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Questions about Madison, L'Etoile

Hopefully someone has dined at L'Etoile recently. Outdated, but here is the post from our experience.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851314

I recall enjoying onion rings or strings at Dotty's, The Tipsy Cow, and The Old Fashioned which are all good stops for a beer if you are looking right in town.

As for other new suggestions that I haven't seen on these boards yet, we did visit Grampa's Pizzeria and their neighboring cocktail bar, Gibs, and had a great time a few months back. They restored an old home and turned it into a multi-story cocktail bar that is v. cool & unique. We were doing a bit of progressive dining that night, so we just sampled one pizza, but we've been talking about going back for it ever since. It was topped with brussels sprouts and copious chunks of bacon...

about 23 hours ago
bte576 in Great Lakes

New Glarus Beer/Wisconsin

Beer bar. We've been to their original location in Grand Rapids and it was a great beer stop. They have several locations, but it's not a big chain like The World of Beer. Here is an article from The Isthmus on their opening.
http://www.isthmus.com/food-drink/bee...

Jul 18, 2015
bte576 in Beer

New Glarus Beer/Wisconsin

i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream:
Funk Factory might be what you read about as I have seen some articles mentioning their beer. Haven't tried it though.

I was going to add another comment on your post on the Great Lakes board, but will just add it here. I saw that HopCat just opened their Madison location--not locally run, but may be worth considering given the selection and great location right off State.

Jul 17, 2015
bte576 in Beer

New Glarus Beer/Wisconsin

TG is in Milwaukee now, but the distribution is limited. They are carrying their beers at Discount Liquor and Ray's, not sure where else. Pseudo Sue is in 4-packs now (!!!), as well as some of their other beers.

Jul 17, 2015
bte576 in Beer

indianapolis this august

I had posted some short feedback from our trip over the holidays here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/998228

We didn't do much eating by the convention center, but about a mile away we tried Milktooth which was great. The chef was just featured in Food & Wine's top new chef issue.

We did stay at the Le Meridian one night (they had just opened). We considered trying the restaurant in the hotel for dinner, Spoke & Steele, but thought it was too new to chance it...but did enjoy a cheese plate and drinks there after dinner. Thoughtful drink menu and a nice space for sure. That might be worth looking up.

If you're into beer at all, the beer scene has been booming in Indy...so make sure to try some local brews!

Jul 16, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Advice for 3 nights near New Glarus/1 night in Milwaukee?

Just so you know it's there, across from the Cheese Mart, there is the Ale Asylum Riverhouse which is a licensed bar/rest. serving a long list of beers from the Madison brewery, in case you don't get to try their beers in Madison and want to.

Just to help with the MKE Public Market question, I haven't been to the one in Philly, but our market was
"inspired" by Pike Place, but it's very small in comparison...so I don't think it would be too painful for your husband. If you'd prefer to hit up a local grocer on the smaller scale instead, consider Glorioso's Italian Market on Brady or Groppi's in Bay View (which, btw, does serve wine and beer and has a small patio).

Jul 01, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Advice for 3 nights near New Glarus/1 night in Milwaukee?

I would definitely keep Burnhearts as it's just a cool place with good beer and cocktails, but to add Sugar Maple is a great beer bar in that area as well. I do, hands down, prefer the atmosphere at Burnhearts, but from a selection standpoint, popping by Sugar Maple for beer would still be a worthy stop and you can do a sampler there. Odd Duck is right in the neighborhood, so that would work out well. Another option for dessert which is right in the neighborhood would be to stop by Honeypie for, you guessed it, pie. Otherwise, Purple Door's ice cream is great, but I haven't been to their new shop.

Mader's is pretty formal and old-school. If that is what you are looking for, I think it is a good, but sometimes overlooked spot for lunch. Otherwise, if you want something more casual and given the sausage loving comment about your husband, check out The Vanguard in Bay View. Great sausages and fries. (If you do end up at Mader's, the Wisconsin Cheese Mart is across the street which has a tap room attached to it.)

If you are interested in checking out Hinterland, you could start there with a beer and snack at the bar and then move south to Bay View. We prefer sharing at the bar there versus eating in the dining room. I assumed you may want to go there for the beer, but the cocktail and wine selection is also v. good.

