Tina Rexing, owner of T-Rex Cookie Company, shows of five-pound cookies that will be available via special order at U.S. Bank Stadium events. Photo by Eric Best

Tina Rexing, owner of T-Rex Cookie Company, shows of five-pound cookies that will be available via special order at U.S. Bank Stadium events. Photo by Eric Best

U.S. Bank Stadium menu features flair for local fare

Updated: July 25, 2016 - 11:50 am

Aramark, which oversees the stadium’s food and drink, has unveiled an array of local partners.

The new home of the Minnesota Vikings will offer fare from several local restaurants and food partners.

Aramark’s M Hospitality has unveiled a smorgasbord of concession offerings with 20 partnerships with both established and up-and-coming businesses on U.S. Bank Stadium’s menu. The new roster of vendors rounds out a previously announced list of locally well-known food partners like Andrew Zimmern, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon & Stable, Revival and Ike’s Food & Cocktails.

Among the new Minneapolis-based businesses joining the $1.1-billion stadium’s culinary roster are companies like up-and-comers T-Rex Cookie Company and Tattersall Distilling, and more established partners like Kramarczuk’s and Murray’s Steakhouse. Other locally known companies include hot dog and sausage maker Prairie Dogs, Lola’s Café, Thomasina’s Cashew Brittle and fast-casual taco chain R Taco.

For these companies the 66,200-seat stadium will offer a wider base of potential customers.

“I think from a small business here in the [Twin Cities] 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,” Tina Rexing, proprietor at T-Rex, told reporters at a media event.

T-Rex, which moved into the former Cupcake space in Prospect Park a couple months ago, will have cookies, including a purple and gold “Skol” sugar cookie, available in clubs and suites. Rexing started the company just 16 months and has sold her half-pound cookies at local farmers markets.

Rexing said she’ll bake the cookies — even five-pound cookies available via special order — in her University Avenue shop and deliver them two days in advance of all events at the stadium.

Tattersall Distilling will offer a variety of pre-batch cocktails in suites and bars at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Tattersall Distilling will offer a variety of pre-batch cocktails in suites and bars at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Kramarczuk’s, already known among baseball fans at Target Field, will have its traditional German-style bratwurst, Andouille sausage and cheddar bratwurst available at the new stadium, Nick Kramarczuk said. Murray’s will offer short rib sandwiches in clubs and suites.

On the drink side, Aramark, which handles food and beverages for a total of 17 NFL teams, previously announced a partnership with Northeast Minneapolis breweries to round out its beer offerings from MillerCoors. Co-founder Dan Oskey said Tattersall Distilling, a distillery and cocktail room in Logan Park’s Thorp Building, will also be partnering with the stadium team on pre-batch cocktails for suites, batch cocktails and satellite bars, though details have not been finalized on the partnership.

Oskey, who has put together cocktail menus at restaurants like Eastside, has drawn up new recipes for U.S. Bank Stadium, which will be made by other staff with the venue. Oskey said the mix of cocktails features new editions of traditional drinks like a bourbon sour and a cosmopolitan, along with unique options like the Purple People Eater. The drink is made with Tattersall’s vodka and its a soon-to-be-released blueberry liqueur.

“There are some classics on there, but they’re our take on it,” he said.

R Taco will be serving several items from its menu of street tacos, including a fried chicken taco and the Gringo Taco with spicy ground beef. Local owner Pam Ringgenberg said the nearly five-year-old chain, which early on expanded to St. Paul and then to Hennepin Avenue near Northeast Minneapolis, will also be expanding to Eagan and Eden Prairie by the end of the year.

Pamela Ringgenberg and her daughter serve up tacos that will be available to Vikings fans.
Pamela Ringgenberg and her daughter serve up tacos that will be available to Vikings fans.

Another new partnership is Twin Cities Foodie, a collaboration between Matt Bickford of Icehouse and Tammy Wong of Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar — both Whittier-based establishments— along with Shawn Smalley of Stillwater-based Smalley’s Caribbean BBQ. The stadium-exclusive concept, which will benefit the local chapter of anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, will offer smoky chicken nachos, jerk bacon sandwiches and lemongrass meatballs, all recipes from the three chefs and restaurateurs.

Partners from St. Paul include A Peace of Cake (nut mixes, snacks), Alimama Catering (Mediterranean and North African cuisine), Chocolat Celeste (chocolate) and Just Truffles (assorted truffles). The new list also features companies from neighboring suburbs and cities across Minnesota like Be Graceful Bakery & Catering (sandwiches and hoagies), Chappy Street Eats (gluten-free food), Cinnie Smiths (miniature cinnamon rolls), Curds & Cakes (cheese curds) and Gramsky’s Sandwiches (Midwestern-style sandwiches).

Andrew Zimmern will have a two Andrew Zimmern's Canteen outposts, plus rotisserie and hoagies partnerships.
Andrew Zimmern will have two Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen outposts, plus rotisserie and hoagies partnerships.

Allison Butler, Aramark’s regional vice president, described the stadium’s menu as “local, authentic and genuine.”

“The City of Minneapolis has a lot to be proud of, and we could not be more proud to partner with these individual businesses,” she said in a statement.

Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, told reporters they were maintaining a precedent set by downtown’s other stadium.

“I think Target Field really started the tradition of great Minnesota culinary experience at their stadium and we certainly have continued that,” she said.

The first major event at the stadium will be an International Champions Cup match between AC Milan and Chelsea FC on Aug. 3. The first Vikings preseason game will be on Sunday, Aug. 28.

The stadium will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 22.