100 Favorite Dishes: No. 25, Eli's East pork belly sliders

As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes.
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Eli's East's sinful pork belly sliders
We're of the firm belief that sometimes the best food is food that's designed to go well with a lot of alcohol. Enter the pork belly sliders from Eli's East. These little bad boys are so decadent, they're almost sinful. Each bite delivers a blast of fatty-porky-goodness that's so good, you almost feel ashamed to be eating them -- or you would, if you hadn't had a bit of liquid courage backing you up. 

They may seem a little intimidating at first, but we suggest you not let the over-the-top nature of these mini-beasts dissuade you. Go on, toss a few back and devour a platter of one of the Twin Cities' best kept little secrets.

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A look into the interior of Eli's sinful sliders
First of all, there's the pork belly itself, cooked confit until it's fall-apart-tender and then breaded and fried. Yes, fried. The combination of textures is seductive enough on its own, but that's just the beginning. The cubes of pork are then dressed with a honey soy glaze and placed on a butter-grilled bun that's been dressed with a generous dollop of sriracha mayo. Everything gets topped with shreds of pickled carrot, onion, and thinly sliced chilies. The final product is a sweet, savory, salty, sour, spicy, fatty, and porky pleasure to eat.

Sure, you might need to seek a cardiologist after consumption, but these little devils are absolutely worth it. They are also only available at the Eli's East location, so don't go downtown looking to sink your teeth into these succulent sliders. Head to the East Hennepin location with an empty belly and $8 to spare and you won't be sorry you did.

No. 40: Crema's affogato
No. 39: Broders' quadrucci con pollo

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