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.
Sport Platter at O-City
The heavily Oromo-influenced sport platter at O-City on East Lake Street was a garden of bold flavors and agreeable textures. So, what are we looking at? Up top: rolls of light, delicate, not-too-sour pieces of injera. To the left: Chili Chicken, every bit as fiery and deeply flavored as you’d hope. In the center: a much milder chicken with a delicate, vinegar-based flavor that was a great match for the shredded lettuce that flanked it. To the right: tender Beef Suqaar. On the bottom: rolled up pieces of crispy, chewy, utterly tasty chapati bread.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton from an upcoming East Lake Checklist]
Hu Tieu Bo Kho from Brooklyn Park’s Thanh Vi
The Hu Tieu Bo Kho from Brooklyn Park’s Thanh Vi (review coming Monday) is a beef stew with carrots, onions, noodles, 5-spice powder, and lemongrass, but it’s unlike any beef stew ever tasted by anyone at our table. The broth was more souplike than stewlike (by our American definition, of course), and the broth was complex, rich and intense, full of lemongrass flavor. Large chunks of tender beef had just a light taste of anise. Totally comforting and pleasing.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
Pad Thai at Pho #1
We went to Pho #1 to shoot the soup for yesterday’s Bite, but we ended up ordering some Chicken Pad Thai while we there. You never know when this stuff will be good, and lo and behold, it was good. Tender but not fragile noodles, properly cooked chicken, nice textural balance, and a heat we’d describe happily as a “2” on a scale of 1-5, which was precisely how we ordered it.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a Bite, by James Norton]
Ham and Gruyere Crepe at Penny’s Coffee
The Ham and Gruyere Crepe at Penny’s Coffee in downtown Minneapolis is a satisfying meal in an unlikely place. Located on the ground floor of a nondescript office building, Penny’s has a substantial menu in addition to premium coffee and pastries. The crepes are served with a frisée-and-herb salad, a crisp counterpoint to the creamy ham and cheese.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]
Curried Chicken Meat Pie
The chill of winter makes comfort food — stews, hotdish, etc. — the stars of the show. Inspired by the British cooking/detective serial Pie in the Sky, we bought a special mold and tried our hand at a traditional British hot water crust meat pie. We cooked our chicken by sous vide for maximum tenderness and dialed up the amount of curry to give it some depth. A hefty dash of locally purchased berbere added to the overall kick and further developed the spice profile. The result? A rich, hearty, warmly spiced dish perfect for February.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]