We already know Allianz Field is pretty cool and all, but there was still one unknown: the food.
We figured it would be good — they didn’t bring in Justin Sutherland for nothing — but still, it’s good to know ahead of time.
This brought me on a quest to explore and evaluate Allianz Field’s food story — a tremendous sacrifice on my part. Over lunch on Wednesday, I joined other members of the media as we toured the food set-up of Minnesota United’s new stadium.
Unsurprisingly, every single dish I sampled was good. Nonetheless, I’ve put together a three-tiered ranking system for the dishes (keep in mind, they’re all worth trying):
DPs - These dishes are the cream of the crop, ones that are so good, I would go to a restaurant just to enjoy one of these meals.
TAM players - These dishes are still exemplary, defined as ones that I would go out of my way to find at a match.
First teamers - These dishes are still high quality, but simply don’t stand out quite as much as some of the others. Again, they’re still very good.
MyBurger Double Burger (Brew Hall) - Two patties, two American cheese slices, sauteed onions, Cloverdale applewood bacon, bread & butter pickles, housemade chips
I’m a burger guy. There are few things better to eat in this world than a big, juicy burger. This is exactly that. It’s nothing over complicated or overly crazy, but it sure is good. Even the samples given to media (about a quarter of a regular serving) were plenty big, so this would make for a dandy pregame bite while in the Brew Hall. The cheese makes the burger well-hydrated, but not greasy. The Cloverdale bacon (local!) deserves special attention — it was the first thing I noticed upon biting into the burger, and its standalone flavor is excellent.
El Burrito Mercado Tacos al Pastor (Global Street Grill) - Corn tortilla, pineapple, cilantro, onion (meat is spit-grilled pork)
Like burgers, I also love good tacos, especially al pastor. These are some of the best I’ve found anywhere, in taste and authenticity. The meat had excellent flavor and a perfect level of crispiness, while the pineapple undertones add a nice note of sweetness. The corn tortillas do have a different (in my opinion, far better) taste than flour ones.
Kramarczuk’s Lamb Sausage (Nice Slice/World’s Fare) - Lamb sausage, tzatziki sauce (cucumber, yogurt, lemon, garlic, dill, seasoning), tomato, onion, potato bun
This was arguably the most unique dish of the day, but it doesn’t really taste that way. It’s basically a gyro turned into a bratwurst. That sounds odd, but this was my favorite sample. The sauce is fantastic and helps everything come together — of course, sausage from Kramarczuk’s is going to be good nearly any way it’s prepared.
The TAM players
Wild Rice Salad (Brew Hall) - Baby arugula, wild rice, dried cherries, cashews, celery, carrots, goat cheese crumbles, red wine cherry vinaigrette
This was the first dish of the day for me, and it was a very good one. Whether or not it was the intention, every bite of this salad was unique, which I liked. The cherry flavor is clear, but it mixes very well with the goat cheese and cashews. This isn’t your typical game day fare, but it should fit well into the Brew Hall setup.
Brisket Pub Nachos (Brew Hall) - Smoked beef brisket, pub cheese, green onions, crispy jalapeños, seasoned sour cream, Cloverdale applewood bacon
For the sake of transparency, I didn’t actually try this one. I wish I did, though, because several other media members said it was their favorite item from the Brew Hall. It certainly sounds and looked good, so it should be a good bet for the Brew Hall, and would probably make a shareable bite.
Signature Burrito (Brasa) - Chicken, yellow rice, black beans, jack cheese, roasted tomato salsa
Burritos are a new venture for Brasa, but as their representative explained, they often made them to enjoy themselves, so these recipes have been around for a while. This burrito should be plenty filling — it’s got a lot of chicken and beans — and it seems to be fairly portable. There is a little bit of heat to this one, but it’s far from overpowering. There is a vegetarian option that is based on poblanos and onions. This particular stand is one to watch throughout the year — their reps said that “special” burritos could come and go seasonally or for certain games.
