The Heavy Table Hot Five: March 3-9

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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

James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - oneOatmeal IPA from Bent Paddle Brewing Company‘s Valve Jockey Series
Prompt a hundred beer drinkers to finish a two-word thought starting with the word “oatmeal,” and 99 of them will say “stout.” (We don’t know what the other person would go with, but you have to assume at least one out of 100 people are habitual goofballs.) Bent Paddle’s new Valve Jockey brewer-showcase series kicked off with an Oatmeal IPA, and it’s easily one of the best beers to come out in the past six months. As you’d think, the body of the beer is clean, classic, hoppy, and bold, but its finish is surprising — it’s mellow, sweet, and a bit buttery, nothing like the astringent snap you’re trained to expect. This makes Oatmeal IPA a lot less palate fatiguing than many of its brethren, and a lot of fun to drink.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

2-new - twoDouble-Smoked Hams at Kramarczuk’s
Twice a year, Kramarczuk’s offers double-smoked hams. They’re so worth the wait — deeply smoky, yet not at all dry or salty. They’re available for Easter presale right now, so snap one up. You won’t get the chance again until the end of this year, when they reappear for Christmas.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

3-new - threeRye Sour at Fitzgerald’s
Fitzgerald’s, which occupies the former Salt Cellar space, has a frightening number of TVs, but their cocktails make it worth it. Try the artful Rye Sour ($10), which gets a dry sangria element and its pink color from the addition of red wine. Rye cuts the sweetness, and the classic foamy meringue tops it off.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]

James Norton / Heavy Table

James Norton / Heavy Table

4-new fourCom Chay Cha Bong (Crispy Rice with Pork Floss) at Ha Tien Market
Crunchy, light, a little bit meaty, and kissed with a hint of spice, this crispy rice snack from Ha Tien is extremely difficult to stop eating. It’s made with pork floss, which sounds terrible but is actually an Asian spin on pulled pork, created by a process that involves the meat being cooked, pulled, mashed, dried, and mixed with flavorings. Our only complaint about this stuff is that it doesn’t come in larger containers.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

5-new -five Ale Battered Cod Smörgåsar at Fika
The Ale Battered Cod open-faced sandwich ($12) at Fika is at once hearty and light. The peppery watercress and curry rémoulade complement the cod, and the crispy texture of the fish and bread are spot on. A crumble of sharp cheddar adds dimension. It’s a meal in one pile.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]

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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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