Heavy Table Hot Five: Aug. 18-24

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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 editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

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James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - one - hot fiveCoconut Cake at Delicata
Coconut, much like Brussels sprouts or durian, is one of those ingredients that has two faces to it. Cheap dried coconut flakes impart little flavor beyond mustiness, and they get caught in your teeth, ruining whatever dish they’re in. But when coconut is executed well, it’s toasty, nutty, sweet, and cheerful, and it can elevate a simple, moist vanilla cake from ordinary to divine. Delicata has its coconut cake completely dialed in, down to the light-as-a-feather frosting that complements the soft-spoken coconut character of the dessert.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Jane Rosemarin / Heavy Table

Jane Rosemarin / Heavy Table

2-new - two - hot fiveKinoko Nabe at Kado no Mise
The flavor of the Kinoko Nabe (Mushroom Pot) at Kado no Mise brought me straight back to Japan. The hot clay pot contained a barely sweetened dashi in which young Japanese greens and a variety of mushrooms stewed. A grilled nebrodini mushroom lent its firm texture and smoky flavor, and a poached egg tied it all together.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

3-new - three hot fiveJacktober Märzen-Style Beer at Jack Pine Brewery
Jack Pine Brewery, in Baxter, Minn., does its part to uphold the reputation of out-state breweries. Visitors to the space are welcomed to a small, north-woods-esque taproom with a line of sight into the brewery. Try the Jacktober, a classic Märzen-style beer with a subtle hop finish that builds, sip by sip.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]

James Norton / Heavy Table

4-new four hot fiveAlt 1848 by Utepils
Maybe we were swayed by the gorgeous copper can this beer arrived in or by the setting (a friendly backyard poker game) but Utepils Alt 1848 is one of the most gregarious, easygoing, enjoyable craft brews we’ve tried this summer. Smooth and malty, mellow and just a touch earthy, this is a beer of real substance but no rough edges. It’s approachable and cheerful, and downright fun to drink.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveMeatball and Egg Roll Rice Plate at iPho by Saigon
When we ordered the meatball and egg roll rice plate at iPho, we weren’t expecting what we got: five thick red strips of minced, sauteed meat that looked vaguely hotdoglike scattered atop the rice perpendicular to the egg roll. But, by golly, it works. The meatball strips are tender, flavorful without being pungent or overly spicy, and a perfect fit for the rice with some fish sauce, hoisin, and sriracha mixed in for good measure. It’s a substantial lunch that isn’t heavy, and because it’s iPho, it arrives at your table pretty much before you have time to put your menu down after ordering.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

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James Norton

James Norton is editor and co-founder of the Heavy Table. He is also the co-author of Lake Superior Flavors, the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers, and a regular on-air contributor to Minnesota Public Radio.

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