Sunday, July 3, 2011

Wisconsin Cuisine

Cheese curds in Tomah, Wisconsin:

...but you can find places for cheese off the interstate away from the city, especially. J and I call every cheese place a "cheese castle" in honor of the Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha. Brand name dilution, kind of like "Band-Aid" or "Kleenex"

Here's a 2-liter boot (only $15 on Thursday's!) at the Capital Tap Haus in Madison:

Capital makes some good stuff, and this is a much better location than going out to Middleton (suburb of Madison). The patio is just a block or two from the capitol, giving a prime seat for viewing the governmental dismantling of the state.

Checked out The Grumpy Troll in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin:

This pretzel is a pound and a half.
Fun place, good selection of food and beer. In the hilly rural areas southwest of Madison, great bike riding territory. They just came out with some sweet bike jerseys. The beer is above average and is either all unfiltered or relatively unconcerned about colour or clarity, but gets the job done.

Finally, went out to check out Wisconsin's best microbrewery -- New Glarus -- in another quaint rural town, of Swiss heritage, outside of Madison. Been wanting to go there for years, and found out that they closed at 4pm on weekdays. We got there at 4:02. I was able to quickly get a few souvenirs and some bottles to bring back, but was disappointed not to get any tastings. However, the tastings are reasonable but not free, and they handed out coupon books for a free 10oz tasting at one of several local bars. That ended up working out better, as we checked out Glarner Stube, a Swiss bar/restaurant in town. The only beer they had on tap was fresh New Glarus.

I never explored any of these areas in 4 years of school in Madison, but never did any distance biking, either. A great tour would involve the hilly backroads of some of these towns -- all the beer and cheese you need.


  1. Like the beer. lol

    Madison seems like a cool college town, though I never did visit. The terrain seems hilly and interesting.

    I grew up in Bloominton IN as a university brat and really enjoyed it. Hilly terrain and university amenities make a great combo. Road biking was an obsession, especially after Breaking Away.

  2. I've never been to Bloomington (only visited W. Lafayette once), but I'll add it to the list: can't go wrong with college towns.
    You didn't make fun of the "cutters" in town then, did you?

  3. mike - "Cutters" - Funny you should ask. I don't remember any such division at IU.

    However, there were definitely class issues in high school between the locals with heavy country accents and the more educated college-bound student body. It was never confrontational, just an attitude.

    High school kids can be awful.

  4. I'm headed out to Madison in a few months. Might just drink some beer there. Also gonna check out the Brewers/Pirates game.

  5. Good deal, I know you were planning Dells and Milwaukee, I was hoping you'd spend sufficient time in Madison (which is more fun than Milwaukee).

    Too bad the Bucs are pwned by the Brewers (especially in Milwaukee), but Miller Park is a great park and a fun time.

  6. mtnrunner2: Agreed, my hometown (Mukwonago, WI) had a class conflict that was mostly against being different or any hints of intellectualism. In our town, sports were king (Football championships via a giant corn-fed O-line and simple but effective running game), which was fine in a big fish/small pond atmosphere of Wisconsin suburbs, but didn't amount to anything afterward. Ironically, most jocks went to some of the local colleges -- nothing wrong with that, except they were big into being UW-Madison sports fans and drove out there regularly, trying to get tickets. Had they just worked a little harder in class...