The drinking and dining opportunities inside U.S. Bank Stadium will cater to desires of fans from foodies hunting for fresh flavors to traditionalists seeking reliably familiar gameday fare. In creating the menu, Aramark, the stadium’s concessionaire, worked with the theme “modern, memorable and Minnesota.” The result is a mix of food from vendors big and small.
Jamie Hodgson, general manager for Aramark’s M Hospitality at the stadium, said, “We’re incorporating as many local talents as we can.” The company dialed “deep down” to find the “true local entrepreneurs,” he said.
Marquee restaurateurs will be in the building. The Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” is teaming up with his pal Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable to concoct gameday specialties.
The two will open AZC Hoagies, where they intend to “recalibrate the way people enjoy the Italian sandwich,” Zimmern said, adding that they’re trying to create, “really good football food. We’re not doing sushi. We’re not doing coq au vin.”
Their evolving slate of sandwiches begins with roast pork, aged provolone, charred broccoli and chili aioli that the two sampled at a tasting event months before the stadium’s opening. The consensus was deliciousness.
Also on their menu: Italian meatballs, sausage, and beef, and bomboloni — Italian doughnuts to feed the need for something sweet.
Then there will be sandwiches starring Revival’s coveted fried chicken, the Star Tribune’s dish of the year for 2015.
Murray’s Steakhouse is going to sell sandwiches, and Kramarczuk’s Sausage Co. will grill up encased meats — just as they do at Target Field.
Smaller businesses getting on the menu: R Taco, T-Rex Cookie, Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle, Prairie Dogs, Gramsky’s Sandwiches, Be Graceful Bakery & Catering and Ike’s Food and Cocktails.
Traditional fan fare will be widely available because Hodgson said the old standbys remain fan favorites: hot dogs, cotton candy, nachos, pretzels, soda.
Just as the food is a mix of adventurous and safe, so is the beer. Hodgson said Aramark expects that mainstream beers from sponsor-partner Chicago-based Miller and Coors will be the most popular.
The larger local brews will also be sold throughout the building, including Surly, Summit, Lake Monster, Lift Bridge, 612Brew, Fulton and Finnegans.
Through special arrangement, Aramark tapped into the hometown micro brewers in the Twin Cities’ Northeast Brewers & Distillers Association. Through a rotating system, Insight Brewing, 56 Brewing, Sociable Cider Werks, Bauhaus Brew Labs, NorthGate Brewing and Fair State Brewing Cooperative will all serve their beers at the stadium at various times.
Each item won’t be available at every kiosk or stand, but if an item is available in a suite or club, it’s available on the concourses for those with cheaper seats, too, and vice versa, Hodgson said.