As many Minnesotans are aware, about a year or so back our Target Field decided to amp up its selections of consumable fare, giving food stand spots to higher quality outlets (such as AZCanteen) while bringing in things like Kramarczuk’s themselves. With such, popularity and interest in the Stadium, and eating at it, have risen notably with the options for both classic and new cuisines.
Well, it seems the Field isn’t satisfied with this and has decided to cash in on the Food Truck craze with their own creation! Taste of Target Field hit the streets about a month ago (and I did visit soon after, but got a bit distracted in putting the response post together, my apologies), with the idea to “bring our delicious ballpark fare out into the community,” or to get the food out to those who aren’t at, don’t want to, or can’t go to the games. They offer a various menu of the same ballpark items in the Stadium, letting those experience the much-talked-about food without having to buy a ticket. Though, for those who would like to re-create the experience, they also sport a flatscreen TV from which to watch whatever game is happening on when they’re out!
Normally, a truck like this might have actually gotten a Full-on review from me; they have a very solid and noticeable theme, there’s that feeling of an “experience” in its design and when you go, the prices are pretty fair (well, except for a couple things… but will mention that in a bit), and the speed isn’t too bad. However, this isn’t exactly a start up, independantly owned business, or even based on a restaurant; this creation is owned by Target Field and “Delaware North Sportservice” (anyone else think that sounds like an eerie, behind-the-scenes mega-company?). No matter how well one does certain aspects, large company ownership always tends to create a product that just lacks… soul. You go up to it and you know what it is.
Secondly, at the end of the day all of the food is just regular Ballpark Food. They try to jazz it up, and they have the good Kramarczuk brats (probably the only thing on the menu I would suggest worth getting, maybe the Dogs too; though the Chili is from the Loon Café, that might not be too bad), but everything has that… mass-produced quality to it. Which is another thing; you know the Truck is just taking things already being made at the Stadium, which only needs the smallest of effort to bump up production on Pulled Beef, Chili, and Cutting various Veggies. I doubt there’s any cooking done on the Truck besides heating up dogs, brats, and frying potatoes to order.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that; they’re able to do many particular things because of it, but one can safely argue it detracts from those unseen atmospheric factors which I’ve constantly found so crucial in one’s experience somewhere.
As for the actual food, I decided to try something which I couldn’t guesstimate its quality, the seeming Menu Highlight of Smoked Brisket Sandwich (with “coleslaw”) along with a side of Garlic Fries (ooooh, ahhhh, it’s not just regular fries…). Though technically tender, and pretty tasty, there was nothing in the Brisket to really impress me; it’s not that soul-melting, eye rolling experience of getting that GOOD Pulled Beef or Pork from a quality restaurant or BBQ Pit. And the slaw… that was so not a slaw; or, suffice it to say it was JUST the slaw without the cole. It’s just sliced cabbage, no dressing… I think someone needs to remind them what a coleslaw is made from.
The bun was toasted though, at least they did that. As for the “Garlic Fries”… regular french fries, cheap parmesan cheese, and some herbs on top… whoo boy, I’ve never seen THAT done before at how many “higher end” restaurants. Could barely even taste the garlic. It’s a combination that’s getting just about as old and depressing as the Pretzel Bun (seriously, I love them I do, but can people stop doing them based on the fad and go back to finding the RIGHT bun for the situation!?). The worst part is that it’s $3 more than the regular Fries, despite obviously only adding that which is only a few coins worth of actual and perceived cost/quality.
Well, that’s about all I have to say, so let’s get down to the potential ratings.
Food: 5 – it’s a good thing they have Kramarczuk’s…
Holdability: 6.5 – Depends on item, but ultimately these ARE Ballpark items, based on things that were meant to be ordered and brought back to a seat and enjoyed. Somewhat portable but not completely.
Price: 8 – They commit some annoying sins here and there, but the ultimate range is pretty good and one can buy some nicely-priced, loaded dogs. $2-6 mainly with 3 bigger items ranged $10-13.
Speed: 8.5 – Somewhat dependant, but most are pretty quick, expect a little longer for Sandwich bun toasting and frying potatoes.
Toe: 5 – I’ll keep it at 5 because there’s a strong, noticeable theme and trend, and one does get a bit of that ballpark-ness to it when you go, but my previous feelings still affect the final.
If looking to visit, these guys travel all the main Minneapolis and St Paul stops along with some unique locations outside stadiums, office buildings, etc. I’m glad they got rid of their “upcoming schedule” thing on the site, too, since twice I’ve tried getting to them in Minneapolis on days they were supposed to be there only to find them absent. One will want to pay attention to their Twitter though.