13: Spice, Rice, Everything Nice at the Rabbit Hole

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Mecca Bos 

Like that cool uncle who travels the world and sweeps into town, pockets bursting with artifacts, we've come to rely on the Rabbit Hole for giving us things we've never had before.

Korean food is already at its core a bit mystical to Minnesotans. There are flavors we know we like: crispy fried chicken skin, BBQ meats, rafts of caramelized rice. And then there's stuff we're not really sure we like: stinky kimchee, all those intriguing sidecars of condiments and pickles (banchan), lots of ferments, and spice to make your nose drip.

The Rabbit Hole's version of chili crab (Spice, Rice, Everything Nice) is the intersection of all good things, something we love but didn't even know it until now.

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14: Bogart's Doughnut Co.'s Brown Butter-Glazed Doughnut

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14: Bogart's Doughnut Co.'s Brown Butter-Glazed Doughnut

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Junita Bognanni

The rise and fall of a baking trend is a fascinating thing to observe. Something adorable (and often adorably miniature) catches on, a half dozen cupcake shops open as demand soars, and then, with little fanfare, the craze goes bust. With all this speculative baking, where can a dedicated sugar addict place a safe bet? Our money's on doughnuts, the Old Faithful of American sweets.

In fact, we're doubling down on Bogart's Doughnut Co.'s Brown Butter-Glazed.

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15: Butterscotch Budino at 112 Eatery


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15: Butterscotch Budino at 112 Eatery

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Suzy Piper
Butterscotch Budino

Downtown Minneapolis's 112 Eatery is a small, classy restaurant and a great date spot to impress a beau. Owned by Isaac Becker, winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef Midwest, 112 has a menu chock full of incredible cuisine.

Most of the time, when we eat at the 112 Eatery, we are so stuffed full of gnocchi and decadent cheeseburgers that the thought of dessert seems... gluttonous. We're already prepared to roll home (like Violet in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), and wouldn't dessert gild the lily?

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16: Coffee and French Toast at Tongue in Cheek

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16: Coffee and French Toast at Tongue in Cheek

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Ryan Huesby
A brunch stack that makes all your decisions for you

Making the call (or let's be real, group text) to get people together and go to weekend brunch is the easy part. The hard decisions present themselves once you arrive at the restaurant and start perusing the menu. Should you go for all out carbs and sweetness with a pile of pancakes? Or choose the protein-rich route of something eggy with a side of bacon? The beauty of brunch at Tongue in Cheek in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul (dubbed the East Side Eat Street) is that you can truly have it both ways, that is if you order the misleadingly titled Coffee and French Toast.

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Tongue in Cheek twists, turns, and ultimately delivers

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17: Pan Bagnat at Meritage

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Sean McPherson

The pan bagnat is the stuff of picnic legend in France, a delight that, according to a New York Times recipe involves sitting on the tin foil-protected sandwich en route to your picnic destination. But don't worry if you don't have time to make a sandwich using your sit bones; at Meritage, a diner can take a seat at the bar and enjoy a pan bagnat so good that we'd sing the Marseillaise if our mouths weren't full of tuna.

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18: Blackened Salmon Toro at Shag

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18: Blackened Salmon Toro at Shag

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Mecca Bos

A prodigiously marbled steak. A single scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Two fingers of extravagant bourbon. Like these, toro is one of those simple yet singular foods that manages to dazzle and thrill in spite of its forthright transparency. No tricks, just high-quality treats.

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19: Point Steak with Marrow Butter at Libertine


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19: Point Steak with Marrow Butter at Libertine

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Sasha Landskov
Make friends with beef at Libertine

When we first heard rumblings of a new "meatery" coming to Calhoun Square, we reflexively rolled our eyes. What could this upcoming restaurant possibly be peddling that hadn't already been tested and failed in this same space? Was there really anyone left in Uptown who felt they were being underserved, pork-wise? But alas, when it opened, a couple of key dishes at Tim McKee's reimagined modern chophouse Libertine (you may refer now to the fruit-filled Dutch Baby) managed to turn our heads and appropriately, a simply prepared and inexpensive cut of beef was one of them.

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5 Newish Brunches to Break Your Weekend Routine


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20: Salmon Skin Roll at Origami

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Hannah Sayle

Think of sushi and you'll likely picture lush cuts of blushing tuna and gleaming bubbles of salty roe.

But if you've ever heard "all the flavor is in the skin," you know why the salmon skin roll at Origami is a singular treat.

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21: Smørrebrød (Fancy Brunch Toasts) at Bachelor Farmer

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21: Smørrebrød (Fancy Brunch Toasts) at Bachelor Farmer

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Hannah Sayle

If you can't pronounce Smørrebrød, just say "fancy brunch toasts" the next time you're at Bachelor Farmer. They'll know you mean the extravagantly topped brown bread that brings layers of sophistication to an old Danish standard.

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22: Pizzeria Lola's Korean BBQ Pizza

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22: Pizzeria Lola's Korean BBQ Pizza

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Junita Bognanni

Have we transcended the concept of fusion cuisine? When a dish borrows a spice from one culture to heighten the ingredient of another, do we even bat an eyelash? Mixing and matching cuisines has become so commonplace, such an American way of cooking, it's almost passé.

But then something like Lola's Korean BBQ Pizza smacks you upside the head.

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23: The Hendrick's at Five Watt Coffee


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