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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 51.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily

FOOD AND DRINK

A tale of four brat fests

This Memorial Day weekend, Madison will find itself holding not just the World's Largest Brat Fest, but also at least three alternative brat celebrations/charity fundraisers. While the impetus behind creating more grilling gatherings was unease about brat maker Johnsonville's financial backing of the Scott Walker campaign, the official sentiment going forward is: If one brat fest is good, four must be better. And if one charity fundraiser is good, why not a few more? For those of you who have not been keeping track, here is the brat rundown. >More
 A guide to Madison's multiplying brat fests over Memorial Day weekend 2011

Suffice it to say that this spring, just about everything has become political. And Wisconsin's own favorite sausage, the bratwurst, has not escaped the ideological debate. This Memorial Day weekend, Madison will find itself holding not just the World's Largest Bratfest, but at least three alternative brat celebrations/charity fundraisers. >More
 Mad City Shaved Ice returns for the summer

If it had been a little warmer this spring, the Madison area could be welcoming the return of Mad City Shaved Ice with open arms. However, it's been a bit too chilly, says proprietor Ken Pulliam. >More
 University Square Food Court to close

After opening two and a half years ago, the University Square Food Court on the second floor of the new University Square is closing. "It was a tough decision," says property manager Todd Greenwald. "In a nutshell, it was not performing as forecast. It never took on the life we intended." >More
 Madison eats agenda: Fitchburg Days, Sassy Cow adventures, WORT Block Party, Herb Day

This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach. >More
 Spicy pleasures await the courageous diner at Ichiban

Investigating a Chinese menu is like wandering through a big, old house. Lots of nooks and crannies, unexpected rooms around corners, and at least one room that you can enter three different ways -- not one of which you can ever remember. Here is where the dual menu comes in handy (see: Orient House, South Park Street's other new Chinese restaurant). The Americanized version provides a rough guide, at least, of what to expect. The traditional Chinese menu is like the architect's blueprint, if perhaps as indecipherable to the layperson. >More
 Say 'yes' to gnocchi (recipe)

This week, I lost my head. When I arrived at school for a cooking final, I realized I had forgotten my locker combination, and my uniform was inside the locker; I had to call security to cut the damn thing off. My phone disappeared in the black abyss of my car, and I had written it off for dead. My partner (whose favorite saying is "haste makes waste") had a second look around and found my phone under one of my car seats. >More
 Cookbook cues: Grill It! from Better Homes and Gardens

Grill It! (Better Homes and Gardens/Wiley, $25) appeared at first to be the kind of generic cookbook that I generally tend to avoid. It doesn't have a unique and interesting point of view on cooking, nor does it dreamily transport me to a rural Italian life wherein I press my own olive oil and drink a Negroni in the evening. However, it is a good book, and a reminder that a cookbook doesn't have to sell me a fantasy to win my heart. >More
 Madison eats agenda: Taste of Willy, food drives, Syttende Mai, Morel Mushroom Festival

This coming week, in events that get to your heart through your stomach. >More
 Krispy Kreme finally opens a doughnut shop in Middleton

It has been almost two decades since I lived in the South, but certain foods still take me back to my Nashville youth. That's especially true of glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the signature product of the company founded 74 years ago in Winston-Salem, N.C. So I welcome the news that a Krispy Kreme has finally opened here, at 2019 Deming Way in Middleton. The doughnuts I remember are for sale there, and some of them are very good. >More
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