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.
Pho from Kings Wine Bar
The newly offered pho at Kings Wine Bar is light and sweet, deeply infused with star anise, and more homemade in character than the pho at many of the well-known shops up Nicollet Avenue. The nearly fat-free broth was poured over a tangle of rice noodles and arrived already garnished with basil, bean sprouts, and peppers. The brisket was sliced impossibly thin and served still cooking in the steaming broth.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Reviewed by Ted Held]
Prairie Dog at Prairie Dogs
There are so many ways a Chicago dog can go wrong: too much celery salt, low-grade squishy hot dog, way too much heat, inedibly rubbery pickle spears — you name it. The Prairie Dog Chicago dog (at the newly opened Prairie Dogs) is a perfectly balanced specimen that dodges all the pitfalls of its ilk and is like a perfectly compose salad atop a strongly snappy, high-grade wiener.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Tweeted by James Norton]
Angry Rooster Omelet from Ettlin’s Cafe
The Angry Rooster omelet at Ettlin’s Cafe in New Prague is an aggressive wake-up call (as well as a great cure for a hangover), with jalapenos, multi-colored bell peppers, pepper jack cheese, and a surprisingly spicy chicken sausage, all stuffed into a fluffy omelet. It comes with homemade hash browns, and if the hangover is severe, pass on the side of toast and upgrade to the buttermilk pancake (made with local honey, served with local maple syrup) instead.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Amy Rea]
Philly Cheesesteak from Peppers and Fries
This take on a Philly cheesesteak is spot on, with a hefty dose of grilled onion flavor cutting through the salty, creamy Cheez Whiz (or Cheez Whiz-esque) sauce and playing beautifully against the gentle char of the tender meat and the toasty, comforting flavor of the buttered bun.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Reviewed by James Norton]
Curds from The Lone Grazer
The newly opened Lone Grazer creamery sources grass-fed cow’s milk from two small Minnesota farms and produces cheese curds that are exactly the squeaky, salty little gobs of perfection you’d hope for.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Reviewed by John Garland]