Heavy Table Hot Five: Dec. 22-28

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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 fiveHot Corned Beef Sandwich at Crossroads Delicatessen
There aren’t all that many places around here that serve an old-school corned beef sandwich (we tend to end up at Cecil’s Deli in St. Paul) but the venerable Crossroads Delicatessen in Hopkins certainly deserves acknowledgement for putting out a stirring rendition of this classic. The sandwich’s caraway rye is both delicate in texture and strongly flavored (thanks to its numerous and assertive caraway seeds), and it makes a strong positive contrast with the fatty steamed meat within.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

2-new - two - hot fiveRoyal Tea Service at Avalon Tea Room
At White Bear Lake’s Avalon Tea Room, tea sandwiches, scones, and sweets are all part of the Royal Tea Service along with fresh-brewed pots of tea (your choice from a four-page tea menu). Munch on delicate little cucumber sandwiches and sweet almond scones, and you will be entirely in a holiday mood.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

James Norton / Heavy Table

3-new - three hot fiveSambusa 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.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table

4-new four hot fiveJapanese Sweet Potato at Young Joni
The delicate bonito flakes that wave atop this inspired appetizer lend both visual flair and earthy complexity, and the whole package is nicely offset by pickled Fresno pepper slices and bright, flavorful charred scallion crème fraîche. In total, the dish is warm, soothing, and complex — a terrific way to kick off a meal.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveSushi From Lakewinds Co-op
Supermarket sushi is generally a recipe for mediocrity, but we’ve found that whenever we’re in the general vicinity of Lakewinds between 10:30 and 11a.m., our visit to the store is rewarded by a sushi chef stocking the cooler with freshly made, tender, delicate rolls that are well worth the $7.50 purchase price.
[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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