5. Andouille sausage from Seward Co-op Creamery Cafe
With its recent refresh, Seward Co-op Creamery means to simplify. The menu is broken down with the headers “breakfast,” “salads,” and “classics” -- what could be simpler? But simple doesn't mean boring. Take this spicy andouille sausage, blanketed in charred pepper salsa and a garden of cilantro. It’s spicy enough to remind you you’re alive, with only a squiggle of crema and spray of lime to quell the burn.
2601 Franklin Ave., Minneapolis
4. Scratch bar food from Fitzgerald’s
It’s difficult to choose just one bite from the bar food menu at Fitzgerald’s, the new casual bar in the former home of nouveau steakhouse Salt Cellar. They’ve tapped a chef with a fine dining past, and his way with everything from jalapeno poppers to pizza make these old stalwarts soar to new heights. Jalapeno poppers are filled not with cheese but bechamel. Pizza is not slathered in sauce, but instead caramelized onions or braised kale. Turn here when you seek a little sophistication with your deepest, darkest cravings.
Fitzgerald’s opens to the public on Wednesday, October 19.
173 Western Ave. N. St. Paul
3. War Bar from Shuang Cheng
Though it comes under an odd name, the War Bar at Dinkytown Cantonese spot Shuang Cheng has perhaps the menu's most straight-forward appeal. Pork, chicken, shrimp, and vegetables are all sauteed in sticky Chinese gravy -- why order one thing when you can have it all? This subgum smorgasbord arrives steaming, the fat bubbling below firm cuts of broccoli, mushroom, and lemongrass. There's something divine about the way the gravy soaks into a good spoonful of white rice. It's hearty in a nearly medicinal way. Just smelling the budget comfort food could cure a hangover instantly. -Jerard Fagerberg
1320 4th St. SE., Minneapolis
2. Cochino from Cafe Ena
A lot of things about Cafe Ena are exquisite. The decor. The service. The presentation. But there is nothing that quite compares to the cochino sandwich. Prepared like a torta on a buttery bolillo, the sandwich is a decadent mix of cream and spice. Avocado, black beans, and cilantro aioli are smeared between the roll and Cubano ham and enchilada-spiced pork. It's one of those sandwiches that you never put down while you're eating. Each bite bleeds spicy grease all over the plate, giving you great dipping sauce for your side of fries. -Jerard Fagerberg
4601 Grand Ave. S., Minneapolis
1. Spring rolls from My Huong Kitchen
Like pizza and candy, spring rolls have a difficult time being bad. Just a handful of fresh ingredients make these delights what they are, and we’ll happily gobble them from almost anywhere on Eat Street. But at hidden gem My Huong, they’re given the utmost care and attention, with impeccable al dente shrimp, and tall stacks of thai basil and mint that proffer a mini explosion of crunch and fragrance under your bite.
2718 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis