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.
Clam and Summer Squash Pasta at Tenant
Tenant’s tasting menu had plenty of winners, but the very best of the bunch was this perfectly executed, handmade pasta. The beurre blanc stole our hearts, but the addition of briny clams, summer squash, and crunchy breadcrumbs took the dish over the edge. It was well-composed, balanced, and outrageously delicious, and we found it nearly impossible not to lick the bowl clean!
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Varsha Koneru]
Wurst Plank at Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery
Some of Minnesota’s best bratwurst (and there are plenty of good ones in this highly Germanic state) are being served at the freshly opened Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery in St. Paul. Both the currywurst and bratwurst boast a fine, even grind, an ideal load of spices and seasoning, and a casing that snaps without being tough or chewy. The Red Table hot dog pictured above isn’t too bad, either. The Wurst Plank comes with three sides of your choosing, and the ones we picked (sauerkraut, dumplings, and limestone potatoes) were all spot on.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
Beef Chili Pie at Savory Bake House
It’s officially fall (aka savory pie season). To celebrate, we picked up a Beef Chili Pie from Savory Bake House. After 20 or so minutes in the oven, it was an ideal cool weather lunch. The chili was hearty and simple, with plentiful ground beef. And the crust was dynamite: rich, flaky, and salty (but not overly so). There was no need for the usual chili accompaniments (cheddar, sour cream, Fritos) — the crust provided just the right amount of fat and crunch.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page]
Reuben at Insula
The Reuben ($10.50) at Insula in Ely is exactly the sandwich I wanted on the way into the Boundary Waters. And then again on the way out. Thick chunks of flavorful corned beef meld in perfect balance with melted cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island. The dark rye bread is crunchy and wholesome. It’s a manageable-sized sandwich, and the ingredients are all top-notch. Get a side salad. It’ll probably be the last green vegetable you eat until you get off trail.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
KinderKrisp Apples at Apple Jack Orchards (and elsewhere)
Our favorite orchard (see our exhaustive orchard fun analysis) is Apple Jack, and our new favorite apples are KinderKrisps. A (much) smaller version of Honeycrisps, these things are meant to fit comfortably into the hands of a four-year-old, but they make fine snacks for adults, too. Just get ready to polish off two or three juicy, crisp apples at a go.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #5 | Submitted by James Norton]