Sift Gluten-Free Bakery in Nokomis, Minneapolis

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

We love gluten, just to let you know where we stand. But we felt that if we turned this review over to the gluten-free beat, such as it is, that we’d be giving Sift (4557 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis) short shrift.

We will however give short shrift to the controversy, such as it is, surrounding the steady rise (get it?) of gluten free. Yes, celiac disease is real, and it is miserable. Yes, there are charlatans who will tell you that everything can be cured by eliminating gluten from your diet. Enough said about that.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

On to the baked treats that we picked up just as the sun was rising this past Saturday morning. Sift is a delightful and welcoming space, with a display case filled with an astonishing variety of muffins, bars, brownies, cookies, doughnuts, cakes, scones, and little tiny quiches. The beaming, smiling face that greeted us turned out to be that of Molly Miller, owner of Sift. She was visibly thrilled to be there and was more than happy to share with us her journey from longtime hobbyist baker to semi-pro farmers market vendor to professional baker with her own brand-new shop.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Her enthusiasm is well warranted. Our favorite item was the Ham and Cheese Quiche Bite ($2.50). The crust was chewy and buttery, and perhaps a little corny. The egg filling was creamy and shot through with pockets of melted cheese and bits of smoky ham. Our only gripe was the silver-dollar size. We could have eaten an entire full-sized quiche. On the other hand, if it were bigger, we’d have missed out on the lovely crust in each bite. I guess they know what they’re doing: These things are seriously craveable.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

The Spiced Pear Coffee Cake ($3.50) was delightful. Airy, and rich with cinnamon and cardamom, it had a moist, fluffy crumb and a lovely aroma. For lack of wheat flour, it was missing nothing. We’ve had sweeter coffee cakes, but this one, with its spiced pear, had a sophisticated element that we’ll definitely return for.

Heavy Table Hot Five: Feb. 5-9

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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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Joshua Paige / Heavy Table
Joshua Paige / Heavy Table

1-new - oneMeat Pie from Heirloom
We’ve never had a meat pie like this before. But we’ll definitely have it again. The combination of cracker crust, shredded chicken and pork, fruit, mustard, and pickled green tomatoes is delicious, balanced, and soulful. And the pie is just so damn adorable.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | From an upcoming review by Joshua Page]

Paige Latham / Heavy Table
Paige Latham / Heavy Table

2-new - twoChocolate Raspberry Bismarck from Taste of Love Bakery
The Chocolate Raspberry Bismarck from Taste of Love Bakery in West St. Paul is not filled with curd or even jam — it’s filled with tart, macerated berries. The berry flavor is intensely bright and sour, in contrast to the ganache frosting. A welcome — and affordable — departure from the typical filled pastry.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

3-new - threeBarrel-Aged Silhouette Imperial Stout from Lift Bridge Brewery
It was a surprise to encounter one of the world’s best fruitcakes in liquid form, but that’s exactly what happened when we tried this year’s edition of the bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout known as Silhouette. The monks of the Holy Transfiguration Skete on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula make a confection called Abbey Cake, a dense, molasses-based, bourbon-soaked, dried-fruit-studded wonder that lasts just about forever when wrapped in cheesecloth and sealed in plastic, and it always tastes like a rich, funky dream. Silhouette takes many of those flavors (notably the molasses and dried fruit, plus the pleasantly boozy kick of bourbon) and translates them into a drinkable, 10 percent ABV dream. Best served approaching room temperature so all those lovely cocoa and spice notes express themselves fully.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

4-new four BBQ Pork Banh Mi at Ha Tien Deli
Easily one of our favorite banh mis on University Avenue, and we’ve tried a few: It arrives wrapped in tinfoil and stuffed with great jalapeno heat, tons of cilantro flavor, and the crowning glory of big pieces of pork. The meat is rich in fatty flavor and a bit of char, touched with sweetness but not overly sauced, and uniformly tender.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton in advance of the Green Line Checklist series]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveAdapted Tarte Tatin with Gjetost
The recipe is pretty simple: Fill one cast iron pan with quartered apples, butter, and sugar. Top with a crust, heat until bubbling, and then melt thin strips of the caramel-like Scandinavian cheese called gjetost for a dessert that is easy, primal, and delicious.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Tin Fish Returns and March 22 Tweet Rodeo

The latest from Twitter: @YouthFarmMarket is excited about their upcoming participation in Dinner on the Farm, @france44cheese’s Minneapolis shop turns four years old, @asherbmiller eats a crazy doughnut dish, and @TinFishCalhoun has secured a contract to serve summer eats for another three years.

Doughnut Burgers and the Morning Roundup

A beer fridge raid in Eagan leads to CSI shenanigans, the doughnut burger at Cause Spirits and Sound Bar in Uptown, DeRusha digs the Lowbrow (we had mixed feelings), and the details behind the Flat White.