With Sioux Falls Skyforce season in full force at the Sanford Pentagon, it’s always fun to go before or after the game to talk sports and enjoy a beer with some sports-bar grub.
When I found out this July that Will’s Training Table took over the former Beef ‘O’ Brady’s location right next to the sports complex, I was intrigued.
My partner in crime and I drove through the confusing way to the restaurant (I pulled into several wrong parking lots of hotels and others that also surround the Sanford Pentagon, mostly because I’m terrible at directions and driving). Finally pulling in, general manager Michael Wallin greeted us and took us to the bar section at a high-top that was right next to a table with golf bag chairs that displayed the names of T. Denny Sanford and Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenholft’s.
That’s a large part of the feel of the establishment is that it is 100 percent Sanford affiliated. Murals, photos, and signed memorabilia hang on the walls, celebrating Sanford sports athletes, like Mike Miller, Carson Wentz, Chad Greenway, and more. I did like the nod and celebration to local-turned-national athletes.
Do I know who Will is? I asked, and while I heard the rumor is he is also Sanford affiliated, I did not get the answer.
First up on the menu was the Strawberry Salad Wrap. It was a mix of grilled chicken, strawberries, pecans, spring mix, blue cheese, and balsamic dressing in a spinach tortilla. This meal came with a side, and we tried the Pickle Fries (because we’re Midwestern, duh). These were long, skinny pickle fries that had an onion ring-type breading. It took one bite to become addicted. The pickle taste was subtle, and the crunchy outside was savory.
“It had the perfect salad to ingredient ratio, and the different flavors blended impeccably.”
And I hate strawberries,” I admitted.
“And I hate blue cheese,” my coworker said.
It’s an over-exaggeration, but it was a symphony of tastes that were completed with the crunch of pecans.
“The pecans make this,” confirmed my tablemate.
We wanted to keep going, but we had to move on. Next was the Four-Cheese Flatbread, with feta, mozzarella, parmesan, provolone, alfredo sauce, and basil. After a few bites, we raised our eyebrows at each other, chewing with approval. The alfredo wasn’t too heavy, the tomatoes were fresh, and the crust was nice and soft. All in all, it would be a great snack to get you ready for more game beers.
Our next dish was presented as we patted our filling bellies. It was the Turkey Bacon Avocado sandwich with turkey, bacon, avocado, guacamole, spinach leaves, and provolone cheese. Obviously the first thing we worried about was the bacon. It passed with flying colors, as it was crunchy goodness. What I thought made the sandwich was the scachatta bun.
We had the chance to try another side and went for the Cheese Curds. They were super light and fluffy, which was a win.
Last, but not least, was Will’s Burger (again, I need to know who Will is…). This burger had gruyere cheese, grilled mushrooms, crispy onion straws, and their signature spread. While the burger looked intense with ingredients, it held together nicely and wasn’t embarrassing to eat in public.
The fresh, clean look and local feel to the restaurant is a great addition near the Sanford Pentagon. You will definitely find me there before I stalk (I mean, cheer on) Skyforce’s mascot, Thunder. And whatever you do, don’t miss out on the Strawberry Salad Wrap and Pickle Fries. You won’t regret it.
Will’s Training Table is a good sport… about happy hour. Monday through Friday enjoy 2-for-1 domestic beers, 2-for-1 Moscow Mules, half-priced flatbreads and appetizers, and 50 cent wings (traditional or boneless) from 3-6 p.m.
I like the local athlete take on the restaurant. While the logo kind of reminds me of a (nice) gas station, I appreciate the fun details like the golf-bag stools and large murals. The patio is huge, and they mentioned improving it even more, which will be awesome.
Everything is roughly at the $10.99 mark. The most expensive item is the Surf and Turf Salad at $14.99, which is not bad at all. Mondays kids eat free (10 years old and younger), and nurses get 25% off all food and half-priced Moscow Mules and Martinis on Thursdays.
I want to just go back for the Strawberry Salad Wrap in general (well… plus the Pickle Fries, of course). Everything was tasty, and I did enjoy their twists on what could be just more “bar food.” The Cheese Curds were fluffy, the drink specials were on point. You will definitely find me bellied up to the bar before a game.
Rating Scale: Ambiance ++++ | Average Price Per Meal: $—$10 & under; $$—$20 & under; $$$—$30 & under; $$$$—over $30 | Taste ++++
It’s the facts
- You can rent a party room for a meeting or for a gathering that holds up to 50 people.
- Certain menu items are marked as “athlete approved” by Lizzie Kasparek from the Sanford Sports Science Institute.
- There is more than just beer. Try one of their specialty drinks, like the Bubblegum Martini.