I wasn’t intending to almost exclusively eat ballpark food while in Minneapolis, but when you plan a five day trip around seeing five baseball games, you’re not exactly leaving yourself a lot of spare time for dining out on the town. Lucky for me, the choices at Target Field were pretty solid, and quite diverse compared to the traditional hotdogs and Cracker Jacks.
Just beyond the centre field bleachers was one of my favourite concession stands – an outpost of the downtown Minneapolis restaurant, Butcher and the Boar. They served up these outstanding pork rib tips. Delicious!
Over in left field is a really great Mexican bar called Barrio. It’s a perfect spot to watch some batting practice and have a beer. They are also the purveyor of some fairly solid carnitas tacos. On some days, you can get into the park early to hang out in the bar. Pretty good deal!
I was very hopeful for the Tony O’s Cuban sandwich as it was the subject of many rave reviews and recommendations, but the one I picked up had probably sat too long steaming in its wrapper. It was damp and the bread was gooey. The pork and cheese was ok, but I’ve had far better sandwiches.
Although I was sampling many different and diverse ballpark eats on this trip, I had to give a traditional sausage a chance. After an evening rain delay held up the start of one of the games about an hour, I ventured to the Hennepin Grill in the upper level for a beer steamed brat. Nothing special, but every brat tastes better at a ballpark with a beer in your other hand.
A Minnesota State Fair staple, deep fried cheese curds are another highly recommended treat at Target Field. These were outstanding. I could have eaten a bucket worth of these. Luckily for my health, they serve them in this much more appropriate sized boat-shaped container.
I left the best for last. Perhaps a bit surprising for my favourite ballpark food of this trip, the chicken tikka bowl from Hot Indian blew me away. I was actually waiting in a never moving line for a 60/40 burger (60% cow, 40% pig), lost patience, and grabbed this for lunch on a whim. Amazingly flavourful and fresh, and gluten-free to boot. It pairs well with a range of Minnesota craft beer IPAs available all around the park.
In my ballpark eating experiences, Target Field is up there with AT&T in San Francisco (any park with garlic fries like those in SF just can’t be topped in my mind). If and when I make it back down to Minneapolis for more games, there’s also plenty left to try!