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.
Pirikara Yasai Donburi at Kyatchi
The Pirikara Yasai Donburi at Kyatchi is summer in a bowl. Alternately warm and cool, rich and spicy, and sweet and savory, it’s a pitch-perfect balancing act and supremely refreshing. Ripe avocado and fresh heirloom tomato mingle with cool celery and cucumber, all tossed in a spicy sesame sauce and draped over Kyatchi’s excellently seasoned sushi rice. Some bites evoke the childhood joy of crunching into peanut-buttery ants-on-a-log. The best part? It’s only $6 at happy hour — a crazy great deal for a well-rounded meal’s worth of food.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Peter Sieve]
Smoked Cheese Curds from Northbound Smokehouse
If you need your cheese curds fix before the state fair next month, head over to Northbound Smokehouse for the white-cheddar curds. These little morsels are lightly smoked and dipped in a sweet pancake batter, creating a great balance of sweet, smoky, and salty. No fancy-schmancy berry ketchup here, just some old school ranch, which pairs perfectly with the curds.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Varsha Koneru]
Tinto de Verano
Hot, muggy weather calls for drastic measures. The Spanish resort to something called tinto de verano — red wine on ice cut with soda, generally orange Fanta. It sounds like an abomination; it’s actually lovely and refreshing, in a sort of downmarket sangria way. (If you want a great local incarnation of the stuff, head over to Mucci’s Italian and get the Mucci Juice.) We made ours with a rose Rio Madre rioja (in the cooler at Elevated Beer Wine and Spirits), a seriously big ice cube, and (yes) Fanta.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
The Bloody Mary sandwich at Pat’s Tap
Properly equipped, a Bloody Mary can be a meal. Pat’s Tap goes a step further with a Bloody Mary sandwich: tomato bread slathered with a sharp Worcestershire aioli, sliced tomatoes, bacon, and two fried eggs. And garnishes, of course. The result is more like a cross between a Bloody Mary and a BLT, but who cares? Bonus: no buzz. Unless you get some vodka on the side.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
Black Lemonade Brulee at Peace Coffee
As long as we’re banging the refreshment gong, let’s put a plug in for the Black Lemonade Brulee at Peace Coffee, a blend of lemon, burnt sugar, and carbonated water. Despite its seeming simplicity, this is a drink with real depth and a wonderful sparkly charge that makes a lovely thing to drink when the temperature soars above 80 (or 90). It’s less a lemonade than a sophisticated nonalcoholic cocktail.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]