Best Bites of 2011

20 December 2011

Written by Mecca Bos, Twin Cities Metro Magazine. December 2011

Four dishes we couldn’t do without in 2011

METRO’s food editor Mecca Bos doesn’t spend all of her time in the kitchen. When she’s not cooking — a rarity these days — she’s busy eating. After a year’s worth of noshing, she came up with the following list of dishes she thinks demand your attention. Here they are, listed in no particular order.

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Sourdough loaf, Sun Street Breads   

A true sourdough made with wild yeast is delicate and finicky, and requires three feedings per day (sounds sort of like a newborn, doesn’t it?). Chef Solveig Tofte says that hers are an “intellectual challenge,” but when nailed yield ethereal loaves with tangy, open crumbs. When grilled, they become the Holy Grail of crispy-chewy goodness.4600 Nicollet Ave., Mpls., 612.354.3414;sunstreetbreads.com

Green Papaya Salad/Fue’s Café, East St. Paul Hmong Village

Fue’s Café prepares its superlative green papaya salad to order, and when your chef asks how you like it, she means how much of your face you want melted off (yep, the salad is spicy as hell). Thankfully, its sweet, salty and sour flavors temper some of the spiciness, turning the salad into a truly intoxicating concoction. 1001 Johnson Pkwy., St. Paul; 651.771.7886

Pork Ramen/Masu Sushi and Robata

Start with a rich chicken and pork broth cooked for eight to 10 hours. Add oodles of comforting, fresh-made rice noodles and melting hunks of braised pork belly and pork shoulder (because, really, who wants to choose?). Top it off with a soft-poached egg and you get Masu’s pork ramen, maybe the sexiest soup in the world. 330 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls.; 612.332.6278; masusushiandrobata.com

Fried Egg Sammie/Heidi’s

The egg sandwich is generally thought of as a simple, workingman’s breakfast, but Heidi’s elevates it to “WOW!” status by employing buttery brioche, handmade maple-pork sausage, farm-fresh eggs with butterscotch-colored yolks, spicy coppa and a slice of melted American cheese. If that description alone doesn’t make you hungry, then you have no taste buds (and possibly no heart). 2903 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.; 612.354.3412; heidismpls.com


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