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Fresh(er) Bay Leaves

I'll second the recommendation for either Penzeys or Spice House. I generally get mine from Penzeys for convenience, but both are comparable and excellent, in my opinion.

Feb 10, 2010
le_cygne in Chicago Area

Veggie and foodie friendly, downtown?

A few friends and I will be spontaneously getting together this weekend in Chicago. A few of us were hoping to take advantage of the great dining scene, but there are a couple of vegetarians in the mix as well. I was wondering if anyone could suggest a few restaurants that might accommodate us all.

We were thinking of Green Zebra, but I'm doubtful that reservations will work out there on such short notice. We're open to anything from casual to fine dining so long as the food is good and there are a couple of vegetarian options. (As much as I'd personally love to do something like Blackbird, the vegetarians would probably like more than one selection.) A good wine list or beer selection is also a plus. Any other ideas?

Apr 10, 2008
le_cygne in Chicago Area

"Stuck" in south central WI - what to do/eat?

Sorry I missed your post when it would have been more relevant. But just in case anyone comes across this thread in the future...

Madison's Asian food is pretty weak, unfortunately.

Lao Laan-Xang is one of the better places, but they're pretty casual and a bit inconsistent, with very hit or miss service. Restaurant Muramoto near the capitol is decent Japanese fusion, Chautara is in the same vein as Himul Chuli but a bit better (and less than a block away), and there's some decent cheap Thai, but that's pretty much it.

Other things Madison visitors might be interested in are the Fromagination cheese shop for local artisan cheeses (don't let the name turn you off), the Great Dane brewpub for some very good beer, and the Dane County Farmer's Market in the Summer. Cafe Soleil has superb pastries, and Marigold Kitchen does a nice casual breakfast.

If you do make it to Mount Horeb for the mustard museum, you should also check out The Grumpy Troll, another very nice brewpub.