A rabbi walks into a ballpark ...
No joke, Target Field is set to serve up its first kosher offerings -- Hebrew National hot dogs and all the fixings -- and a rabbi or his or her representative will be there to supervise the food cart for the home opener next week and at most other games.
This is just one of several menu items being added in time for the start of Target Field's second season as the home of the Minnesota Twins, the team announced Tuesday.
All Hebrew National cart items, including the bread, condiments and specially packaged soft drinks, will "fall within kosher standards," the Twins said in the announcement.
The rabbi chosen for the duty is Avi Olitzky of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park. Olitzky is director of supervision for MSP Kosher, which provides free kosher assistance to Twin Cities establishments.
"It's incredibly exciting," Olitzky said of the kosher inroad at Target Field. "The minute we announced it, I started getting phone calls, e-mails and Facebook posts."
In announcing the deal on its website, MSP Kosher said the price of the dogs will be in the same ballpark as non-kosher dogs sold at Target Field.
The rabbi said that "if this goes well, we'll go forward" and pursue kosher offerings at other major sports venues in the Twin Cities.
Plans are for the cart to be positioned outside Section 114 (behind home plate) and supervised, except during the Jewish Sabbath, by a rabbi or duly appointed fill-in, the team said. The cart will remain open during the Sabbath, which runs from Friday evening to Saturday evening, but without kosher supervision.
The Twins' home opener is April 8, a Friday, but the game is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. The Sabbath starts more than four hours later.
For more about kosher standards, visit www.mspkosher.org/about/standards.
Other new items at Target Field include a turkey sandwich from the Minnesota State Fair and Nicollet Mall food truck purveyor Turkey to Go; the Walk A Taco from St. Paul's El Burrito Mercado; the Minneapple Pie from the Cottage Grill in Rogers, Minn., and two additional Kramarczuk's bratwurst dishes created especially for Target Field.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482