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.
The Sundae at Milkjam Creamery
At Milkjam Creamery, newly opened by Sameh Wadi and his team next to World Street Kitchen, you could have a scoop of mezcal and fig ice cream. Or black ice cream (“nothing but 100 percent cocoa in there”) … or caramelized breakfast cereal. Or you could stop guessing what you want and let the chef behind the counter do it for you. Our chef’s choice sundae started with a scoop of Milkjam’s signature flavor (with caramelized goat cheese and condensed milk) on a lemon bar, with a sweet-savory coulis and curried peanuts.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Tricia Cornell]
Juniper Bavarois with Carrot Granita and Almond Cookie at Upton 43
Once in a while, a dessert comes along that changes your opinion of the entire category of “dessert,” accomplishing the gastronomic equivalent of knocking Saturn out of orbit and introducing three or four new midsized planets to the solar system. This is such a dish — a bowl filled with bold contrasts in temperatures and textures (crunchy, smooth, icy) and mellow but distinct flavors. It’s fascinating to eat. It’s intriguing to eat. It’s fun to eat. We had a blast with this thing.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton from a review published earlier this week]
Spicy Golden Squid at Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine
The Spicy Golden Squid at Peninsula packs a flavor wallop, with chilis that grab your attention and an abundance of salt and pepper. The chewy squid is coated in a delicate batter and lightly fried. Not a lot of subtlety here, but that’s OK. A dish like this definitely takes the edge off the colder temps.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
Falafel at Ankara Grill
The recently opened Ankara Turkish Grill (467 St. Peter St, St. Paul) is still finding its legs in some ways, but its falafel ($3.74 as a starter) is among the best in town. The falafel is fried to a dark brown on the outside, and the rich green, moist, and fluffy interior has an abundance of fresh herbs. The pita is nothing to rave about, but a falafel starter, served with salad and a side of hummus, makes for a great and inexpensive lunch.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake from the Ding Dong Cafe
Found at the train-themed Ding Dong Cafe in Sauk Centre, this decadent dessert has a balanced sweetness. The perfect, medium-dense chocolate cake has light peanut butter notes that are accented by the smooth, buttery frosting. It’s indulgent without feeling like a full meal.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Liz Scholz]