View images from Tuesday's menu unveil at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNEAPOLIS —The roster of chefs and culinary options at U.S. Bank Stadium is set.
The Vikings, Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, SMG and Aramark unveiled a full lineup of culinary offerings on Tuesday that is wide-ranging, aromatic and quite tasty for members of the media.
Items sampled inside the Medtronic Club ranged from substantial sandwiches with unique sauces and spreads to snacks with a touch of salt to savory sweets in a quest to satisfy an array of appetites. * *
"Highlighted by a robust lineup of Minneapolis and St. Paul-based bakeries, brands and small businesses, the menu at U.S. Bank Stadium will offer fans and guests a truly unique stadium dining experience that is local, authentic and genuine," said Aramark Regional Vice President Allison Butler. "The City of Minneapolis has a lot to be proud of, and we could not be more proud to partner with these individual businesses."
There are big brands like Murray's Steakhouse that will be available in the club and suite areas, and previously announced offerings from Andrew Zimmern through his partnership with Gavin Kaysen that will be at two outposts along concourses. Ike's Food & Cocktails and Revival Restaurant are additional landmark venues that were previously unveiled.
The group of Minnesota-owned businesses is aiming to transform the edible offerings during Vikings games and other events at the state-of-the-art venue to take fan experiences' to unforeseen levels, bite-by-bite through memorable morsels.
Some flavors have been available in brick-and-mortar restaurants like Tammy Wong's Rainbow (29 years) or specialty shops (Thomasina's Cashew Brittle has been a collaboration between sister-in-laws Thomasina Petrus and Leslie Wilson for 12 years), but other concepts are newer to the culinary scene, like T-Rex Cookie Company, founded 16 months ago by Tina Rexing after she left a corporate job.
"From a small business, this means a lot to me, in terms of being able to expose my brand and my product to a far greater audience than I would ever do on my own," Rexing said. "I really want to thank you and all the partners for giving us this opportunity."
View some of the Vikings team photog's favorite photos of U.S. Bank Stadium and follow them on Instagram via @vikingsphotog and @thezeetee.
Curds & Cakes from Foreston, Minnesota, already served cheese curds at the University of Minnesota. Co-owner Tonja Kjaer said she obtained final approval for the recipe she'll use at U.S. Bank Stadium on Tuesday morning. It has Blue Moon in the batter and bacon enveloping Ellsworth Creamery curds.
"I think the unique thing about this mix of partners is that some of them are very recognizable names, whether they're from the State Fair or local restaurants around town and some of them might not be quite as recognizable," said Vikings Vice President of Corporate Development and Guest Relations J.P. Paul. "I think that's a great opportunity for those folks, these small companies that are partnering with U.S. Bank Stadium to grow their business and someday, down the road, be those household names we all know."
Jamie Hodgson, General Manager of Aramark's M Hospitality, said partnering with more than 20 food and beverage companies is a substantial undertaking but worth it.
"From the onset, our goal was to create a very unique dining experience at the stadium, not something we've seen other places but something that is very unique to Minnesota, unique to the fans and everybody that comes in here," Hodgson said. "I think we've done a phenomenal job with that, getting a cross section of many wonderful partners, many different food concepts and different tastes and flavors."
View some unique high-res renderings of U.S. Bank Stadium, including a look minus the roof and with a corner cut away.
Twin Cities Foodie Wong sampled lemongrass meatballs with a tamarind sauce, next to a jerk bacon sammie from Shawn Smalley of Smalley's Caribbean BBQ. Wong, Smalley and Matt Bickford of Icehouse MPLS will work in the same booth. Bickford served up smoky chicken nachos.
Hodgson said he's "particularly proud of the innovative collaboration.
"These three chefs have come together as one, and that's something that's unheard of and is unlike any concept in the NFL," Hodgson said.
Patrick Talty, SMG's General Manager of U.S. Bank Stadium, said the food offerings are a key element in focusing on the fan experience.
"We have strived from the very beginning to create a customer-focused environment that people and fans can have a great time at the stadium," Talty said. "I think this lineup, you will see, just enhances that vision of creating a great customer-focused menu for the fans and the people of Minnesota."
Below is the list of some of the culinary creations that will be available at U.S. Bank Stadium that were sampled on Tuesday:
612 Burger Kitchen (M Hospitality, U.S. Bank Stadium)
612 Burger: Black Angus burger with Sriracha mayo and sharp American cheese on toasted potato roll
Andrew Zimmern's Canteen
Italian porchetta sandwich
Be Graceful Bakery & Catering (Edina): Specialty sandwiches and hoagies
Roast turkey sandwich on wild rice cranberry bread with maple bacon jam
Kramarczuk's Sausage Company (Minneapolis): Handmade sausages made with time-honored methods and traditional recipes
Andouille served with grilled onions and peppers
Lola's Café (Minneapolis): Dry rubbed and sweet chicken wings, featuring Lola's signature spice
Dry rubbed and sweet chicken wings
Prairie Dogs (Minneapolis): Artisan hot dogs and handcrafted sausage, made with locally raised meats
Brunch Dog: Crispy pork belly, morning fried potatos, Sriracha aioli, Hollandaise sauce and chives
The Prairie Dog: Classic Chicago style, with all the trimmings
Cinnie Smiths (McGregor): Gourmet mini cinnamon rolls
Gourmet miniature cinnamon rolls
R Taco (Minneapolis): Distinctive fast-casual tacos
Fried Chicken Taco: Crispy chicken with jalapeño ranch, slaw and cilantro
R Taco: Achiote pork with pineapple, onion and cilantro
Curds & Cakes (Foreston): Cheese curds
Fresh-made, battered and fried cheese curds
Petit fried chicken sandwich
Spiced cheese pork rinds
Ike's Food & Cocktails (Minneapolis/Bloomington/Minnetonka/MSP)
Hand-carved turkey sandwich
Twin Cities Foodie (only in U.S. Bank Stadium)
Matt Bickford, Icehouse MPLS: Smokey chicken nachos
Shawn Smalley, Smalley's Caribbean BBQ: Jerk bacon sammie
Tammy Wong, Rainbow Restaurant: Lemongrass meatballs
Murray's (Minneapolis) [clubs/suites]: A landmark steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis, home of the famous Silver Butter Knife Steak
Short rib sandwich with spicy slaw
Chappy's Street Eats (White Bear Lake) [catering]: Gluten-free fare
Gluten-free Caribbean jerk and buffalo baked chicken wings
Just Truffles (St. Paul) [clubs/suites]: Assorted, hand-dipped truffles
Assorted, hand-dipped truffles
Chocolat Celeste (St. Paul) [catering]: Hand-crafted, artisan chocolates
Hand-crafted, artisan chocolates
Bohemian Kettle (St. Paul) [clubs/suites]: Assorted nut mixes and various savory snacks
Sweet sumac popcorn and spicy pad Thai almonds
Gramsky's Sandwiches (Brooklyn Park) [catering]: Unique line of homemade sandwiches with a Midwest flare
Italian grinder sandwich with sausage, red sauce, peppers and mozzarella cheese
Thomasina's Cashew Brittle (Minneapolis) [clubs/suites]: Handmade natural, preservative-free and gluten-free brittle
M Hospitality (clubs/suites)
Minnesota wild rice and cranberry salad
T-Rex Cookie Company (Minneapolis) [clubs/suites]: Fresh-baked, half-pound cookies
Fresh-baked, half-pound cookies
Alimama Catering (St. Paul):Mediterranean and North African cuisine