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 Morels I Found in My Yard
For only the second time in the ten years that I’ve lived in my South Minneapolis home, I found a modest harvest of three morel mushrooms. And for the first time, after exhaustive Internet research on morels and false morels, I took my life into my own hands. With a crispy lattice of butter-soaked pockets, they tasted woody and almost meaty — in a word: amazing.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
Mieng Kham at Royal Orchid
This dish is like no other lettuce wrap we’ve ever tried. Royal Orchid’s wraps are composed from a palette of incredibly bold little flavor boosters including chunks of ginger, atomic-hot pepper bits, dried shrimp, small pieces of lime (with skin left on to amp up the kick still further), coconut chips and chopped onions. Dressed with sweet palm syrup, the result is something like a flavor brawl taking place in your mouth — first bright citrus, then withering heat, then sharp onion, and so forth.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by James Norton from a future Central Avenue Checklist]
Barbecued Pork Banh Mi at Ha Tien Market
The barbecued pork banh mi is worth a special trip to Ha Tien’s deli. With a ruby-red exterior, the moist meat is slightly salty and sweet. This sandwich (like its roast pork sibling) is a delightful combination of savory meat and bright vegetables and herbs. A drizzle of a jus-like concoction provides the finishing touch. When we inquired, the banh mi master only smiled and said, with mischief, “It’s special sauce that makes it taste better.” Touché.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | From a review of Ha Tien Market by Joshua Page]
The Kenwood Burger at The Kenwood
The Kenwood Burger proves that pork belly might just beat bacon as a burger topping. Add some gooey Gruyere and a softly fried egg, and you’ve got an ideal mix of fat and flavor. You have the option of getting mixed greens with it instead of fries, but if you’re already in for a big burger, slab of pork belly, and a fried egg, why bother?
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
Mezze Platter at Filfillah
Mezze, a collection of small tastes from the Middle East, can be done lazily, or basically, or sloppily — and often is. At Filfillah on Central Avenue, they’re done with love and care — fresh, lively tabbouleh, handmade falafel that is tender and flavorful (not rock-like and bland), rich hummus with bright olive oil, and dolmades that are really quite good (if not as excellent as their cousins over at Basha.)
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Tweeted by James Norton in advance of an upcoming Central Avenue Checklist]