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Minnesota Football: A Guide to the New Foods at TCF Bank Stadium in 2018

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The Gophers don’t want you to go hungry

The new foods at TCF Bank Stadium for 2018 are impresive
Andy York—TDG

On Wednesday I was lucky enough to be able to be one of several people to be the first to taste the new menu items that will be available for purchase at TCF Bank Stadium during Minnesota Golden Gophers Football games in 2018. The Gophers are still keeping your traditional stadium fare, but are bringing in several new vendor concepts to give fans more unique and high quality choices. Several of the new stands will replace existing ones in the concourse level, and three new ones will join several of the returning stands on the plaza. Below we will give you some pictures of some of the new items, my review of several of them, and a full list of the new concepts and where to find them in the stadium. While exact prices of all the items were not immediately available, the highest price point will be $14 and several of the new items will cost less than $10. For some of the items we tasted, that’s a steal.

Uffda: Minnesota Fare

The Uffda stand is new and will be on the concourse behind Sections 144 and 145 along with the Pimento Jamaican Kitchen stand which has moved up from the plaza in 2017. While Uffda is branded as “Minnesota” fare, there is nothing really strongly Minnesota about it, but it is more foods that are traditional to the Upper Midwest and greater “North”

Poutine:

The poutine at the Uffda Stand was pretty good. You have your classic fries covered with a pot roast gravy with good sized chunks of beef, fried cheese curds, nacho cheese, and fresh scallions. The flavors were good, but the nacho cheese is a strong flavor. It’s not fully traditional, but it’s still pretty tasty. 4 out of 5 oars.

Beer Cheese Soup:

The soup is a traditional beer cheese soup. Good flavors run throughout. The beer flavor is pronounced, and the cheese comes through. The traditional garnish of popcorn on the top gives a great different texture. I expect this will be a big seller once the November games roll around. 3.5 out of 5 oars.

Walleye and Chips Basket:

This was the first real disappointment of the tasting. My portion was not immediately fresh, and unfortunately you could tell right away. The fries were fine with a seasoned salt added, but the walleye fingers themselves were over breaded and kind of rubbery. Almost like a very expensive fish stick. If you are looking for walleye at TCF, there is a significantly better option I’ll discuss in a bit. 1.5 out of 5 oars.

Other Menu Items Not Available to Taste:

Loaded Totchos, Vegetable Beef Soup.

Relish—Gourmet Hot Dogs

The relish concept will be in two places on the concourse—behind Section 107 and Section 140. It will specialize in gourmet hot dogs and brats, sausages with some “real personality”

The “Hot” Dog

This is for the spicy lover. Sliced jalapenos, sriracha sauce, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and feathered pepper-jack cheese top a hot dog. I’ll be honest—I didn’t try this one because I like my spicy things Minnesota spicy and I had absolutely no interest in blowing my mouth away. But if you like really hot things, this might be for you.

Other Menu Items Not Available to Taste:

Junk Yard Dog, Chili Dog, Rising North Bratwurst, Classic Hot Dog, Classic Bratwurst.

Flat Top—Gourmet Burgers

The Flat Top concept is all about gourmet burgers. Fun toppings and flavors. It will be located in two spots on the concourse—behind Sections 121 and 135.

The “OG” Original Gopher Burger:

This was the only burger available to taste, and for a stand that promises fun flavors this was pretty meh. It was nothing unusual—6 oz beef patty, cheddar cheese, red onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It was a normal burger. I didn’t find anything special about it, but it tasted fine. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t memorable. Maybe some of there more exciting burgers will be. 2.5 out of 5 Oars.

Other Menu Items Not Available to Taste:

Pick Swiss Burger, The Longest Chard Burger, Veggie Burger, Classic Hamburger, The Blind Side Burger.

The Lotus-Vietnamese Cuisine

The Lotus is well known in the Twin Cities for being a chain of Vietnamese restaurants that first opened in 1983 in Uptown. It will be located in a stand alone stand behind Section 131.

Veggie or Pork Egg Rolls:

The egg rolls were crisp and good out of the fryer and were served on a stick—bonus Minnesota points there. I had the pork one and the filling was good and flavorful. It was a good egg roll. Nothing super special, but really tasty when done well. My only concern will be if you don’t get one fresh it will have a strong possibility of being pretty grease-logged and soggy which will not be tasty. 3.5 out of 5 oars.

Sesame Chicken with Veggie Fried Rice:

The fried rice seemed a bit limp to me. It had flavor, but the texture seemed soggy. However, the sesame chicken was the star of this show. Crisp with a very flavorful sauce it was legitimately one of the top-5 sesame chicken entrees I have had. I’d put it up with just about any sesame chicken from any other Asian restaurant in the Twin Cities—save Yangs in Woodbury. Again my only concern will be that if it sits for a while I can see the quality degrade in a hurry—but hot and fresh it was one of the best bites I had. 4.25 out of 5 Oars.

