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New MLB Stadium Goes Upscale with Stuffed Cheeseburger

By • Mar 30th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog

We’re just hours away from opening day of baseball season, which means chowhounds like us can soon start taking BP- biting practice- on the year’s new stadium concession stand offerings.  One of the most eagerly-awaited debuts in the major leagues for the 2010 season is in downtown Minneapolis, where the Twins are set to open their sparkly new outdoor stadium called Target Field.

By all accounts, it’s an impressive facility that will thrill players and fans alike.  But while the boys of summer dissect details like the new park’s sightlines, outfield wall, and turf speed, the paying, cheering masses will be grading the grub at the concession stands throughout the concourses.  And although the stadium doesn’t host its first game until April 12, the team has already hit a grand slam by announcing that they’ll be serving up a Twin Cities legend at six of the park’s concession stands.

That is the Vincent Burger, in a gorgeous shot taken by Alison Cook for her Cook’s Tour blog.  The stuffed cheeseburger was named the best burger in Minnesota by Food Network Magazine in 2009 and was voted the best gourmet burger in Minneapolis by in 2007.   (High praise indeed.  Let’s not forget that this is a city that loves its cheeseburgers, to the point of violating FAA regulations just to satisfy a lunch craving.)

A perennial favorite at Vincent- A Restaurant (a ritzy eatery that also dishes up escargots, French cassoulet, and a $72 chocolate cake), the Vincent Burger is the brainchild of owner/chef Vincent Francoual (that’s him above, in a pic from Robb Long at MPP Downtown Journal) and his unique take on the city’s famed Jucy Lucy stuffed cheeseburger.  Check out this drop-dead sexy cross-section photo from the Dream Burger website to see what’s sliding through this sammie’s strike zone:

That’s an Angus beef burger, stuffed to the gills with a mixture of ground braised short ribs and smoked Gouda cheese.  It sells for $13.50 on the lunch and dinner menu, but locals know it’s just 8 bucks if you show up during happy hour.

Looks and sounds amazing, but I can’t help but wonder if the white-linen-tablecloth quality of the Vincent Burger will translate to a 40,000-seat ballpark, where the chef won’t exactly be able to oversee the creation of each one during a Sunday night snoozer against the Royals.  Will it be the same size as the restaurant’s?  Will it have the same top-shelf ingredients?  What will it cost???

These are almost certainly just minor details, because this burger will undoubtedly fly out of the Target Field kitchens.  Featuring local specialties and exclusive items like signature burgers has long been a tactic at sports venues.  As my trip to Grand Rapids showed last year, it doesn’t even have to be a great burger for people to line up to buy it.  In fact, having it served within earshot of the crack of a baseball bat or within sight of a kick-ass Jumbotron can make up for even a culinary catastrophe.

However the Minnesota Twins do this season, the Vincent Burger looks to be a clear winner, and perhaps worthy of a road trip to the MSP.

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