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Food & Drink

The Twins Weren’t the Only Winners Yesterday at Target Field

If you're going to the ballpark this postseason, do yourself a favor and get the new báhn mì brat.

Em Cassel

What a game, folks!

Yesterday evening, the Twins bested the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of their three-game Wild Card series—the first playoff win for Minnesota since 2004's American League Division Series. A string of 18 consecutive playoff losses—the longest such streak in North American pro sports—over and done with. Curse (maybe) broken (baybeee)!

The atmosphere at Target Field was positively electric. People were screaming, hollering, heckling... I felt like I was back in Philadelphia (minus the battery throwing). It was a beautiful thing to behold. I love when Minnesotans really let loose, and the Twins seemed to love it, too.

But I'm a food writer and a fan, folks, not a sports writer. For the sporty side of things, you can find Racket's playoff guide for the casual Twins fan here, or read the esteemed Aaron Gleeman's game one recap for The Athletic. I went to Target Field yesterday to cheer, yes—but also to eat.

Earlier this week, the Twins announced a handful of new food items just for the postseason, among them the “Land of 10,000 Rakes Walleye Sliders,” a brat burger from Kramarczuk’s, and a pastrami reuben pretzel sandwich. And, from Union Hmong Kitchen, there were two bonus baseball menu additions: a tater tot hotdish with Hmong chicken chili and a báhn mì brat.

In all honesty, biking downtown yesterday, I had visions of Hmong chicken hotdish dancing in my head. Unfortunately, that particular newbie is only available at the Carew Atrium in the Delta SKY360° Club (where I cannot afford to sit) and via the Truly Grab-and-Go at Truly on Deck (which was across the ballpark from our seats in right field, purchased before we knew who or when the Twins would play this week).

The bánh mì brat, though? That was on the menu at Union Hmong Kitchen's stall by Section 106, conveniently located near the bike jail the stadium added this year. So, homer hanky in hand, I approached the friendly folks at the UHK stand.

At $12.99, the bánh mì brat is no steal (baseball term), but we're talking about a place where the beers cost like $15—nothing is. It's a dang pretty treat, which is one of the things I love about bánh mì in general, with colorful pickled veggies, slivers of jalapeño, and a sprinkling of cilantro.

And that first bite? Fireworks! I mean there were literal, actual fireworks—we’d just taken our seats in the bottom of the first when Royce Lewis smashed his heroic two-run homer.

One bite, and the homer hankies came out:

They could have been celebrating the bánh mì brat, though. It combines all the best things about bánh mì—crisp, refreshing toppings including those zippy jalapeño rounds—with all the best parts of a ballpark brat—spicy, creamy brown mustard, squishy, scarfable hot dog bun. The Hmong sausage itself was smoky, a little garlicky, and full of flavor.

It's perfection paired with a light beer—Bud Light, in my case, though I have no doubt that your Millers and your Mich Goldens would provide just the right crisp accompaniment.

I only ask that Target Field and Union Hmong Kitchen make it a full-season thing. It's that good. And, you know, we might not always have quite so much to celebrate on the field.

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