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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot Fried Chicken from Revival
Texture: boldly crispy skin over tender, flavorful meat. Flavor: about as much heat as you can handle — right on the border of too much, without crossing over. The seasoning spices of the chicken’s breading are still discernable beneath the gentle but assertive waves of heat. This stuff is dangerous. The newly opened Revival is going to change the way fried chicken is eaten around here.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
“Lebanese Night” at Basha Mediterranean Wood Grill
We never got the actual name of our dessert, but the owner of Basha Mediterranean Grill told us that it translates to “Lebanese Night.” It’s a sort of Middle Eastern trifle: sweet bread soaked in cream and herbally-infused syrup, sprinkled with pistachios. The texture was divinely creamy, the flavor surprisingly light and fresh, kissed with rosewater. Something about the sweetness and syrup gave the dish a pecan-pie-like sense of indulgence — it’s one of the most intriguing and delicious things we’ve eaten this year.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted by James Norton in advance of our Central Avenue Checklist]
Freewheeler from Sociable Cider Werks
Made with Minnesota Haralson apples and a few other familiar varieties, the Freewheeler is what a cider should be — dry, light and effervescent, like champagne but with a full mouthfeel — rather than alcoholic apple juice. The 16-oz. cans have an olde timey look and feel on par with the bicycle-built-for-two branding. $11 for a 4-pack of pints, in select liquor stores.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Liz Scholz]
Pho from Kings Wine Bar
The newly offered pho at Kings Wine Bar is light and sweet, deeply infused with star anise, and more homemade in character than the pho at many of the well-known shops up Nicollet Avenue. The nearly fat-free broth was poured over a tangle of rice noodles and arrived already garnished with basil, bean sprouts, and peppers. The brisket was sliced impossibly thin and served still cooking in the steaming broth.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Reviewed by Ted Held]
Salted Caramel Hand Pie from Bogart’s Doughnut Company
Bogart’s Donuts is known as the place that’s always closed. They close when they run out, and that happens fast given pastries like the salted caramel hand pie. The texture wonderland of chewy caramel, fried eggy dough, and chocolate filling is divine. The center is unexpectedly hard, like a chocolate croissant, but the stuck-in-your-teeth caramel steals the show.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]