Target Field Sloppy Ko Review

(Image from Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press)

Over the years, the food menu at baseball games has migrated into new territory. You can still get your hot peanuts, Cracker Jacks, hot dogs and a simple lager, but many venues are adding an eclectic food fare collection to their menus.

Having had the opportunity to taste many different ballpark meals in the last decade, I thought it would be entertaining to write up some short reviews of the various eats over the season.

Target Field Home Opener

Seeing the menu of new foods at Target Field, I quickly narrowed my sights on the Sloppy Ko from Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen. How can you go wrong with a Korean-style BBQ sandwich with kimchi and a soft-boiled egg right?

Having filled up on some scrumptious bar food prior to the game, I waited until late in the game to pick up what I could only imagine as heaven on a potato bun. Taking advantage of the break between the top and bottom of the 7th inning, I dashed up the stairs of section 126 and headed south towards the Canteen. The line was fairly short so I was optimistic that I would be able to make it back to see the Twins score some runs.

My optimism was quickly dashed. For some reason, the majority of the people in line were waiting for beer and had not even ordered food. The problem was the keg had been freshly tapped and the poor volunteer was unable to stream anything other than a frothy head into the cup.

As I watched the Twins load the bases, it became clear that the beer was going to have to come from the booth next door. After a few trips to the neighboring tap, another volunteer soon began bringing clear plastic cups filled with light amber ale over to speed up the process. By now the Twins have stolen three runs with three bases loaded walks.

I finally arrived at the head of the line and was quickly taken aghast with the menu item sticker price of $14.50 for the Sloppy Ko. Surely this must be an entire meal to demand such a price tag. I mentally bartered with myself as I watched the thick slabs of bacon, frying behind the volunteer in the booth. Should I go with the bacon sandwich instead? No. The Sloppy Ko had to be amazing and I didn’t want to miss it, so I placed my order. “One Sloppy Ko please”.

Seconds later I was handed a small paper food tray with a single Sloppy Ko. My first thought was “This is $15”? No. It is not the size of the meal, but the quality of the meal that matters I reminded myself. After all, MSP Mag gave this sandwich two thumbs up right?

I quickly returned to section 126 and was able to go directly to my seat as the Royals were in the middle of a pitching change after the Twins scored another two runs with a Jason Castro single to left field. I showed my wife the sandwich that I had been building up all weekend to her. Her first words… “That was $15”?

Caitlin Abrams / MSP Mag

Time to dig in. The Sloppy Ko is nice and sloppy. The juicy beef is soaked up well in the bun and there is a generous portion of beef in the sandwich. Korean BBQ it is not. More like a sweet Italian beef. Shame on you for making think this was going to taste something akin to Korean BBQ.

The soft-boiled egg sliced in half looked great, but was difficult to eat on top of the potato bun which was served like a hot dog and not a sandwich. In order to avoid making any more of a sloppy mess I would take a small bite of egg followed by a large bite of sandwich. This brought in the flavors of the kimchi, only this wasn’t really kimchi either. Kimchi should be moist, tangy, sweet and spicy. This was dry, tangy and sweet. It reminded me of a cabbage salad you buy in a bag and add some dressing before your ready to eat it.

So, what is my final verdict? Two thumbs down to the Sloppy Ko at Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen at Target Field. This was a mildly flavorful sandwich that was not deserving of the $14.50 price and would no doubt make Byung Ho Park weep if he were not already in Rochester.

PS My wife wanted me to mention that here traditional Kramarczuk’s sausage smothered in onions and ‘kraut was as always delicious.

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