The cost of things these days? Far too expensive! Inflation, supply chain, giddy price gouging from proprietors large and small—the boring factors are too numerous to count. To protect our readers, Racket just launched the Best Budget Bites series, where we’ll showcase a toothsome, wallet-friendly food item that’ll actually fill you up. Have a nomination? Hit us up: email@example.com.
What: Ham ‘n’ Cheese Croissant
Where: Heather’s, 5201 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis
“In that neighborhood there’s a lot of young families, and my approach to food is I cook things that people want to eat on a regular basis,” Heather Asbury told me in 2019, months before transforming the long-vacant Mario’s Pizza & Deli into her namesake restaurant. “I’ve always been looking for an opportunity to do something that embodies that spirit of community.”
Asbury, the longtime GM of Uptown institution Lucia’s, has since fortified Heather’s as one of the best restaurants on the South Side, a casual spot for reliably delicious scratch cooking served in generous portions.
The bakery game is particularly on-point. Scarfed in isolate, the $3 croissants would never register a complaint. But the plussed-up version, halved and heaped with a mountain of sweetly smoky ham and gooey cheddar? At $6, one of the best sandwich bargains in town. (Just consider the taste vs. cost gulf between this and, say, the unholy $4 Deli Express gas station sandwich.)
Butter is deployed with abandon throughout the Heather’s menu, and that’s especially true with the croissant. The Ham ‘n’ Cheese softly flakes and crumbles as you dig in, buttery carbs swirling with almost candied ribbons of pig; combined with two thick slices of cheese, the borderline religious experience risks overloading the senses with richness.
Bonus: These badboys are grab ‘n’ go, and they hit just as hard even after hanging out in the bakery case among the Budapest Muffins and Brioche Sticky Buns. In a food scene with too few expedient, affordable sandwich options, what more could you possibly want?
BBB Hall of Fame
- $6 Ham ‘n’ Cheese Croissant from Heather’s