Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler and supported by our underwriter, Bite Squad.
The hard-hustling Wadi Brothers (Sameh and Saed) are at it again. After strong roll-outs of Saffron (R.I.P.), World Street Kitchen, and Grand Catch, the brothers and their crew have taken over the old Dave’s Popcorn space on 38th and Cedar in Minneapolis and transformed it into a second outpost of Milkjam, their popular ice cream shop.
Like Milkjam, Milkjam #2 (unofficially and charmingly known as Lil Jam) serves up a delicious assortment of ice creams, including floats, shakes, sundaes, and the Glam Doll donut-clad Jam Bun ice cream sandwich. Unlike Milkjam, you can get some savory eats, too: hot dogs, a holdover from and tribute to Dave’s. The dogs are simple: boiled (not grill-charred) but high quality with a determined snap to their casings. They’re served on plain hot dog buns, soft and pliable, nothing fancy or ambitious. So far, so basic. Then come the toppings: everything from kimchi to spicy pickled veg and beer cheese sauce.
They’re dressed up but not implausibly so—every combination makes sense, and on the two dogs we tried, both kits of toppings really worked. Our favorite (by just a smidge) was the Oki Dog, an okonomiyaki-inspired dog topped with Japanese mayo, tempura flakes, seaweed, pickled daikon, and okonomiyaki sauce, an almost BBQ-like condiment that brings sweetness and savory depth. The crunch of the tempura flakes and the richness of the sauces were both fine counterpoints to the snap of the dog and the bright, acid flavor of the daikon. This is a simple dish that nonetheless has it all: earthiness, sweetness, sharpness, crunch, saltiness, and chew. This $6.50 dog is a small delivery vehicle that hauls a lot of flavor.
The Dish: Oki Dog, $6.50
The Place: Milkjam’s Second Location (Lil Jam)
The Reason: It’s a low-key, effortless, breezy cultural mashup
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