Here are the must-try new Xcel Center foods

Cookie dough and lobster mac and cheese are among the expanded options.
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An assortment of 24 new foods will be available for the Minnesota Wild's 2017-18 season at the Xcel Energy Center. The updated concession options include a lot of Italian, with nine of the 24 items repping classic (and a few not so classic) red and white sauce faves.

General concessions will also get a couple of gussied-up hot dogs, the ubiquitous nachos, a bunch of very sweet, very sticky brownie selections, and this year's Insta-crave, cookie dough. 

Here's a rundown of what's new (and worth keeping an eye out for) this year. We'll start with our favorites.

Penne & Marinara: An everyone-loves-it, hot lunch-esque version of pasta, red sauce, meatballs and Parm. Who can argue? Not us. (General concessions)

Bucket O' Balls: The double-entendre is theirs, not ours. Again with the Italian, these meatballs were zesty, tender, and crave-worthy. About the size of a golf ball, we can't imagine taking down an entire bucket, but okay. (General concessions)

J&R's Cookie Dough: Is cookie dough as good when you're not surreptitiously sneaking it off of the wooden spoon when mom isn't looking? Not really. But, if you do indeed crave a whole scoop of the stuff, J&R's cookie dough will provide you with your pleasure: chocolate chip, cookies and cream, cake batter, or Monster. (General concessions)

Wild Mushroom Ravioli: Creamy pillows of ravioli stuffed with herby ricotta and smothered in pesto cream and mushrooms. This dish will lay down a substantial base to keep you satiated through the game and beyond. (Club level)

Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara: When the Wild do Italian, it seems they're going to do it swimming in cream. Flecked with crispy bacon, and for good measure, almonds. Move over Mushroom Ravioli – now there's something even more depraved. (Club level) 

Italian Beef Rolled Flatbread (AKA "The Stickwich"): For sheer attempt at invention, check out this shaved Italian beef, Giardinara, and havarti rolled into a flatbread almost like a Gyro and then served with marinara. Is it Italian? Danish? Middle Eastern? It doesn't matter. Just eat it. (Club level)

Lobster Mac & Cheese: If you've got that extra scratch for a place in the suite, your pasta gets "luxurious lobster meat" incorporated throughout. (Suite level)

Char Grilled Kielbasa: Slices of Polish Kielbasa co-mingle with "Brussels sprouts confit." It was excellent to see a green veggie make an appearance, even if it is confit, which means it's probably cooked in animal fat. (Suite level)

Baja Pork & Chicken Nacho Platters: What's a sports event without some "piled high" nachos? As with most moments in life, nachos make it all better. These include pork or chicken, tomato, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, and sour cream, which evidently qualify them as "Baja." Also, cheese. You know: nachos! (Suite level)

Here are the rest of the new items:

General Concessions

Vietnamese Meatball Banh Mi: Pork and basil meatball, Asian vegetable slaw, and Sriracha aioli.

Italian Chopped Salad: Grilled zucchini, artichokes, Kalamata olives, Parmesan, tomatoes and Garbnzo beans served with Balsamic vinaigrette.

Elote Dog: Spicy chorizo sausage, grilled corn, cilantro and queso fresco.

Bacon-Wrapped Dog: Nueske's bacon, coleslaw and Louisiana hot sauce.

Super Nacho: House-fried tortilla chips, grilled corn, pico de gallo, and queso blanco.

Hockey Mom Brownies: Chocolate, cookies & cream, caramel espresso, salted caramel, Slap Shot, Five Hole, Minneapplecrisp, Pumpkin Chai Cream cheese, Puppy Chow

Club Level 

Italian Chopped Salad

Watermelon Caprese Salad: Watermelon, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and mixed greens tossed with balsamic vinegar and topped with crispy popped lentils.

Mushroom and Sausage Flatbread: Brick oven baked Italian flatbread with spicy Italian sausage and wild mushroom mix.

Margherita Flatbread: Brick oven baked Italian flatbread with fresh tomatoes, hand-torn basil, and fresh Mozzarella.

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich: Frank's RedHot, blue cheese coleslaw and crispy onions.

Izzy's Ice Cream: Raspberry Sorbet, S'more Fun, Salted Caramel, Caramel Cookie Crunch, Snap Crackle Chocolate, Chocolate Brownie, Honey Crunch, Peppermint Bon Bon.

Suite Level

Orange & Tabasco Wings: Crispy fried wings tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce.

Heirloom Tomato Salad: Tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and fresh herbs tossed with balsamic oil, orange zest, and goat cheese.

Sheboygan Brat Sampler: A trio of Sheboygan sausages: beer bratwurst, Polish sausage, and jalapeño bratwursts

Also, keep an eyeball peeled for the "Chef's Takeover" events throughout the season, where local name restaurants like Pajarito and Revival will commandeer the kitchen of the Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Club, which is open to the public. Fourteen different restaurants will participate throughout the season. They have not released a schedule yet, but encourage diners to "stay tuned."

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