Buffalo Chicken Flatbread from Bar Louie
There are drinking snacks that could only have come from the great drinking minds of America. When buffalo chicken is served on a pizza and then slathered in ranch dressing, we ask you: What the hell else could you want in your American life aside, perhaps, from a bathtub of gin? Buffalo chicken on a pizza, slathered in ranch dressing, available for $5.95 during happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday), the happiest of all the hours.
1348 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis
Com Sai Gon from iPho by Saigon
Though the behemoth University Avenue Vietnamese institution is known for its buy-three-get-one-free gargantuan banh mi, and their jumbo dare-you-to-do-it pho, the Com Sai Gon deserves its own cult following. With grilled chicken, shrimp, grilled pork, meatballs, pork skin, and egg, this dish is a kitchen sink of everything the place does well. Not only will you not go hungry for at least a couple of days, now we know why the place changed its name to iPho: When presented with this beauty, it's impossible to not whip out your camera phone. If you don’t have an Instagram account, you’ll suddenly be inspired to get one.
704 University Ave. W., St. Paul
Blueberry Pancakes from Triple Rock
Practically every high-end restaurant in town has a brunch menu with some form of Instagram-worthy egg yolk porn, but it’s nice to know there’s a brunch place where you can just focus on mitigating your raging hangover. That’s Triple Rock, through and through. Not only will you not feel out of place for reeking of last night’s Irish Car Bombs, here it’s expected. With the jukebox cranked up to the lovely noise of the Sex Pistols, this West Bank dive bar’s Sunday morning is an extension of last night’s party. But it isn’t just triple-shot Bloody Marys and gushy egg sandwiches; divine blueberry buttermilk pancakes are delicate, eggy, quietly sweet, and striated with the tangy pop of fruit. We love the handful of butter pats left to soften on the heat of the cakes. At Triple Rock, they put you and your hangover first.
629 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis
Arrayess from Beirut Lebanese Restaurant
The best Middle Eastern sandwiches are not just a bombardment of meat and a riot of condiments; they're more focused on the quality, not quantity of ingredients. Beirut, Robert Street’s 30-plus-year family-owned Lebanese institution, may have the best example of this yet. The “Arrayess” is so dainty it only qualifies as an appetizer, but what an appetizer it is. Delicate marinated chicken gets rolled in with heavily garlicked aioli and Lebanese pickles. The exterior of the flaky Lebanese flat bread gets pressed until toasty and crisp as potato chips. It's also available with kofta instead of chicken.
1385 Robert St., West St. Paul
Paletas de la Rosa
Do you like Blow Pops? Well then meet a Blow Pop that’s been tarted up like a drag queen on Drag Race day. These Paletas de la Rosa are cherry-flavored, if that meant taking an entire cherry tree and smooshing all of its essence down into one mouth-sized pellet, then pouring about a half a box of C&H sugar on top of it. And of course, just like the Blow Pop that you love, this Mexican-made version is filled with delicious bubble gum, but sugarier, bubblier, smooshier. You can almost feel the sugar crash creeping up as you chew, chew, chew. Get them anywhere fine Mexican candies are sold, like El Burrito Mercado.
El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul