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Madison, WI an middlebrow visit

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mike_d Jun 9, 2009 11:11 AM

Was in Madison for a few days, and thought I'd post a few follow-ups on places talked about before, and a few others. As the subject/title suggests, no fine dining this trip.

The Great Dane – typically, and reasonably, folks point out that the beer is great and the food only okay. We actually had a pretty good meal, cheddar burger (bison) with onions and the tomato-mushroom bisque soup. Not very bisque-y in form (chunks of all veggies with tomato base), but much better than previous encounters in terms of flavor. Likewise the burger, onions better than usual, etc. All in all, either since it was fairly quiet (not a weekend) more attention was paid, or someone new is in the kitchen doing better with their standards.

Kabul – we'd never been to this place before, which on State st. specializing in Afgani and middle eastern. We had lunch and it was pretty good. A chicken couscous with veggies, and a meatball dish with yellow split peas and other veggies with rice. Both had a nice touch with cinnamon and spices. Not enough probably for true Afgani (just guessing here) but something. The sauces on the table (red pepper with garlic and green hot pepper) added some gas. For entrees almost all under 9 bucks, it wasn't bad. No experience with true Afgani, so I'll stand corrected by anyone. But edible and something different than the usual fare.

The Old Fashioned – couldn't pass up a Sunday brunch knowing that some of the asparagus from Sat.'s farmers' market would make its way to the table. Me, scrambled eggs with asparagus and oyster mushrooms, very good. My wife, their WI benedict - an egg on a muffin with a mustard sauce, comes with sausage or veggies. She had it with veggies – red pepper, zucchini, and mushroom. The only thing that could have been from the market was the shroom, but it made the meal I was told. Didn't manage to get a taste! Did manage to taste the mustard sauce and thought it was good, nice balance. I imagine with the sausage patty, it would a real combo.

Marigold Kitchen – had three meals here. One, a carry-out of soups, a chicken with veggies and hominy, and a veggie with mustard greens. My opinion, the stocks could have been a little richer, but both were decent. Lunch one day for the two of us – a grilled cheese and a new (to us at least) standard sandwich, braised chicken with chiles. They do such a good job with chiles. Plenty of flavor, never overpowering, really good. Grilled cheese was good, all ingredients there, not prepartion.

This morning, just me, breakfast, eggs with zucchini, provolone and tomatoes with potatoes and toast on the side Again, just good prep and solid ingredients, the potatoes had what must have been new mex chiles in them, because there were plenty and the potatoes had turned orange/red, but only good taste, not big heat.

And last, just finished a cup of veggie chili at Barriques. Cumin-y WI style chili with lots of veggies, decent heat. Pretty good.