MINNEAPOLIS - While the Minnesota Timberwolves try on the court to send their fans home happy with wins at Target Center, it’s the job of Ryan Tanke to make sure they’re getting the most out of their experience while they’re there.
Tanke is the chief operating officer of the Timberwolves, and he helped host the third-annual Taste of the Timberwolves on Monday at Fhima Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis. It was the media food preview ahead of the Oct. 27 home opener against the Miami Heat.
Fhima Restaurant is one of several local businesses partnering with the Wolves this season. Tanke said the food and beverage experience for fans is driven by three pillars: A constant desire to be innovative, providing a chef-driven experience and making memories for fans. For a lot of fans, a game at Target Center might be their only chance to see the Wolves.
“So everything we’re doing is to try to create memories for people,” Tanke said.
To execute that vision, the Wolves chose Chef David Fhima of Fhima’s Restaurant in Minneapolis.
The Wolves are basing their Target Center menu off three foundational items: The Parlour Burger, nominated last year as one of the best burgers in professional sports; the Walleye Sandwich from Lord Fletcher’s and the Sotarol, a sushi-inspired burrito concept.
“It’s unique to sports, but it’s not unique to food. Good food happens in great restaurants, so why should you only have it in a restaurant in and why not in an arena?” said David Fhima.
The Timberwolves are also trying a new “test kitchen” this season. They’re using fan feedback to create one new and different food option at all 41 Wolves homes games this season. For the Oct. 27 home opener, it’s a Budweiser braised short rib with cotton candy on top.
Other top new food items for Timberwolves games this season will include a Nashville hot chicken sandwich, loaded tater tots, a Korean barbecue philly sandwich, Crystal Farms mac and cheese with smoked brisket and a vegan meat bratwurst.
Not to be forgotten, the Wolves have also partnered with Jim Beam to provide new cocktails at Target Center. They include a whiskey sour, a classic old-fashioned and Mule Varation.
A new season of Wolves basketball is coming, so bring your appetite with it.