Other Menu Items Available I Just Forgot to Taste:

Chicken Pad Thai, Imperial Veggies with Veggie Fried Rice, Veggie Fried Rice (solo)

Scoop’d—Premium Ice Cream

The Scoop’d concept will be a mixture of items. It will serve premium ice cream in your classic dishes/cones and root beer floats. But its signature item is one not to miss. It will be on the concourse behind Section 119

Over the Top Gopher Shake:

Yeah, this was a big winner. It was getting tons of great reviews, and for a good reason. A creamy blended vanilla shake in a huge glass with caramel sauce, maroon and gold sprinkles, whipped cream, and a whole doughnut on top. Yeah its over the top, but its really really delicious. And apparently at only $10 its a pretty insane value to split between two or three people. 4.75 out of 5 Oars.

Other Menu Items Not Available to taste:

Premium Ice Cream served in a dish or cone (Strawberry, Vanilla, Chocolate, Peppermint Bon-Bon, and Cookies and Cream), Root Beer Floats.

Northern Taco—Specialty Tacos

Northern Tacos will craft tacos and nachos with premium ingredients and will be located on the plaza.

Walleye Tacos:

If you are looking for Walleye at TCF Bank Stadium, this is the one you want. Its a baked walleye fillet served in a flour tortilla with pico, sour cream and other veggies. It was fantastic. The fish was flaky and perfectly cooked. It was flavorful, but not over the top. It was a true winner. 4.5 out of 5 oars.

Other Menu Items Not Available to Taste:

Chicken Street Tacos, Traditional Beef Tacos, Housemade Chips and Salsa, Loaded Gourmet Nachos.

Gridiron Wings—Chicken Wings

The Gridiron Wings concept will be fried chicken wings freshly tossed in one of four different sauces. They will be available on the plaza.

Gridiron Wings with BBQ Sauce

Gridiron Wings with Parmesan Garlic Sauce

Andy York-TDG

The wings themselves were a decent size and had a nice crunchy exterior. The chicken inside was tender and it was a good representative of a chicken wing. You got a mix of flats and drummies. The BBQ sauce was sweet with a slight kick in the back. A fairly typical representation of BBQ sauce but plenty flavorful. The parmesan garlic sauce was a good umami bomb. The garlic flavor was strong but in a good way. The parmesan was salty and gives a good mouthfeel.

Gridiron Wings with Cilantro Sweet Chili Sauce

This sauce was like your typical sweet chili sauce with a hint of cilantro flavor.

Gridiron Wings with Buffalo Sauce

A typical buffalo sauce. You get the pepper flavor but its a fairly mild version. Like I said I like Minnesota spicy and I had no problem with these wings.

Overall Wings grade 4 out of 5 oars.

Sweet and Salty—Doughnuts and Pretzels

This stand will be on the plaza, and the most distinctive feature is the gorgeous display board. I didn’t try one of the pretzels, but they looked similar to a traditional stadium pretzel. The doughnut I had was a cake doughnut with maroon icing and gold sprinkles. It was just fine, but was nothing special. 3 out of 5 Oars.

TL;DR What Were Your Favorite New Foods:

  1. Over The Top Gopher Shake
  2. Walleye Taco
  3. Lotus Sesame Chicken

So Where Can I find All The New and Old Foods Again?

Here is a copy of the concession map that will be sent out with season tickets and available in the stadium. As you can see plenty of the traditional Goldy’s Grill, Stadium Snacks, Dino’s Gyros, Drew’s Popcorn, Subway and Famous Dave’s stands remain scattered around the concourse. All of the tents on the plaza including Jax Cafe, Curds and Cakes, and of course the beer vendors remain. One addition to the TCF Stadium Brewery lineup for 2018 includes Finnegans. They join fellow Minnesota breweries Surly, Schells, Fulton, and Summit on the plaza.

You can get your first chance at trying the new TCF Bank Stadium Foods at the Gophers home opener against New Mexico State on August 30th!

Poll

So What New TCF Bank Stadium Food Do You Want to Try the Most?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Walleye and Chips
    (3 votes)
  • 13%
    Poutine
    (18 votes)
  • 4%
    Beer Cheese Soup
    (6 votes)
  • 21%
    Over The Top Gopher Shake
    (30 votes)
  • 5%
    Gourmet Hot Dogs
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Flat Top Gourmet Burgers
    (0 votes)
  • 2%
    Lotus Egg Rolls
    (3 votes)
  • 4%
    Lotus Sesame Chicken
    (6 votes)
  • 20%
    Walleye Tacos
    (28 votes)
  • 2%
    Other New Northern Taco Items
    (4 votes)
  • 15%
    Beer- Just give me all of the Beer
    (22 votes)
  • 7%
    Gridiron Wings
    (11 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now