This post is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Press.
What’s it about? Old-world Danish traditions meld with the freshest ideas and latest techniques in Savory Sweet. Beth Dooley and Mette Nielsen’s approach to preserving combines the bright, bold flavors of Nordic cuisines with an emphasis on the local, the practical, and the freshest ingredients to turn each season’s produce into a bounty of condiments.
Who’s it a good gift for? First-time preservers and experienced canners alike — anyone looking for fast, low-sugar ways to preserve their seasonal bounties.
Where’s it available? At your local bookseller, online at http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/savory-sweet, or by calling 800.621.2736.
Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Sambusa from Ibrahim Restaurant
We liked so much about our trip to Ibrahim Restaurant on Lake Street that it’s hard to condense it down to a single experience. The hot sauce alone is worth a column. But we can at least start with the sambusa: a perfect filling-to-crust ratio, a crunchy-yet-chewy exterior, a diverse and deeply spiced filling (spicy but not excessively so). It may be the best in town. At the very least, it’s our favorite.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]
Pho from JACS Pho
JACS makes a sweet, rich and elegantly clear broth — one of our favorites in town — then concentrates, vacuum seals, and freezes it for delivery along with individual packets of noodles, meat, and herbs. Now your freezer is stocked with some genuine Minnesota-Southeast Asian hygge. (Everything about JACS Pho is both ersatz and friendly: Orders and payments are handled by text and Facebook messenger. Then a friendly owner shows up to hand you a tidily packed paper bag at a mutually agreed upon time.)
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Tricia Cornell]
Porchetta bagel at Rise Bagels
The pork in this remarkable bagel sandwich is incredibly tender and gently fennel-flavored, the flavored cream cheese brings a wonderful garlic note to the dish, and the tomato and arugula were nice accents without overwhelming the dish as a whole. One of the best sandwiches in town right now.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]
Raspberry Roselle from Fair State Brewing
Fair State has been crushing it this year, and the Raspberry Roselle is a lovely note to go out on. This (lightly) sour ale is flavored with raspberries, which imparts a mildly tart, earthy, berry-powered flavor. The sweetness on this brew is ideal, neither painfully tart nor irritatingly sugary. It’s just delicate, tasteful, and elegant.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by James Norton]
Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese
Every year, Uplands Cheese rolls out its pricy ($25+) little wheels of Rush Creek Reserve, a raw milk cheese aged for 60 days. And every year, we go out and buy a wheel or two because there’s just nothing else like it — so creamy, so rich, so delicately earthy. It’s a flavor bomb, and it’s beautiful when spread on a Rustica baguette.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]
Our group of 11 gathered in the central hall of the Midtown Global Market. We shoved a few tables together and called that home base. Each of us was assigned a food vendor and given enough cash to order the specialty of the house along with something else that sounded interesting.
We returned with our offerings and set them down. Our table looked like a feast for a gluttonous king and his court. Soon the surface became strewn with the detritus of 11 people picking and poking at kolaches and pizza and lamb shanks and baba ghanouj. We used our grubby fingers and any available plastic utensil. We slurped and gnawed and grunted out our thoughts about the food. By the time we’d wiped away the drippings from our various tortas, tacos and dumplings, our thin, biodegradable napkins had pretty much biodegraded in our hands.
Then it was time for round two.
We loosened our belts, grabbed our cash, and did it all again. 17 different places, more than 40 menu items, all in a two-hour span.
If you’re unfamiliar with the setup of the Midtown Global Market, imagine a large indoor bazaar with merchants offering cuisines and other goods from around the globe. So yeah, it’s pretty much what it sounds like: a global market. It’s housed in a gorgeous Art Deco stone building that towers over Lake Street like a capitol. This place once housed a bustling Sears store and catalog center. But where there were once stacks of tools and blue jeans and children’s toys, there are now stacks of tamales and baked goods and, yes, still a few children’s toys.
Prior to its opening in 2006, the Midtown Global Market was nothing more than the noble idea of a few local business owners. Today, it stands as a testament to the power of doggedly pursuing a vision. It could have been just another anonymous development. Instead, the Midtown Global Market is one of those special places that helps define a city. We’re lucky to have it.
