Food Highlights from Madison, WI

Over Labor Day weekend, we went to visit cousins who live right outside Madison, WI. I’ve never had a strong desire to go visit the mid-West, but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hang out with the cutest niece and nephews! We made great memories and I’m so glad I got the chance to hang out with the family. As a bonus, I got to sample some pretty good mid-western cuisine!

Lunch at The Old Fashioned – We were hanging around downtown Madison and stopped in here for lunch. All everyone could talk about were the fried cheese curds and I was ready to try my very first plate!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, when I heard cheese curds, I just pictured the Costco size bag of cheese balls. But what came out to our table looked like mini-mozzarella sticks to me! Taking my first bite into the Wisconsin cheese, beer battered fried cheese curds, it was so ooey and gooey, such cheesy goodness! The cheese was a very mild flavor and fried perfectly. It was a great way to introduce my palate to this type of cuisine. There were also several dipping sauces that accompanied the cheese curds, but I preferred mine without. I really enjoyed the flavor of the cheese.

Dinner at High Rock Cafe – After visiting Ho-Chunk Casino one night, we drove to Wisconsin Dells for a night on the town. The area reminded me of a beach town, filled with lots of fudge shops, bars, and souvenir shops, minus the beach. High Rock Cafe must be a very hip spot, cause it took us a while to get our table. As soon as we were seated, we received the best mid-Western hospitality to be found. I was infatuated with our waitress’s accent and she was hands down one of the kindest people I’ve ever met.

We started off our meal with the calamari. This was not your typical breaded and fried version. Instead, it was coated with a slightly Asian sweet chili sauce and fried perfectly to create an super delicious coating. It was definitely not what I was expecting from this part of Wisconsin, but it was a pleasant surprise.

Another pleasant surprise was the ahi tuna. Again, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the fish was sushi grade and seared perfectly. It was a refreshing break from deep fried food.

For my main course, I couldn’t resist and got the lobster ravioli. It looked really delicious on the menu and kinda jumped out at me. The portion was immense. The ravioli was mixed with sweet corn, tomato and sauteed spinach. The corn was amazing to me; I couldn’t get over the sweetness. The ravioli was stuffed with some generous portions of lobster and cheese. This meal was delicious and very filling. My plate was almost filled to the brim with ravioli, corn and spinach!

I have nothing but fond memories of my first trip to the mid-West. It made me really appreciate what a wonderful family I have. The cuisine out here on the other hand was much different from what I’m used to. But most everything I had did not disappoint and I was pleasantly surprised.

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