Freschetta Pepperoni Pizza (Nice Slice)
This pizza was nice and simple, which, compared to some of the other offerings at Allianz, can be appealing (and very kid friendly!) Though prices weren’t available, a Delaware North representative said this pizza will be a good value. There’s also a just-cheese version available.
Afro Deli Veggie Sambusa (World’s Fare) - Lentil, green sauce
I had never had a sambusa before, but I really enjoyed this dish. It won’t be the most filling, but it makes for a great snack with a unique, savory flavor. Make sure to try it with the sauce for added flavor.
Vegan Channa Rice Bowl (Hot Indian) - Chickpeas simmered in a smooth tomato masala sauce, garlic and coconut toasted rice, topped with crispy pappadum and vegan mango apple slaw
There is a lot going on in this dish and it’s a rather nice combination. The seasoning comes through strongly, giving plenty of flavor. There’s also a chicken version available. Both are gluten free, which will no doubt be appealing for some. For a dish to warm up with, this bowl might be the pick.
Esquites (Global Street Grill) - Corn, butter, chili powder, cotija cheese
Branded as “Mexican street corn,” this dish was surprisingly one of my favorites. The flavor is hard to describe — imagine sweet corn and cheese in something of a soup — but it’s excellent. The esquites likely won’t be very filling though, but this dish was a perfect way to wash down some tacos.
Gourmet Nachos with Mexican-Style Chicken or Ground Beef (Los Ocampo) - Tortilla chips, refried beans, queso blanco, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, fresh jalapeños, guacamole
There’s a little bit of everything in this take on nachos. I had the ground beef version and even the sample size was more than I could handle, so this might be one to share. Regardless, you’ll be able to enjoy everything that nachos have to offer, all in one dish.
Cheese Curds (Fry Club)
The Fry Club has the best spot of the stadium: directly behind the Wonderwall. You won’t find anything healthy here, but if you’re after anything fried (cheese curds, chicken, fish and french fries) this is the spot. I only tried the curds, and they were excellent — as good as any you’ll get at the State Fair. With close proximity to the Wonderwall, this is a great spot to run for a snack during halftime or VAR reviews.
Jamaican MNi Me’s (West IndiesSoul Food) - Spicy beef patties
I didn’t try these, but Tim did, and enjoyed them. He added that, as a bonus, they’re a great vessel for getting as much hot sauce as possible into your system (if that’s your thing).
The First Teamers
Handsome Hog Carolina BBQ Pork Sandwich (Hungry Loon) - Roasted pork shoulder and slaw, egg bun
This sandwich is a take on Carolina barbecue, a tangier version of our normal Midwestern stuff. The vinegar flavor was a little bit much for me on this sandwich, but I’m also far more of a sweet, smoky BBQ fan. If Carolina-style pork is your thing, you’ll love this take. Regardless of your barbecue tastes, the chips that accompany the sandwich are fantastic.
Jerk Chicken Wings (West Indies Soul Food)
To be clear, these wings are very good. I tried them with the jerk sauce, which has great flavor and a little bit of a kick, though nothing overwhelming. This is another stand close to the Wonderwall, so it’s another nearby option.
Cecil’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich (North Star Deli) - Pastrami, pepper jack cheese, pumpernickel bread
The meat on this sandwich is great — I overheard a chef say they are paying a premium price for the cut. That said, the dish felt a little bit bland. A representative called it “a work in progress” as they refine the pastrami sandwich, so it will likely improve very quickly.
Other Food News Bits
- No draft beer or fountain drinks will be poured outside of the Brew Hall (only cans or bottles in the concourses). This will help move lines along quickly in the concourses.
- The MNi markets, essentially convenience stores, can cut down wait times by 60-62%, according to Delaware North. There are plenty of commercial snack brands available, as well as beer.
- Prices were not available for items on the media tour.
- If you’re looking for beer, there will be plenty of options, including 96 on tap in the Brew Hall and other canned options:
What are you looking forward to trying? Let us know in the comments section below!