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Wednesday, April 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Mostly Cloudy and Windy
The Daily

FOOD AND DRINK

Cranberry Creek Cafe offers fast casual eats in Monona

Knowing that I was going to be over on Broadway in Monona around dinnertime, I put some advance thought into where to grab a bite to eat. Spots at the Pier 39 shopping center came to mind -- namely Red Robin and Noodles -- but I've eaten at both of these chains before and, well, Red Robin strikes me as the kind of place that the kid's soccer team gets taken after a game -- loud. And Noodles, always good in a pinch. But.... >More
 Dane County Farmers' Market returns to Capitol Square for 2008 season

Forecasts for rain and intermittently cloudy skies didn't keep the hordes away from downtown Madison as the Dane County Farmers' Market kicked off its outdoor season around the Capitol Square on Saturday morning. All elements of what might be the city's most beloved regular gathering were present: scores of vendors, the counterclockwise flow of traffic clogged with wagons and strollers, plenty of tourists, and a protest, in today's case a pair of competing rallies over the Chinese government and the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. >More
 Nora Pouillon: Queen of green

Long before "organic" and "local" were on most people's food radar, Isthmus Green Day speaker Nora Pouillon was serving organic food at her namesake Washington, D.C. restaurant. Opened in 1979, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country in 1999 (notable in a city seemingly hellbent on increasing yields and subsidizing commodity crops rather than supporting small farmers). >More
 Five Guys Burgers and Fries debuts in Madison

I kind of have to admire Five Guys Burgers and Fries for managing to include 80% of its menu right in the name of the restaurant. This East Coast-based chain doesn't serve much beyond its namesake burgers and fries. The menu also branches out to offer a hot dog and something named on the menu as "veggie or grilled cheese," which I at first took to mean a veggie burger. It's not. >More
 What does your beer garden grow?

For the homebrewer, the longer days of spring inspire thoughts not just of lighter, crisper brews of summer, but also of the beer garden. To be clear, I mean the brewer's garden. Gardening and brewing are, it turns out, two very compatible hobbies. >More
 Home-grown lunch from House of Wisconsin Cheese

In a world of sandwiches with names like "Rosemary-glazed wood-grilled lobster with truffle aioli on fennel-inflected ciabatta bread," sometimes you long for the simple. Maybe you wanted to bring your lunch from home and just ran out of time to make it or left it lying on the roof of your car as you drove off. If you're downtown and want to get back to the basics without sacrificing flavor, hit the House of Wisconsin Cheese. >More
 Good food, big portions, low prices at Café la Bellitalia

ou gotta love a place where you can get a good, honest plate of spaghetti and meatballs for $6.75. And that's with toasted garlic bread. >More
 New York Times hypes Wisconsin artisanal cheese

Many of us know that Wisconsin's artisan cheeses have become hot numbers in tonier cheese stores on the east and west coasts. But who would have guessed that our local cheese heroes are now a tourist destination for coasties? >More
 Quivey's Grove: Dairyland jubilee

Every chef worth his or her salad spinner these days forages for homegrown regional produce, but the latest culinary trend takes patriotism one step further. Now stylish cooks are starting to reclaim what used to be considered the most unstylish food -- the kind of backroads Americana recipes that lean more toward deep-dish casseroles and shoefly pies than truffle foam and crème brûlée. >More
 The Mermaid Cafe brings inventive sandwiches to east side of Madison

Do you ever get the wrong impression from a place just from its name? That's my story with The Mermaid Cafe, a coffeehouse that serves select sandwiches, soups and homemade bakery items in Schenk's Corners, where Winnebago meets Atwood on the near east side. >More
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