In case you haven’t heard, or more likely seen on someone’s Instagram, the highly-anticipated Armature Works and its vast land of deliciousness (aka Heights Public Market) is officially in full-swing. HPM is so vast, in fact, it can be borderline overwhelming to know where to start. And then once you arrive at that decision, it can be equally as overwhelming when it comes to ordering. (Hey, 14 vendors with extensive menus will do that!)
How do I know? Because I’m asked both of those questions… a lot.
So, consider this list that friend you can berate with the question “What should I eat?” as much as you want without ever being annoying. And better yet — it doubles as a swift response to provide when you become the one who’s asked.
Hemingway’s – El Ultimo
This was a tough call as pure indulgence comes in the form of everything from tostones rellenos and house-made chicharones to desserts like the dulce de leche stuffed tres leche cake (sidenote: order that). But when it comes to the must-have, El Ultimo takes the top slot. The thin slices of palomilla steak stacked with caramelized onions, crispy shoestring potatoes, melted cheese and creamy cilantro + garlic aioli on toasted La Segunda Cuban bread are proof heaven is real.
Ava – La Bestia
The reason this pizza takes the pie over the lineup of others baked in the onsite clay oven can be summed up in two words: spicy sausage. That compounded with the San Marzano tomatoes, and peppery arugula make for a tasty — not to mention authentic — Italian experience. And that’s amore.
Inside The Box – Smoked Turkey Sandwich
I know what you’re thinking: “what’s so special about a turkey sandwich?” When it comes from Inside the Box’s version, everything. Metropolitan Ministries’ cafe takes classic simplicity to new heights thanks to pairing its ultra fresh ingredients (meat sliced on the spot) with bursts of flavor like homemade dressings and a spicy marmalade. Also, do yourself a favor and snag one of the made from scratch cookies on their display table. You can thank me later.
Ichicoro Imoto – Shio
For first timers: not ordering ramen at Ichicoro is like attending a baseball game without a beer in your hand: it just doesn’t make sense. Shio is the quintessential bowl, complete with all the necessities you look for in ramen: savory chicken broth (check!), grilled pork belly (yep!), crispy fried garlic (you know it!). It’s like chicken soup for the soul knocked up several levels.
Zukku – Tuna Poke Bowl
Call me basic, but when it comes to the go-to poke bowl, it’s tuna. Fresh tuna paired with crispy wontons, roasted corn and the pickled serrano peppers I add for a little heat are a perfect blend. And if you want to custom your own, there are a variety of tasty toppings and sauces to choose from (try the Sriracha vin).
Graze 1910 – Chicken Salad on a Croissant Waffle
Is it a waffle croissant or a sandwich? There’s no need to decide with this sweet and savory dish. The waffle is made from croissant dough, so it’s not too sweet — and then piled high with homemade chicken salad. In short, what brunch dreams are made of. Fair warning: It’s big enough to split, but you won’t want to.
Empamamas – Tampa Girl Empamama
Whoever said Cuban sandwiches have to be on bread to be delicious clearly have yet to encounter the Tampa Girl. What’s not to love about a crispy hand-rolled empanada stuffed to the gills with house-made pork + honey ham + Swiss + Genoa salami (because this is a Tampa Cuban!) all slathered in their signature sauce? Honorable mention goes to the bacon-wrapped plantains, which typically elicit an “Oh.. My God” response between bites.
Surf + Turf – Warm Lobster Roll
The husband and wife duo who run this food truck are the first to take up residence in HPM’s rotating stall, and since they’re there for a limited a time, don’t mess around; go straight for the “Maine” event (sorry, had to): the Warm Lobster Roll. Warm and buttery Northeastern-sourced crawlers are coated in mango, diced jalapeno and a citrus kale marinade before being stacked on a toasted split-top bread. Are you drooling yet?
Cru Cellars – The Heights Sandwich
Unlike the Cuban flare showcased on Hemingway’s version, Cru’s steak sandwich leans to the more traditional variety: succulent cuts of prime beef slathered in bernaise on a baguette. Hard to find a lot wrong with that.
Union – Horchata Latte
Stray from your standard vanilla latte order, and move right over to this game changer made with espresso, milk and horchata syrup. With a mix of flavors including cinnamon and jasmine rice, it’s feeds your caffeine addiction in more ways than one.
Fine + Dandy – Life’s A Peach
You know those cocktails that have the ability to transport you to a deserted beach a million miles away from your problems? That’s Life’s A Peach. The combo of vodka, Crème de Pêche, and Carpano Bianca with refreshing lemon and mint is a on vacation in a glass you just want to keep soaking (or in this case slurping) right up.
Butcher n’ Barbeque (BnB) – Korean Philly
Sure, these hand cut meats taste great on their own, or between a honey-butter biscuit — but don’t you dare go here without taking down the Korean Philly. Think everything you like about a Philly Cheesesteak — thin slices of marinated ribeye and American cheese — but slathered in a sweet and savory candied fresno sauce you’ll borderline want to bathe in. (No judgement, it’s that good.)
Swami Juice – Hang 10 Hemp Bowl
Cold-pressed juices take center stage here, but for something a little heartier and packed with flavor, try the Hang 10 Hemp Acai Bowl. Blended with strawberry, blueberries, hemp protein and almond milk before being loaded with granola, strawberry, banana, coconut flakes, honey and peanut butter — this guiltless treat will fuel you through the entire day.
Astro Ice Cream – Cosmic Camper\
And finally, the latest to join the HPM lineup: Astro Ice Cream. Should you opt not to create your own nitrogen-frozen creamy confection (with all that candy on the wall, it can certainly be a lot to think about) opt for the Cosmic Camper. Essentially a campfire in a howl, it’s a chocolate-lovers fantasy complete with a syringe of syrup and torched mallows on top.