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.
Hamburguesa del Gordo de Res at Hamburguesa El Gordo
One of our favorite hamburgers in the Twin Cities is at the newly established Hamburguesa El Gordo in the Plaza del Sol on St. Paul’s Payne Avenue. It’s a plate-sized monster burger with ham and bacon and cheese on a toasted bun spread with mayo. The burger is accompanied by a killer hot charred pepper that is the perfect friend to the mountain of richness. Kudos to reader @heyitswick for the tip.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]
Curry Machu Kroeng from Cheng Heng
Do Thai-style green curries no longer excite you? Try Cheng Heng’s Curry Machu Kroeng (aka 45b, $10 with chicken). Lemongrass arrives first, kicking in your teeth and starting a party on your tongue. Fish sauce shows up next with umami in tow. Green eggplant brings its woody flavor, celery brings crunch and vegetal aroma, and the papaya brings a mild astringency. It isn’t spicy hot but it is a soup with an astonishing depth of flavor.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
Catalan Fish Stew at Blackbird
Octopus is the undeniable star of this killer dish. The entree sized, impressively tender, well-charred, and absolutely delicious cephalopod pairs wonderfully with the nutty and bright romesco sauce. Mussels, prawns, and monk fish are fantastic in supporting roles, and a big ol’ chunk of grilled crusty bread is perfect for mopping up the sauce. Scrumptious, filling, and exciting, this stew is absolutely worth the $24 price tag.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page]
Carne al Horno from Cafe Ena
The Carne al Horno sandwich from Cafe Ena is a delight. Tender bites of steak that are miraculously not overcooked are layered with a generous helping of avocado (especially in light of current avocado prices), roasted red peppers, and black beans. There’s a jalapeño aioli as well, but the heat level is gentle. The telero bread has a nice crispness on the outside, but is mostly sturdy enough to handle the juicy filling. You may need a knife and fork for this one.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
King’s Cup from Punch Bowl Social
Punch Bowl Social opens its Minnesota location this weekend in St Louis Park’s Shops at West End. The cocktail list goes beyond the usual with several uses of shrub, the drinking vinegar currently making a comeback. Try The King’s Cup, which combines tropical notes with the sour-funky shrub for a rum-forward, refreshing cocktail.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]