Three Things to Eat: January 16-22

Hola Arepa, Hot Cheetos Brittle
Photo by Hola Arepa

There’s no doubt there’s change in the air, and it seems to smell of expensive cigars, cheese dust and tacos. While I’ll be marching on Saturday with about 30,000 and some of my most cherished lady-friends, I’m also going to be taking comfort in a few dishes with my tongue placed firmly in cheek.

Constantine – The Desi
Jester Concepts head bartender Jesse Held has just released a beautiful new drink bible on the downstairs bar with a darkly chapel feel sublevel at Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis. The new drink lists classic cocktails, a throwback ’80s section, and a selection of cocktails created by the talented bar staff. The Desi, named for Desi Arnez, Lucille Ball’s Cuban husband, is a thing of beauty. It receives a healthy dose of Cigar/tobacco smoke atop a rum Manhattan. I’ll never be a 1%’er, but at least I can drink like one. This drink is all power and sexy masculinity.

Los Ocampo – Chicharrón Prensado Sope
This flat masa cake stuffed with cheese is delicious comfort topped with fiery, crispy, juicy pork in a blazing red sauce. There’s a squeeze of crema, crispy lettuce, and cotija cheese to cool it all down.

Hola Arepa – Hot Cheetos Brittle
Eating these puffy otherworldly orange colored snacks reminds me of someone, but I just can’t quite put my finger on it… These burn so good, just enough salty, sweet, and spicy to disappear at an alarming rate. This dish is just one of the ways that Hola Arepa continues to prove that they defy expectation and hanging out here is still one of the bright spots of flavor and fun in the Twin Cities.