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"Stuck" in south central WI - what to do/eat?

I'll be in Madison and Ripon in a couple of weeks with a couple of days off between business obligations.

I'll be far from home, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with that time. The foodie in me would like to do something interesting, perhaps in conjunction with something relaxing/retreaty. Food tours? Farm stays? Anything food-related that's amazing to see/taste?

Any suggestions? I'm willing to drive a reasonable distance, but I don't want to spend an extravagant amount of money, and I think I'd rather not go into Chicago (unless you can convince me otherwise...I'm sure I can have a feast there).

I realize this is a pretty wide open request, but I'm hoping someone can come up with something fun for this foodie!

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  1. Cooking schools at Carr Valley Cheese:
    http://www.carrvalleycheese.com/cooki...
    or L'etoile:
    http://www.letoile-restaurant.com/coo...

    A winery tour at wollersheim:
    http://www.wollersheim.com/

    or a cheese tour at cedar grove cheese:
    http://www.cedargrovecheese.com/

    I have also done something like a day in monroe, wi (home of baumgartner's limberger cheese sandwich, the alp-n-dell (roth kase) cheese store, and a tour of joseph minas (formerly huber) brewery) and new glarus, wi (tour of new glarus brewery and dinner at one of the great swiss restaurants). Here's a good table of links to get you started:
    http://www.rothkase.com/links.htm

    Enjoy!

    4 Replies
    1. re: itsbubbles

      Thanks. Feeling a little less "stuck," though I'd love more suggestions from others, too!

      1. re: itsbubbles

        I'd like to hear more about the Swiss restaurants as we'll be in Madison for about a day later this month.

        1. re: msazadi

          New Glarus, WI is a Swiss village here, about 30 miles from Madison. They have several Swiss restaurants, with Glarner Stube being my favorite:
          http://www.swisstown.com/restaurants....

          1. re: itsbubbles

            Thanks...I hope we can get to one. Switzerland w/o the Euro prices would be great. ;-)

      2. If you like beer as well as food, the Tyranena brewery in Lake Mills is a great destination. It is right off of I-94 halfway between Milwaukee and Madison. The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday: http://www.tyranena.com/brewery/tasti...

        No food is available, but you can bring in food from elsewhere to enjoy with their very fine beer. Whenever we drive that way (I live in St Paul, my parents near Milwaukee), I stop in for a growler.

        1. Well, if you're going to be stuck, Madison's the place to do it! At their Union they have awesome ice cream made by their agriculture students. Also, Ella's is a fun Deli-very cute. Madison has a lot of great food-State Street is a street blocked off to traffic and it is great for eating/shopping. Canterbury Tales is a great bookstore/coffeeshop...we had really good African food this summer-I don't remember the name but it was across from The Chocolate Shoppe ice cream place on State Street (also really good, especially their Elvis Presley flavor (peanut butter and banana). Anyway, that should get you started. New Glarus is also very very cute.

          1. Visit the Mustard Museum in Mt. Horeb! www.mustardmuseum.com

            1. Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Brat Stop at Hwy 50