Heavy Table Hot Five: Sep. 4-10

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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.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

1-new - oneScones from French Meadow Bakery at the Fair
The fresh-baked strawberry and peach filled buttermilk scones from French Meadow Bakery (at the fair) are remarkably tasty — and feel healthy for fair food!
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Brenda Johnson]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

2-new - twoOklahoma Cinnamon Rolls at the Minnesota State Fair Food Building
Fair food can often be ersatz, canned, decanted-from-a-bag food, but sometimes it’s pretty real. You can watch bakers make the Oklahoma Cinnamon Rolls from scratch in the Food Building — rolling out the dough, sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar, and baking each tender, sweet, delicious bun in the oven. The show makes the inevitable wait in line downright enjoyable.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | From an Instagram Post by James Norton]

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

3-new - threeCharred Onion and Goat Cheese Bruschetta from Bar La Grassa
The charred red onion and goat cheese bruschetta at Bar La Grassa is an example of simple ingredients coming together elegantly to create something otherworldly. The sweetness of the onion paired with the tart cheese is perfection on toast.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table
Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

4-new fourSour Cream Raisin Pie at Lange’s Cafe in Pipestone
This is road trip food exactly as it was meant to be. Lange’s will serve you dinner at noon and supper in the evening and pie at every meal if you want it — even after one of their famously mammoth cinnamon rolls at breakfast. Sour cream raisin pie is a diner tradition crying for a comeback. Lange’s is so thick it is almost spreadable and sweet enough to make your teeth ache. In other words: exactly right.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Tricia Cornell]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Kimchi Pancake at Black Cat Natural Foods5-new -five
The Black Cat Natural Foods breakfast stand at the Mill City Farmers Market expanded its menu this summer, and now offers a kimchi pancake: a sizable, tender pancake with kimchi both inside and on top, along with a fried egg, chili aioli, and cilantro. Tons of flavor with a bit of a spicy kick … this is a great way to wake yourself up on a cool farmers market morning.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

Two Sandwiches, Two Ways

Every other Monday throughout the summer and fall while locally raised produce is spectacular and abundant, the Heavy Table will be exploring vegetarian cuisine, both in the kitchen and at local eateries. Read other stories in this series.

As a co-author of an upcoming book about Minnesota sandwiches and the people who prepare them, I ate a lot of sandwiches in the first half of 2010, mostly Vietnamese bánh mì sandwiches and Somali sambusa, but also, in support of my co-authors, the occasional meatloaf, fried walleye, or hot dago sandwich. I ate sandwiches for breakfast. I ate sandwiches for lunch. And, yes, I ate sandwiches for dinner. Sometimes for every meal in a day. Sometimes in family-owned delis so small I couldn’t turn around without clobbering someone with my purse; sometimes in celebrity-chef-operated restaurants anchored by shiny art museums.

Fortunately I like sandwiches, so this was not a problem, except that, Minnesota sandwiches, at least the iconic ones, tend to be incredibly, gloriously meat-tacular. So, the first thing I did when I submitted my chapters to my editor is swear off bacon-wrapped, pate-slathered, or deep-fried meat sandwiches. But, after months of eating, breathing, and dreaming sandwiches, I found I couldn’t give them up. Thus began my quest, still ongoing, for vegetarian, sometimes even vegan, sandwiches.

Lori Writer / Heavy Table

French Meadow Bakery and Café in Minneapolis serves up a vegan Grilled Reuben Tempeh sandwich ($9) stuffed with thick slabs of marinated tempeh (pressed cakes of cooked and fermented soybeans) and tangy sauerkraut and spiced tomato aioli piled onto slender slices of house-baked rye bread. The sandwiches are grilled until the bread has achieved that toasty, buttery exterior you look for in a grilled cheese sandwich, except that it’s all vegan, so there’s no butter and no cheese. Sandwiches come with your choice of chips and salsa, mixed greens, or, as pictured in the photo above, a spicy slaw.

The Nokohaha Wayback Machine

If you haven’t been reading the gorgeous local blog Nokohaha, get started: Here are before and after photos of the Ritz Dairy on 28th Ave. and 41st St., French Meadow Bakery, the Farmers Union Terminal Association Grain Elevator, and the Acadia Cafe.