Landing on the table colorful as a Picasso and bathing your face in steam, this Korean-style ramen gets its fiery color and pungent fermented depth from gochujang, or Korean chili paste.
Dig around the bowl for surprise after surprise -- kimchee, garden green scallion, verdant Chinese greens called yu choy, black sesame seed for a pop of crunch, chicken so tender it might as well be seafood, and of course that wobbly soft egg, flowing golden with the gentlest chopstick poke.
Celery, endive, and apple salad from Young Joni
It doesn’t take long at all for the bounty of fall harvest to turn to the empty echo of the crisper drawer.
Vegetable lovers must look more diligently for the satisfying crunch of roughage. At Yong Joni, the new northeast Minneapolis joint from Minneapolis pizza queen Ann Kim, chefs have taken a few classic winter veggies and made them new by shaving them thin as tissue. A tight sphere of celery, endive, apple, and a few pretty leaves of parsley adhere to the plate over a thick pond of buttermilk bleu. Candied nuts are a classic finish to this salad. You'll forget all about red, ripe tomatoes -- at least for a little while.
165 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Llapingachos con chorizo from Chimborazo
As a general rule of thumb, if you can't pronounce a dish, it's a good idea to order it. At Windom Park Ecuadorian emporium Chimborazo, the tongue-twisting llapingachos are the flagship item on the menu, and for good reason.
The cheesy sweet potato pancakes are served alongside spicy, crispy-fried chorizo and chimichurri. The scratch-cooked rib-sticker also comes with rice, salad, and a fried egg, making it a well-rounded meal that satisfies -- and all for a wallet-friendly $11.50. Chase the cakes' starchy goodness with Chimborazo's fresh limeade or a more traditional bottle of Peruvian chicha morada. -Jerard Fagerberg
2851 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Coleslaw from Q Fanatic
We don’t generally go around raving about cabbage when a pile of smoked meats (or fried catfish, pictured) is sprawled out next to it, but so good is the coleslaw at Q Fanatic that brisket, ribs, and pulled pork almost take a back seat to its cooling temptation.
Owner Charlie Johnson is a classically trained chef with 20 years of experience prior to entering the smoked meat game. The result is real deal barbeque with the sensibilities of finer dining. The slaw dressing is an old one Johnson culled from fancier times, and its invigorating citrus intensity is just the foil for all that pork fat and lavish smoke.
180 Miller Rd., Champlin
6009 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Sweet and Sour Shrimp from Dumpling
We love the tightrope that Longfellow newcomer Dumpling is walking. This traditional Pan-Asian cuisine doesn’t venture too far into “fusion” territory, respects tradition, and succeeds at making things just ever- so-subtly better.
Consider the sweet and sour shrimp. Too often, the graceful nuance of a deep-fried crustacean is lost once its crispy edge is drenched in gloppy sauce. But at Dumpling, the eater is free to dredge this shrimp, one by one, across the lake of sauce, allowing the fried morsel to remain hot and crackling.
4004 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis