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.
Balinese Chicken Thigh at Hai Hai
The Balinese chicken thigh at Northeast Minneapolis’ Hai Hai was perfectly cooked, with a good sear on the outside but with incredible tenderness and juiciness on the inside. It was served over creamy coconut rice with crispy fried shallots and a velvety sauteed kale side dish. There’s nothing overwhelmingly spicy here, just good ingredients coaxed into shining on their own without being smothered.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea in advance of a review on Monday]
Quesadilla Asada at La Poblanita
There’s something about a place that makes your quesadilla tortilla for you while you wait — it reflects care; it reflects seriousness; it reflects dedication to sharing something lovely with friends, family, and strangers alike. La Poblanita’s scratch tortillas are toothsome and fully flavored, the perfect cradle for fresh, chewy cheese and savory little chunks of carne asada.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton in advance of the next East Lake Checklist]
Torta Ahogada at La Tapatia
A good sandwich is like a good friend — you can relax around it, pour your heart out to it, make yourself comfortable around it. The tender pork and chewy bread of La Tapatia’s Torta Ahogada is warm and comforting by itself, but when dressed with the accompanying hot salsa and tomato sauce dip, it becomes something entirely more complex and compelling.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton from a recent review]
Soft Gingerbread Tiles with Rum Butter Glaze
My husband asked me what makes these cookies from Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh so good. I said I thought it was the intensity of the cocoa, pepper, and dark molasses in the dough, and the rum in the barely crunchy glaze. The cookies are originally from Tartine in San Francisco, but they didn’t go viral until they found their way to London and were published in Sweet last September. The recipe is all over the internet, but here’s an accurate version.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #4 | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]
Water Fern Cakes at Hai Hai
Something akin to an open-faced dumpling, the Water Fern Cakes at Hai Hai bring together the earthy warmth of pork, the crunchiness of scallons, the chewiness of a steamed rice cake, and the depth of nuoc cham. It’s an intoxicating mix of flavors and textures, and while it comes in a charming little teeny-tiny bowl, it contains a universe of experiences.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]