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Thursday, April 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 48.0° F  Light Rain Fog/Mist
The Daily


Gotham Bagels: Holy cream cheese, Batman!

We were heading to Mount Horeb for lunch when one of those oddly apocalyptic summer storms whipped up, the kind that seems to have become, suddenly, freakishly routine. The radio was making noises about running for cover, and we decided maybe it wasn't worth the broken bones and twisted neck, and that long, tempting tunnel of light, even for a really good lunch. So we turned back to Madison, and that's how we ended up, drenched, at Gotham Bagels for lunch instead. >More
 On the hunt for root beer floats in Madison

The nation's hot weather palate has shifted from traditional ice cream sodas and hot fudge sundaes to Peppermint Java Chip Frappuccinos and Iced Matcha Lattes, although recent news reports have suggested that "pain at the pump" has prompted many working stiffs to cut back on their $4/day frozen coffee drink habit. While I have nothing against iced coffee, the super-sweet sensation of a proper root beer float is one of the rituals of summer that should be indulged in at least once between Memorial Day and Labor Day. >More
 Sucre brings continental flair to the Square

Where there once was McDonald's, there is now Sucre. There is no better metaphor for the evolution of downtown Madison -- from fast-food restaurant to Euro-chic patisserie, from Quarter Pounders and fries to cold poached shrimp and Sachertorte, from Coke to cosmos. >More
 Azzalino's speakeasy offers hearty portions on near south side of Madison

Billed as "a joint for bootleggers and flappers," Azzalino's on South Park Street serves up standard American bar food in baskets and large plates in a strip of taverns on Park Street just south of Meriter Hospital. The menu is jam-packed with fried items named after famous -- or infamous -- characters of the 1920s and dangerously fruity cocktails that mask their large amounts of alcohol behind citrus and grenadine. >More
 Flooded farm, part two

After last year's $750,000 loss, Richard de Wilde was doubtless hoping for a not-too-wet wet season. He didn't get one. On de Wilde's Harmony Valley Farm, the organic operation near Viroqua, 20 acres' worth of plantings were destroyed by the recent storms. Among the losses were tomatoes, peppers, sweet potatoes, salad greens, dill, cilantro and a cornfield - the same one ravaged in last year's rains. >More
 Favorite eats: Bahia fist stew; Ham, brie and spinach crepe

 Santa Fe Trailer joins new Madison food carts on the Library Mall

After several seasons of stasis, there's been somewhat of a shakeup in the food cart roster -- not just on the Capitol Square, but also on the Library Mall. SukhoThai is no longer. The Greek stand is not around, as those behind it will be opening a full-fledged restaurant at the site of Cleveland's Lunch. But there are at least three new mall carts on hand -- FIB's Fine Italian Beef and Sausage, the Hibachi Hut, and Santa Fe Trailer. >More
 Wine Lizst (or Mozart, or Hendrix...)

As I reached for a glass, however, I became aware that something was horribly wrong. There was a god-awful sound in the air. A hideous wailing, pulsing, ululating cry raked my eardrums with the spine-tingling decibels of a cat in heat. A sound I would, unfortunately, recognize anywhere: Elvis. >More
 Panini of a different stripe at Cafe Porta Alba

The classico panini is made with prosciutto di parma and fresh mozzarella, and comes warm. The dough is wonderful and the prosciutto tender and salty and smoky. But overall, the sandwich feels more like an appetizer than a sandwich, its taste -- while pleasing -- too often hitting the same note. Maybe some fresh basil would balance the overpowering saltiness without ruining the purity of the idea. >More
 New Glarus Hotel : Yodel for your supper

So why did we end up at the New Glarus Hotel? I like the sense of history. The hotel, one of the first buildings in New Glarus, was constructed before the Civil War, and the dining room was once a theater hosting traveling vaudeville revues >More
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