: The grape is strong with this one, so strong, in fact, that its nose proceeds it by approximately two feet. That scared me away. The chili, however, is hearty and well-spiced and does the brick and mortar Loon's chili rep proud.
RED COW AT MINNIE & PAUL'S - SECTION 234
What's notable about last year's stadium newbie Red Cow is that the burger slinger now has a brick and mortar kitchen in a brand new stadium pub Minne & Paul's. Replete with a full bar, field-view cafe seating, and a Pizza Luce in addition to Red Cow, Minnie & Paul's is directly under the centerfield celebration sign for which it was named.
The verdict: The burgers at Red Cow were a solid option last year and now that they've got a more legit kitchen they're poised to be even better. Also, poutine!
FROZEN GINGER AT MINNIE & PAUL'S - SECTION 234
Imagine a Big Ginger (ginger ale and 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey) but as a slushie.
The verdict: Slushy-booze is almost always good. Slushy-booze with Kieran Folliard's Minneapolis-based Irish whiskey is even better.
PIZZA LUCÉ AT MINNIE & PAUL'S - SECTION 234
The Twin CIties pizza shop extradonaire is making its Target Field debut next to Red Cow in Minnie & Paul's. Slices or whole pies will be available.
The verdict: The great thing about Pizza Luce is that it tastes the same no matter what outpost you're eating it in; even if that outpost is in the upper reaches of Target Field.
If you need a refresher on the new foods from 2015, it's here for you.
And stay tuned for Stephanie March's Critic's Picks from the Home Opener on April 11th.