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 email@example.com.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Queso Fundido at Pajarito
Although the melted cheese in this classic Tex-Mex dish is plenty rich, it’s also surprisingly light on the palate. There’s nothing grossly greasy about it; it’s just pure dairy pleasure. But that’s only half the story of the Queso Fundido at the newly opened Pajarito in St. Paul: The warm, thick, fluffy, tender tortilla rounds that accompany this stuff are perfectly suited to the task. It’s a decisive one-two punch.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming review by James Norton]
Crullers at Sebastian Joe’s
The new cruller at Sebastian Joe’s is everything the classic pastry is supposed to be — lofty, eggy, and gorgeously glazed. But this one takes it a step further. It positively melts upon each bite. The coating is sweet while the interior is not. It’s indulgent in the best sort of way.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]
Wood and Spirits Cider from Keepsake Cidery
Keepsake Cidery, in Dundas, Minn., has created a remarkable annual release with barnyard flavors and bitterness. Their Wood & Spirits series showcases ciders that derive additional complexity from the use of barrel aging and mixed fermentation techniques. In a practice similar to that used to make Belgian lambic beers, fresh cider is added to last year’s aged batch kickstarting another fermentation due to the sugar in the new cider. This creates natural carbonation as well as depth of flavor.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by Paige Latham]
Culture Project One From Fulton Beer
The debut Culture Project beer from Fulton is a tart red ale — aged in oak wine barrels — that is notably dry with some lovely cherry notes and plenty of acid bite. Complex, and part of the “beer is the Upper Midwest’s wine” story we’ve been telling for the past eight years.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]
Schell’s Tropical Stout
The 10th edition in the Stag Series collection is mildly bitter, malty and chocolaty, and it evokes dark rum’s molasses-like depths. The inclusion of no fewer than eight malts (pale, Victory, Extra Dark Crystal, Light Chocolate, Midnight Wheat, Extra Special, brown rice syrup, roasted barley) no doubt contributes to the layers of flavor.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by James Norton]