If there's anything that dulls this reporter's pains of shelling out $450 for a pack of tickets to watch a 99-loss ballclub, it's the prospect of some new food and drink at Target Field. Here's our scorecard of some new bites and sips for you to check out on game day.

Double Down the Line: Food Network's Bacon Sloppy Joe

The Bacon Sloppy Joe (Section 114) might be the biggest revelation of the new menu items. We were ready to deride what looked on paper like a half-hearted contribution to the bacon-in-everything fad. Not so. The bacon flavor is pronounced, but well balanced with the beef. And it's not too sloppy, either, an essential plus for ballpark portability. In fact, the sandwich is as neat, trim and hearty as Joe Mauer's sideburns. It's served with a pickle and Fritos for you Sloppy Joe purists.

Pop-Up to Shortstop: Deep-fried Pickles

Available from the State Fair Classics stand (Section 133), deep-fried pickle chips from the Preferred Pickle come with a side of ranch. They score points for not being too greasy and having a nice crunchy bite. They fall short, however, on being sliced too thin. The pickles become emaciated inside the crunchy shell and the pickle flavor is lost in the breading. Not bad in a vacuum, but not even close when you compare them with, say, those at the Blue Door Pub.

Intentional Walk (Wok?): Leeann Chin Stir-Fry

The stand that has been serving stir-fry in Section 127 has been given what looks to be little more than a branding upgrade. The chicken and vegetable stir-fry are now finished with Leeann Chin's sauces, red chile and teriyaki, respectively. Both are very serviceable renditions that, much like the new Mac and Cheese, deliver a satisfying and middle-of-the-road noodle option.

Single Up the Middle: Loaded Potatoes

It's not exactly an original, but cheers to a simple (and healthy-ish) premise done well. The potatoes come stuffed in four different variations for $8.50. And extra kudos for the inclusion of a jumbo yam topped with maple butter and crushed pecans (Section 101).

Strikeout: Garlic Fries

These are quite average fries coated with an obscenely heavy dose of garlic and herbs (Sections 109, 126, 311, 319, Legends Club). There doesn't seem to be much merit to them and you won't be making any friends in the row ahead of you after a few bites. We're really just hoping for some eagle-eyed cameramen to follow the fries into the seats, in order to produce the funniest season in Kiss Cam history.

The Churn

Seward Co-op is hosting one of the area's largest community-supported agriculture fairs on April 21 from 11 am. to 3 p.m. It's a chance to meet farmers, learn about CSA options and sign up for a CSA share for 2012.

  • The Heavy Table team writes about food and drink in the Upper Midwest five days a week, twice a day, at www.heavytable.com.