Monday, June 26, 2017

A trip to bountiful...


We signed our young dancer up for a dance intensive in Madison and I have to admit it was something I was equally excited about it because I would have to spend the week there with her.

(James Madison Park)
We felt like we were in the land of plenty; surrounded by our people. Everyone seemed quirky, a bit earthy, polite, and healthy; bike riders and walkers were evident in every neighborhood. Traffic was expected to make way for pedestrians and bicyclists which was so refreshing. Plus we had many diverse cuisines to choose from. We made a pact to eat only local and found a lot of suggestions from this post. In order we ate at all these fabulous restaurants which showcase much of what Madison has to offer.

1. Maharana Restaurant: We found this gem after we stopped at Target to get a few things we forgot (like bread for her lunches-whoops) and through the magic of our GPS this Indian restaurant came up and it was just around the corner. She had Chicken Tikka Masala and I had vegetable somosas and a cup of coconut soup. At the end of dinner our waiter brought out complimentary ice cream. This restaurant, for the first night of our adventure, was amazing.

2. Monty's Blue Plate Diner: This was number one on the list and after we left the dance studio it was POURING/HAILING on us and the Prius. We made it into this bright blue beacon and were greeted by friendly staff as we shook off like wet dogs. I had a delicious artichoke sandwich and the starving dancer had a roasted chicken, bacon, and herbed goat cheese sandwich. There were about 12 menu items I was interested in so I'll have to go back and it shows what a diverse menu Monty's offers. (I mean lots of vegan and vegetarian choices)

3. Ha Long Bay: Vietnamese and Thai combo in an eclectic neighborhood and it was packed on a Tuesday evening. We ate dinner almost every night right after dance class at 4:30; she was starving after a long day of exercise. We shared tofu spring rolls and two excellent main dishes. We both thought it was comparable to our favorite Ginger Thai here.

4. Fair Trade Coffee House: After three such amazing meals we opted for something smaller on Wednesday.  Each day I hung around downtown or at James Madison Park, writing, reading, napping, exploring, walking, and researching our next meal but on this day I walked up and down State St. just looking in windows and checking the downtown scene. The smells from this shop lured me in and I sat and enjoyed an iced chai tea.  On the daily chalkboard a chickpea curry soup was advertised and I knew that's what I wanted for dinner.

5. Alchemy: Everyone picks a dud at some point. I read about this one and dragged her there and she was dubious-it wasn't on our list and the name didn't speak to her.  I told her they had sweet potato fries and we agreed if she didn't like anything on the menu we would just get the fries and be done.  We had the fries, which turned out to be chips, and while the sauces were amazing, many of the fries were burned. I also ordered a cocktail here b/c it sounded refreshing (fresh blueberry kombucha mojito) and it sadly tasted watered down. We looked out the window and I spotted Tex Tubb's Taco Palace that I'd also read about and we hopped over there instead.  Groovy Girl had an amazing burrito and we know we'll go back to the Taco Palace again.

6. Taste of India: We liked the first Indian restaurant so much but found this one and decided to give it a try. It was equally as good and by this time Greg had joined us for one night and he is a connoisseur of Indian food and he was thrilled they had Lamb Korma and Groovy Girl had another chicken dish. I tried the sauce for both and liked the spice.  I was happy that both Indian menus had extensive vegetarian choices.

(Madison Public Library-downtown)

It was a great week of food and fun, living out of a suitcase with my favorite 14-year-old. I spent time enjoying the lakes, the views and the literary scene via the Madison Public Library and two bookstores, Mystery to me and A room of one's own, all independent and thriving reading communities. After every adventure it is always wonderful to be back home, in my own bed, my dogs and my house projects to finish.

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