Food, Wonderful Food, at Target Field! 03 Apr 14

Food, Wonderful Food, at Target Field!

Stories and Photos by Gordy Jones

I do believe the Twins will play much better this year. Maybe they won’t win it all, but they’ll be playing some competitive and entertaining baseball. I am an admitted “homer,” and I live and die with each pitch. But on those days when the chips are down, I have decided I’ll make a food day out of it. I’ll eat and drink my way through the ballpark, as if I were at the State Fair. I’ll have to bring someone along so that we can share, and that’ll allow us to try even more items.

Butcher and the Boar’s Rib Tips.

One of the new food items in 2014 is the BBQ Basket of Rib Tips from Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis. They are tangy, meaty, and juicy. They come with house-made spicy pickles, and you can order a variety of local craft beers to accompany them. Butcher and Boar also offers several Jim Beam cocktails; my favorite was the Jim Beam Hurricane. It was sweet and smooth.

Speaking of sweet, my favorite ice cream, Izzy’s, which is made at their St. Paul shop, will now be available at Target Field. You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted their salted caramel, but they offer an extensive menu of flavors, and their signature Izzy scoop, which is a ¾ ounce scoop of any flavor placed on top your regular ice cream scoops.   

Jeff Sommers, one of Izzy’s Founders, offers a couple of his delicious frozen treats.

Valentini’s Supper Club out of Chisholm, MN is back with a couple of new items, and one of them is now tied for my favorite Target Field food. It’s the Valentini’s Italian Hamburger. It is a meat ball formed into a hamburger patty, topped with red sauce, provolone cheese, and pepperoni, and served on a potato bun. This one is too good — I might not share it with my friend. Valentini’s is also debuting a Porketta Slugger, which consists of Iron Range porketta and cream cheese,

Executive Chef Pastor Jimenez (left) and Sous Chef Sam Chauhan showing off a couple of their creations.

rolled into an eggroll and served with red sauce.

Valentini’s has also transformed their mega meatball, which was difficult to devour at the ballpark, into a bucket of bite-size mini meatballs. Well done!

The Brat-Dog from the Twins Food Truck is a pretty amazing piece of work, and it is so filling it needs to be shared. It is a bratwurst split down the middle with a hot dog stuffed inside, wrapped in bacon and kraut, and served in a pretzel bun with special mustard. Oh my!

Brat-Dog & Chips

It is great to have so many local foods and beverages to choose from at Target Field: Kemps Joe Mauer Malt Cups, Mac’s Fish & Chips, Killebrew Root Beer, Country Hearth Breads, Murray’s steak sandwiches, Kramarczuk’s sausages, the Loon Café’s chili,  and plenty more. Twins President Dave St. Peter said that the Twins will continue to add local treats every year.

If you feel the need to eat healthfully at the game, go to the Twins Territory Market in Section 112. Its menu is specially designed for those who have special dietary requirements, or are sensitive to food allergies. 

There are also the designed-for-Target Field favorites such as Tony O’s Cuban sandwich, and new this year at Hrbek’s and Town Ball Tavern is the Bigger, Better, Burger Bloody Mary, which is a Bloody Mary with a small bacon cheeseburger on top. They are also

Mac’s Fish & Chips

serving several new specialty cocktails made with Angry Orchard cider.

It would be cool if the Twins held a new summer event so fans could try different foods. It could be called Taste of Target Field. It would take place on a day when the team is on the road. The fan would pay…maybe $25 to enter and would receive 25 tickets to taste sample-size portions of the many food items. Meantime the Twins road game would be televised.  

 

I hope the Twins are usually winning, because if I pig-out every game while they’re losing, I’ll gain 50 pounds by the All-Star break. On the days when they are winning, I’ll just sit and enjoy a beer and a Schweigert hot dog.

Speaking of which: I frequently hear people complaining about how expensive it is to take a family to the ballpark. The Twins have even covered that problem. Skip the beer, bring the kids, and sit in the alcohol-free family section for as little as $10, and that includes a hot dog and soft drink. You can’t beat it! They even have $5 student nights, and $1 dog nights. If you do your homework, you can find some great bargains.

Good times, good food, good friends, and Twins baseball, makes for a good day…and a win will make it a perfect day!  

Kernel Ball  

Kernels Grounds Crew preparing for the opener.

I stopped in Cedar Rapids the other day, and the town was abuzz with everyone preparing for the Kernels, the Twins’ Single A team’s home opener, which was played Thursday. If you like baseball, it is a perfect weekend getaway to drive a few hours and see the game being played at a smaller more traditional scale. You’ll experience small-town charm, where folks just have a certain love for the game – whether they are the fans in the stands, or the players on the field. It’s in their hearts. They have plenty of promotions, too: fireworks, giveaways, and fun. You’ll see future Twin stars, and the skipper Jakie Mauer, Joe Mauer’s brother. And the town is large enough that you can find good food, hotels, shopping, and entertainment. It can be a fairly inexpensive weekend. Check out their website http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t492 and try it!