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.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Vanilla Ice Cream from Sweet Science
Sweet Science (which turned five this summer) makes a vanilla ice cream with just the right amount of everything: The vanilla flavor is perfectly balanced with the cream and eggs. There’s not a hint of the medicinal tone of some vanilla ice creams, and none of the grittiness from vanilla seeds one sometimes notices on the tooth. And it’s just sweet enough. We like to eat it with a homemade sauce, Maida Heatter’s World’s Best Hot Fudge Sauce (it really is!). The sauce has a bitter edge that cuts through the richness of an ice cream, and a warm, butterscotch undertone from the brown sugar. It’s a classic, and very easy to make … and easy to eat straight from the refrigerator in its fudgy state.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]
The Cinnamon Roll at Brake Bread
Brake Bread has rapidly become one of our favorite places to stop for a snack in the whole city of Saint Paul. The atmosphere is light and cheerful, the staff is friendly, the treats are inevitably on point. For example, the moist (but not slimy!) cinnamon roll, which offers real cinnamon kick, delicate layers, a winning sweetness, but none of the gross sugar overkill that often makes these things sickening after the first few bites. This roll is a breakfast splurge triumph.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
Churro Cream Puff at Savory Bake House
The Churro Cream Puff at Savory Bake House in Longfellow, Minneapolis, is a golf-ball-size cream puff shell covered in cinnamon sugar and filled with whipped cream cheese, nutmeg, and vanilla. This out-of-the-ordinary confection was inspired by a photo of a churro doughnut on Pinterest.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by from a profile of Savory Bake House]
Kung Pao Chicken from Tea House
Kung Pao Chicken is a throwaway dish at most Chinese restaurants — syrupy, one dimensionally hot if hot at all, most distinguished for having a reddish color but no real flavor. The Kung Pao Chicken at Tea House ($14), by contrast, had a great kick, and the kick was complex — both spicy hot from chilis and numbing hot from the application of Szechuan peppercorns. It had a real depth of flavor supported by lovely notes of ginger. There was a sweetness present, but it wasn’t out of balance, and the chicken itself was cooked properly rather than parched indefinitely until dry. Served on properly cooked white rice, it was a potent and seductive dish, each bite offering subtle variations on a theme.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Submitted by James Norton from the Green Line Checklist]
Affengeil Pille German Pilsner from Wicked Wort
Affengeil Pille German Pilsner seriously delivers on mouthfeel as well as flavor. Some breweries make muted, junior Pilsners, meant to capture light American lager drinkers who are apprehensive about craft beer. Affengeil is the most impressive lager from any local brewery that has opened in the past year. It displays classic Hallertau hop flavor and dry finish, yet does not become too bitter after several sips. It is crisp with an exquisite biscuity malt. Not to say that it won’t appeal to Coors fans, but this is the beer-lover’s Pilsner.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a story by Paige Latham]