In 2019—a year that feels like several decades ago—The Growler ran a blow-out feature story about the Keefer Court bakery, a multi-generational monument to the beautiful tradition of Cantonese baking that churns out buns, rolls, and cakes in a rich, seemingly never-ending procession. So, seeking a bit of comfort in our current crazy times, we ordered a box of their baked goods and dug in. And lo: it was good. It was really good.
For example: The bakery’s BBQ Pork Puff ($3.25) is a masterful marriage between a mini-loaf shaped croissant-style pastry and a sweet, salty, savory, richly flavored pork filling, with the flaky delicacy of the pastry serving as an elegant vehicle for the earthy, satisfying interior. Like everything we’ve tasted from the bakery, the key is balance and restraint—the filling isn’t too thick or heavy and it makes sure its sweetness is reined in by its saltiness without either direction going overboard.
The pork puff is a no-brainer and a great place to start, but if you surf through the bakery’s menu you’ll likely find another dozen intriguing options. We thought the Sticky Rice Dumpling ($3.25) was particularly good—it boasted the kind of chewy, savory texture and taste that dreams are made of. So mix and match to your heart’s content, but don’t forget the Pork Puffs.
The Dish: BBQ Pork Puff, $3.25
The Place: Keefer Court Bakery, 326 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis
The Reason: A BBQ Pork Puff is a delightful snack, or—if you eat three—a satisfying meal, and all for under $10 total.
Hop & Barrel Brewing Co., located in downtown Hudson, Wisconsin, takes a modern approach to classic beers. Hop & Barrel is best known for its clean and classic Minnesconsin Helles, its wide variety of IPAs, and the innovative brewing behind its true-to-flavor Lemon Breaker Shandy and Paul & Babe’s Breakfast Ale. Regardless of your taste, Hop & Barrel brews a little something for everyone!