A four-time James Beard Award--winning TV personality, chef and writer, Minneapolis-based Andrew Zimmern is Super Bowl LII's culinary ambassador, taking the lead on the event's premium hospitality offerings. Here he discusses his Super Bowl Sunday traditions and why the hot dogs at the Metrodome were quite possibly the worst stadium food ever.
On hosting Super Bowl Sunday: "If I'm home for the big game, I always use the same system: At the front door I greet guests with a hot pot of soup to welcome them. Nothing says hello better than a warm mug of wild rice soup or wild mushroom soup from fall forage. I place a roasted meat on the counter for slicing and making sandwiches during the game—local turkey or ham is always a hit. I set up a roasted sausage station in the fireplace so guests can grill bratwurst on the open fire and keep a pot of homemade sauerkraut there so it stays warm. I fill in with shrimp remoulade, guacamole and chicken wings."
On the best food he's had at a sporting event: I went to a fútbol match at El Monumental in Buenos Aires and ate a carved top round of beef sandwich at one vendor, crushed it and walked two feet to my left and had a choripan—chorizo on grilled bread. I think about that day a lot. In America nothing comes close.
On memories of the old Metrodome: The hot dogs at the Metrodome were, hands down, some of the worst I've ever tasted. In fact, the food there was overall some of the worst in the history of stadium food. There was an engineering issue with venting through the giant Baggie covering the stadium. Ultimately that killed innovation and expansion, so all we had were bad hot dogs, precooked cardboard pizza and lousy nachos. That stadium created many amazing memories and at the same time some terrible food for the fans.
On Minneapolis as a foodie destination:What used to be fly-over country is now as white-hot as any "food destination" in America and is the most interesting. The hottest trend in food in America over the last 30 years has been the celebration of honest authentic foods, cooked farm to table, honoring the family farm, and unique craft cooking like bread baking, putting up jams, jellies and pickles. On the coasts that spirit has been lost. Here in the Bold North we never stopped living that lifestyle every day.
ANDREW ZIMMERN'S TOP EATS IN THE TWIN CITIES
HMONG VILLAGE (1001 Johnson Pkway, St Paul): "The food court is a thrill ride. Sausage with lemongrass and sticky rice are a must."
REVIVAL ST. PAUL (525 Selby Ave, St Paul): "Maybe the best pastrami in America."
SPOON & STABLE: (211 N 1st St, Minneapolis): "Best food, service and ambience in town."
GRAND CAFE: (3804 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis): "Delicious food shot through a prism of throwback French cuisine."
YOUNG JONI: (165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis): "The grilled fish of the day is a standout."
TILIA: (2726 W 43rd St, Minneapolis): "Still my favorite lunch spot in town."
PUNCH PIZZA: (Multiple loctions): "One of the 20 best pizzerias in America."
KRAMARCZUK: (215 E. Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis) "Stuffed cabbage and Krakowska sausage: a great meal."
SHUANG CHENG: (1320 4th St SE, Minneapolis): "Dinkytown Chinese standard-bearer."
OCTO FISH BAR: (289 5th St E, St. Paul): "Superb seafood eatery and bakery at the St. Paul's Farmers market."