From paella to potatoes to prime rib, here’s a rundown of my dining diary from the past seven days. What were your top eats of the week? Share the details in the comments section.

Stuffed potato cakes at Pizza Karma

Yes, the focus is on lavishly topped naan flatbreads at this inventive quick-service operation, and they’re more than worth a peek; they’re a must. Still, this starter ($8) has been a minor obsession of mine since the doors opened late last year. The restaurant’s creative force is Twin Cities cookbook author Raghavan Iyer, and for this dish he deftly forms thin, flat cakes with mashed potatoes, filling the centers with spinach, chives and cilantro before browning them in a pan. They’re made even better by a complex, deeply flavorful blend of golden raisins, tomatoes, ginger and roasted cumin seeds. It’s one dish (along with those naan pizzas, of course) that’s changing the generic reputation of suburban strip mall dining. (Want to replicate it at home? Find the recipe in Iyer’s 2016 cookbook ode to the potato, “Smashed, Mashed, Boiled, and Baked – and Fried, Too!”). There are plenty of reasons to appreciate this place, not the least of which is the kitchen’s commitment to diners following vegetarian and gluten-free diets. There’s more good news: in the next month or so (“Who knows about construction,” said Iyer), Pizza Karma will be opening a northern suburban outpost, at 11611 Fountains Drive in Maple Grove. Be on the lookout. 8451 Joiner Way, Eden Prairie

Spicy Cream Cheese Dumplings at Kieran’s Kitchen

With three standard-setting producers working under the same roof – Alemar Cheese Co., Red Table Meat Co. and Baker’s Field Flour & Bread – it only makes sense that the Food Building’s fourth tenant, a restaurant, should do its level best to showcase the treasured output of its next-door neighbors. Kieran’s Kitchen does this very, very well, and chef Ian Gray takes full advantage of the superior products that are literally a few feet from his workplace. This dish ($12), a distant cousin to the cream cheese wonton (and, frankly, infinitely better) is a perfect example of that alchemy-by-proximity. The dough is simplicity itself: a mix of water, salt and Baker’s Field’s Forefront high-extraction sifted flour, which is made from hard red spring wheat cultivated near Dawson, Minn., and stone-ground on the premises. The dumplings are filled with a rich, tangy cream cheese from Alemar; who knew Alemar, which produces a Camembert-style knockout called Bent River, is also in the cream cheese business? The backstory is simple: “We had to have something great to go with the Baker’s Field bagels,” said Gray. (Those bagels, by the way, are exceptional, and I imagine they’re only made better with a generous schmear of that remarkably luscious cream cheese). As for the dumplings, the rest of the dish is a flurry of whatever vegetables and aromatics Gray has on hand. They're sautéed in the same pan that the dumplings are browned, and finished with a fiery paste of fermented Thai chiles, ginger and carrots; the combination possesses enough kick to produce a smallish puddle of sweat on my bald head, always a promising sign. It’s a delightful mix of cool (the cream cheese), hot (that chile paste), crunchy (those veggies) and tender (the dumplings), gathered on a single plate. 117 14th Av. NE., Mpls., 612-354-5093

Prime Rib Sandwich at Baldamar

After transforming a challenging lakeside Wayzata site into his hit 6Smith, restaurateur Randy Stanley has turned his attention eastward, settling on a lot just outside Rosedale shopping center and building a ‘beaut of a modern-day steakhouse from the ground up. (Side note: Welcome to Keeping Up With The Joneses, suburban shopping center edition: Restoration Hardware opens a glitzy restaurant in Southdale’s parking lot, and now Rosedale responds with this glammed-up property). The showy, wide-open space is filled with all kinds of handsome, expensive-looking touches, including walnut- and eucalyptus-trimmed walls and a bar topped with Calacatta gold marble from Italy’s Apuan mountains. After spying (and smelling) the steak frites at a nearby table, I thought I knew what I was having for lunch, but my server steered me toward this massive sandwich ($18.95) instead. I was not disappointed. Chef Steve Swinney starts by thinly shaving a generous pile of prime rib (tender, juicy and roasted to medium) then spreading it out on a torpedo roll that’s swiped with a fragrant tarragon-laced aioli. Swinney isn’t shy about the toppings, either, laying on a host of grilled sweet peppers, hot peppers and onions before blanketing the whole shebang in a buttery cow’s milk cheese from Spain. Excellent pickles, too. I defy anyone to consume it without the use of a knife and fork. 1642 W. County Road B2, Roseville, 651-796-0040

Paella at Guavas Cuban Cafe

At this spirited, well-run counter-service spot, the “Rice of the Day” special is often – but not always – paella. Owner Frank Machado is no stranger to the secrets behind the saffron-scented rice dish, since he’s the founder of Twin Cities Paella, a farmers market staple. The night I stopped in, Machado was offering a paella ($17) filled with tender chicken, well-seasoned shrimp, big chunks of carrot and coin-shaped slices of a hearty chorizo, a real stick-to-your-ribs combination that felt tailor-made for the cool autumn weather. The rice was gleaming with a light coating of chile oil, and the plate was smeared with a pungent, garlicky aioli. Yeah, I'll be back, and soon. 5607 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., 612-824-0951

Vanilla Kringle at Swedish Crown Bakery

Bakers Eva and Fari Sabet fill their cases with a long list of skillfully crafted temptations. These braided, single-serving beauties ($3.20) stood out for what they're not -- which is the usual kringle sugar bomb -- and for what they've got, which is a delicate texture and a pure, uncomplicated vanilla flavor. 530 W. Main St., Anoka, 763-427-0506

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