As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2013, coming April 17, the Hot Dish is serving up 50 of our favorite local dishes.
|A balanced bowl of comfort at Blackbird Cafe|
So far our 50 Favorite Dishes countdown has heavily emphasized food from restaurants opened in the last year or so, but this one is more of a perennial favorite, and with good reason. It's endlessly satisfying, always on the menu, and though its components are separate, they all work together toward the greater good.
This cozy and classy neighborhood eatery is known for its scratch cooking, small seasonal plates, reasonably priced drinks (good happy hour too), and fantastic desserts, and though Blackbird doesn't stick to one culinary tradition, it has often constructed some of its most successful dishes from the building blocks of Asian food. The best example of this is the big, comforting bowls of spicy peanut noodles, a favorite we returned to this year and forgot why we ever left it.
Like one of Stefon's springtime, family-friendly destinations
, this dish has everything: thick udon noodles, mildly spicy peanut-based sauce with chiles and garlic, cilantro, bean sprouts, scallions, and crushed peanuts, all topped with an oozy poached or fried egg, depending on the bowl. Pick your protein from golden-fried cubes of tofu, dazzlingly delicious chicken confit, or Berkshire pork with extra pieces of pork belly. The contrast between hot and cold, raw and cooked, grassy and fatty, clean and rich all blends so well you'll never have two bites that are exactly the same, but they'll all be tasty. Don't forget to add a little squeeze of lime before you dig in, if you can wait that long.
3800 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN