Carne Asada burrito at Lito's Burritos

I've long suspected that Richfield held a world of culinary wonders, and smashing a Lito's Burrito this week proved it. Behind a strip mall facade, with a sign promising "A different Mexican eatery," lies a daytime feast of big-time burritos.

The restaurant is a pop-up courtesy of Miguel Hernandez (affectionately known by his mother as Miguelito, or Lito). No joke, these burritos are the best I've tasted outside of Southern California. The size of something you'd toss on a couch for comfort, flour tortillas are stuffed with goodness. Like the L.A. Burrito ($14.99): char-kissed carne asada, sunset-colored rice, ripe avocados and super crunchy French fries. (And it's never too early for a burrito; Lito's opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. on weekends.) We also got a selection of fresh salsa, and I would immediately like to request a vat of the Diabla, a toasty yellow-colored variety that we were cautioned was the spiciest, to live in my fridge forever. The tomatillos and dried peppers have an irresistible roasted piquant flavor that would take a bite of anything from basic to sublime.

The list of other things I'd like to order is longer than my arm, but at the top are carne asada fries — a cheesy decadence that reminds me of late nights in San Diego. (Joy Summers)

6519 Nicollet Av. S., Richfield, 612-243-9699,

Chicken Karahi at Afghan Darbar Restaurant

Ever have one of those moments when you forget what you're looking for?

That's how my dining companion and I ended up at Afghan Darbar Restaurant after circling Bloomington looking for … was it pastries? But then we spotted a sliver of a sign — for a different restaurant — on the overhang of Town & Country Shopping Center, and peeked in to find this literal hidden gem that opened last summer.

We were the only ones there for lunch (we sincerely hope that changes), and ordered the chicken karahi ($16.99), a homestyle slow-simmered stew of braised chicken and chickpeas in tomato sauce, popular across South Asia. The fragrantly spiced dish — we got ginger, garlic, chiles, garam masala — is named for the vessel it cooks in, a process that can take hours. It comes with half of an enormous round of flatbread for you to tear into pieces to scoop up the chicken and soul-warming sauce. We added a samosa ($2.99), blistering hot and flaky out of the fryer, a mouthwatering spiced meat filling within.

Had the timing worked out, we would have ordered the Kabuli Pulao, Afghanistan's national dish. Rice with raisins, carrots, almonds and lamb, it's the dish the restaurant is proudest of — but it's available only later in the afternoon and for dinner. At least we know exactly what to order when we go back. (Sharyn Jackson)

7826 Portland Av. S., Bloomington, 612-806-7014,

Vegetable dumplings at Jun Szechuan Kitchen & Bar

Dumplings are further proof that good things come in small packages. We've had and loved them stuffed with a variety of meats, from birria to spicy pork sausage. And we've also never met a vegetable we didn't like. The two together sounded like a winning combination, and it was.

At Jun, which has been spicing up the North Loop since 2017, Chinese broccoli, napa cabbage, carrots, black mushroom. ginger and onion were tucked inside handmade dumplings and pan-seared until delightfully crisp ($13). The first bite might catch you off guard — the texture is softer than traditional meat-filled dumplings — but once they take a dip in the accompanying spicy sauce, it's like reuniting with an old friend.

Fellow vegetable fans also will love the edamame, tossed in a fiery sesame-chili garlic sauce ($11). For our main we couldn't resist the classic hong shao rou, ginger-braised pork belly bathed in a sweet soy glaze and served over more vegetables — a bed of baby bok choy ($20). And you can't go wrong with the dim sum or house-made noodles, either. With a side of vegetables, of course. (Nicole Hvidsten)

730 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-208-0706,

Better Burger at Bebe Zito, Woodbury

There's a new siren song emanating from Woodbury for burger lovers: the first east metro outpost of Bebe Zito, the ice cream and burger wunderkind. The new space is decked out in throwback ice cream parlor decor, and all the whimsical ice cream flavors are in the case and available by the pint to take home. (There are also some take-and-bake cookies to know about.)

On the savory side is a new special Better Burger ($8.50) that puts the "utter" in butter burger. It's an oozy, decadent dish. The beef is smashed into the onions that almost burn on a flat top, cooked until they get that savory-sugary onion flavor. There's cheese, special sauce, pickles and a bit of butter that dribbles with the juices onto your hands. But right now it's running only as a special, as long as supplies last. (J.S.)

9000 Hudson Road, Woodbury, 763-326-1966,

Cà Phê Trứng at Càphin Mpls

A food truck/farmers market success story, this coffee stand has gone brick-and-mortar, opening in the former Jinx Tea spot at the edge of Linden Hills in Minneapolis.

On the menu at Càphin (it's pronounced caffeine) are all the greatest hits from the markets: the wildly colorful ube matcha latte, the pandan latte, and cà phê trứng, or Vietnamese egg coffee ($7.50).

A strong, dark shot of coffee is topped with a mixture of egg yolks and sweetened condensed milk that have been whipped up together until the yellow fluff is nearly the texture of taffy. I got mine iced and, once I stirred everything together, experienced it like a rich coffee milkshake.

The bright little cafe is just getting going, and the menu is short, for now. But on select days, another new-on-the-scene business, Bao Bao Buns, is popping up there. Also, fans of this address' previous tenant, take note: Cans of Jinx Tea are still available in the cooler. (S.J.)

4503 France Av. S., Mpls., 612-314-6124,