Heavy Table Hot Five: Dec. 8-14

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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 fivePorchetta 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.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

2-new - two - hot fiveIf You Must Brunch Plate at Wise Acre Eatery
Wise Acre Eatery’s If You Must brunch plate is a case study in something simple done with great care and attention. Basically this is scrambled eggs with breakfast potatoes, bacon, and cornbread, but the eggs are slow-scrambled and velvety with just a hint of fresh herbs, the potatoes are crisp on the outside but buttery on the inside, the thick slab of bacon is both crunchy and chewy, and the cornbread somehow both delicate and hearty. A little butter, a little coffee, and your day is set.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

3-new - three hot fiveChurrasco Plate at El Sabor Chuchi
The first thing you need to know about the $12 Churrasco Plate at El Sabor Chuchi is that it isn’t as big as you expect it’ll be. It’s about 50 percent bigger. I ran out of room in my notebook trying to record everything that arrived on it, but the short list includes a steak (pounded flat), a couple of eggs, rice, beans, thick cut fries, avocado slices, plantain fritters, and salad. If this stuff were mediocre, this would still be a pretty good deal, but the avocado was ripe, the beans surprisingly delicate and beautifully seasoned, the thick-cut fries clearly house-made and top-notch. The steak and eggs and the rest? Not bad. The value prospect of this humble plate of food is towering.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Submitted from a recent East Lake Checklist by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

4-new four hot fiveLarb from Thai Spicy at the Hmongtown Marketplace
The staff asks if you want your larb spicy, so if you don’t, speak up. But if you do, they’ll respect your wishes. Served on a bed of cool, crunchy cabbage, the spicy larb is packed full of ground beef, onions, and cilantro, along with a powerful punch of heat that’s offset by the generous portion of sticky rice. Definitely a powerful tonic on a cold, blustery day.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

James Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveSpicy Wings from Cora’s Best Chicken Wings
It’s a massive understatement to say there’s nothing fancy about these fried chicken wings found on St. Paul’s Payne Avenue, but they might be one of the best values in town, considering their serious crunch and nicely balanced sweet heat. At $5 for three wings — plus beverage, plus eggroll, plus fried rice — they’re a steal.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review 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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