My husband once wisely told me, "If one door shuts, another will open." What a sweetie, trying to help me feel better after some rejection or another (was it an article that didn't get published? a cooking class that didn't fill? or maybe just that the babysitter cancelled?)
Well six doors opened last week--doors to some of Madison's best restaurants and cafes. I have been working on developing a walking food tour in two of my favorite neighborhoods, the Atwood Ave. neighborhood and Willy Street. Last week Amy (yoga instructor and partner in crime) and I led seven unsuspecting "tourists" through the Atwood neighborhood, admiring the historical buildings, tasting the delicious fare and enjoying the fall air.
We made our way from Ironworks Cafe (yummy bakery!), to Bunky's (to die for falafel and stuffed grape leaves!), to Lao Laan Xang (Squash Curry. Need I say more?), Alchemy (holy hanger steak!), Green Owl Cafe (BBQ jack fruit? Corn Chowder shooters? Yes!) and finally to Mermaid Cafe (sampled their new Thursday pizza dinner-fresh heirloom tomatoes, local cheese and a great red pepper sauce!). In each place, not only did we get to enjoy the great food (much of it locally produced), but we learned a little bit about the restaurants, their philosophy and history. We also had a great time socializing between stops, and checking out the neighborhood gardens, streets and buildings that were built when the east side was still farm land.
I am excited about the tours. I think that our locally owned, east side eateries have so much to offer; many of them support the farm-to-table philosophy and all have amazing food! The neighborhoods offer a great representation of what makes Madison a wonderful city for foodies and non-foodies alike.
I plan to offer 4 tours this October, and then launch the World of Flavors east side restaurant tours in full swing next April-October, 2012. Stay tuned