Pro tip: You can get an hour of free parking in the ramp on the east side of the market. Just try not to forget to get your ticket validated as you stuff your face with … good lord, take your pick. — M.C. Cronin
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
The East Lake Checklist is the third Heavy Table illustrated travelogue to explore a major gastronomic thoroughfare in Minneapolis and/or St. Paul. The East Lake Checklist is the Heavy Table’s follow-up to our 55-restaurant survey of independent eateries on Central Avenue and our 72-restaurant series about restaurants on the Green Line. We’ll publish five-restaurant installments biweekly until we’ve documented every nonchain spot on East Lake Street between 35W and the Mississippi River. (We’re estimating 75 spots, but we’ll see how it shakes out.)
This series is made possible by underwriting from Visit Lake Street. Heavy Table retains editorial control of the series — as with Central Avenue and the Green Line, this tour will be warts-and-all.
“From the river to the lakes, visitors and residents can shop local and be social on Lake Street. More information at VisitLakeStreet.com.”
Andy’s Garage is boldly and proudly a burgers-and-fries kinda joint, so that’s the way we went. We tried the bacon- and barbecue-sauce-bedecked Rugged Burger ($9.50, with an order of fries) and found that it lived up to its name: a charred, appropriately salty umami bomb on a respectable bun. Whatever you order at Andy’s Garage, make sure fries are part of the equation. It’s a treat to watch an employee grab a whole potato from a crate, smash it through an old-school metal fry-cutter, and fry up the strips while you watch. Our fries were delicious — simple, robust, well-seasoned.
We weren’t as enthusiastic about our chocolate shake ($4), which suffered from anemic ice cream that was much more “ice” than “cream” and standard-issue pumps of Hershey’s Syrup (which always leans toward sugar as opposed to real chocolate flavor). The shake was, it should be said, nice and thick.
Fair State’s recent release of Spirit Foul created a mild panic of positive hysteria (we were certainly part of the problem), so it seems that the Northeast Minneapolis-based brewery is laying it on a little thick by following up in a matter of weeks with a cheerful, limited-release, holiday-ready raspberry and hibiscus sour ale that’s equal parts novelty, talent, and fun.
Like most modern beers with something interesting to say, Roselle rewards the drinker who takes the time to smell the glass before draining it. The aroma is floral with a berry-like earthiness, and it’s lovely and compelling.
The beer is tart and clean, with a woodsiness and pleasant dry finish. It’s the best of both raspberries and a light, mellow, 10-IBU sour ale, without any sugary qualities or unpleasant aftertaste. Though the brew has an earthy core, it finishes with a berry-kissed crispness. While the beer is a respectable 5.7 percent ABV, it’s remarkably delicate and free of any boozy notes.
It shouldn’t be taken as a slight to say that Raspberry Roselle is strongly reminiscent of another regional beer — if you’ve ever had New Glarus Brewing’s excellent Raspberry Tart, you’ll find that Roselle has some similar qualities. Both represent the natural character of the fruit without being either sugary or unpleasantly astringent or funky. It’s no small accomplishment.
This week in The Tap: A look ahead at upcoming restaurants in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at email@example.com.
- Bull’s Horn, 4563 34th Ave S, Minneapolis | Doug Flicker’s meaty, burger-forward revamp and reinvention of the former Sunrise Inn space. Review here.
- The Hasty Tasty, 701 W Lake St, Minneapolis | New American with an emphasis on wood-fired food.
- Book Club, 5411 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | A Kim Bartmann California fusion eatery, helmed by Asher Miller, in the former Cafe Maude space.
- Sift Gluten-Free Bakery, 4557 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis
- Hai Hai, 2121 University Ave NE, Minneapolis | New Southeast Asian restaurant at the former Double Deuce location. By the team behind Hola Arepa.
- Lucky Oven Bakery, 5401 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | Scratch-made baked goods from a former Red Wagon pizza employee.
- Loulou Sweet & Savory, 2839 Emerson Ave S, Minneapolis | Yet another rolled ice cream spot; we’ve gone from 0 to 3 in a few months.
- Martina, 4312 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis | The former Upton 43 space has become an Argentine- and Italian-inspired spot by Daniel del Prado, formerly of Burch.
- Urban Forage Taproom, 3016 E Lake St, Minneapolis
- NOLO’s Kitchen and Bar and The Basement Bar, 515 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis
- Sisters’ Sludge (relocated), 3746 23rd Ave S, Minneapolis | A fresh start for the popular Minneapolis cafe, including beer and wine.
- Benedict’s, 845 E Lake St, Wayzata | A “modern diner” focused on breakfast fare.