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.
War Horse Pizza at Dark Horse
Founded on a thin, crispy yet chewy, charred-at-the-edges crust, the War Horse ($16) is topped with garlicky Italian sausage, sweet caramelized onions, and a funky, smoky kraut. Cut in squares, with no red sauce in sight, and showered in caraway seeds, this St. Paul style pizza showcases the Eastern-Europe-meets-Italy roots of our capital city.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held in advance of an upcoming review.]
Curry Pan at Obento-ya
Batter a thinly sliced piece of bread, wrap it around ground meat and vegetables cooked in a mild curry, and fry it up. That’s all there is to curry pan, but damned if it’s not a perfect appetizer — savory and substantial, and easy to eat. Obento-ya’s curry pan would be blockbuster as a passed appetizer at a party, but it’s also quite nice as a starter at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants in the metro. (The word “pan,” incidentally, is the Japanese word for bread, introduced to the island nation by Portuguese missionaries.)
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
Quesadilla al Pastor at Maya Cuisine
Maya is rightfully known for its superb tacos and tamales, but its quesadillas are pretty darn good too. The al pastor version is particularly delicious, and decadent. It’s hard to go wrong with a seared flour tortilla, melted cheese, smoky pork, and juicy pineapple. With a side of punchy salsa, the al pastor quesadilla may be the ultimate party food.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page]
The Guardian & The Spectator at Scena
This cocktail featuring J. Carver Sangiovese Grappa, Amaro Averna, house ginger liqueur, and Angostura offers an intriguing caramel iced sugar aroma with a hint of umami. The flavor, though, is earthy and intense in its bitterness. Perfectly balanced and unusual.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]
The Machete at Taco Libre
The Machete is Taco Libre’s heavyweight champ, a javelinlike Man-vs.-Food-style taco that’s more than a foot long. The corn tortilla is made from scratch in the kitchen, and it arrives still warm and glistening from the fryer. It’s stuffed with melty Oaxaca cheese, lettuce, chunky salsa, your choice of protein, and cooling sour cream. Sure, the filling is a little Americanized, but it’s exactly what we wanted from such a giant taco — it was both savory and texturally interesting. The tortilla itself was especially stunning, with a tender crunch and a delightful toasted-corn flavor that held its own against the filling.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a review by Emily Schnobrich]