Great recommendations from kathryn re: cocktails if you decide you need them. :) I will add that near your hotel, there is a place called Distil with good cocktails.

Back to beer...
Our Rock Bottom isn't bad, but would skip it with other local options around. While I would skip eating at the MKE Ale House, it is a great Milwaukee spot and they have a lower level bar with a patio alongside the river if just stopping to drink. Lakefront Brewery is always a favorite stop, so that's a great choice. Convenient to Lakefront, there is a good beer bar called Stubby's I would just add into the consideration--pretty good interesting bar food there also, not that you need many more food options!

The Milwaukee Public Market is food worthy stop for snacks and to browse local food products and there is an inconspicuous beer bar at the Nehring's booth.

I could keep going, but that should be plenty of options I think!

As for Madison, I saw The Old Fashioned recommended already and that is a great recommendation for the Wisconsin beer and food experience. Karben 4 and Next Door are two good options for smaller breweries if you want to hit something like that. (I haven't been to all the places on your Madison list, but give a big thumbs up to Fromagination and we always like going to the Great Dane.) We had an OK dinner at Heritage Tavern when it first opened, but just recently went back and loved sharing at the bar, so that's fresh on my mind.

Brasserie V has become one of my favorite stops for reliably good lunch and dinner in Madison. They have great beer, but it is more of a Euro focused menu, so you may not be excited about that if in WI.

As far as browsing for local food products, Underground Butcher and the Willy St. Co-Op would be two good options.

Have so much fun!!

Jun 30, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Breakfast in Milwaukee?

Glad you liked Blues! We usually try to get there by 8 on the weekends and I was wondering if that was still necessary for no wait...sounds like that probably still rings true. Thanks for reporting back.

Jun 24, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Asheville Trip Report

I would recommend the bourbon rosemary glazed if available...that's what we tried. I would not, however, recommend sharing like we did. Cheers!

Jun 24, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Food around convention center, no car, lots of ladies [Milwaukee]

Thx for reporting back...hopefully you can make it back sometime to see more of what we have to offer!

Jun 19, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Breakfast in Milwaukee?

Simple Cafe and Beans and Barley are north of the other suggestions, but still in Milwaukee. Hopefully someone will chime in with a good, reliable local breakfast spot somewhere further north, there has to be one.

I don't think you'll find anything real inventive that early on a Saturday, but there are some solid coffee shops serving breakfast (Collectivo at Bayshore, Fiddleheads at Bayshore or Mequon).

Your friends may know of it already, but Cafe 1505 is the only place I've been to for a sit-down brunch in Mequon and I enjoyed it.

Solly's Grill serves breakfast(famous for burgers-haven't been though), as does Benji's Deli (solid spot for corned beef, but I haven't been for years and never for breakfast).

North Shore Boulangerie serves a very limited breakfast menu, but it's a cute spot. I've only picked up bread from there, but want to go back.

Hope that helps a little!

Jun 19, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Breakfast in Milwaukee?

You need not look further than the list nsxtasy provided for a good option.

Making the assumption (which maybe I shouldn't) you may want do something with wait service since you may have some time to kill, I would narrow down your options to the following:

Blue's Egg (generally considered the best & consistent, always busy, could be a wait depending on what time you actually get there, but not likely long early on Saturday and probably worth it. It's technically out of your way, but wouldn't likely add any more time than going into downtown.)

Engine Co. 3 (cool spot, fairly easy to get to on your route, have seen some mixed reviews, but our food was v. good)

Simple Cafe (have been to their other location in Lake Geneva several times and love it--have heard good things about this one as well)

Cafe at the Plaza (has a lovely courtyard in a hotel/apt bldg.-had a great brunch there a few years ago, but I think they have a new chef, so I can't comment on any recent meals)

Just a few comments on the others mentioned for what it's worth for the OP or nxstasy.

Cafe Benelux is an awesome space, but we are generally disappointed in most of the food (other than apps/snacks) at all of that restaurant group's spots. We try to stick to the Lowlands group stops for beer (and maybe frites), but I wouldn't risk it for one breakfast.

Honeypie and Comet Cafe are both cool and quirky spots (same owner) focusing on comfort food with a twist. Most of my food has been pretty solid, but I've had some misses. If the menus appeal to you, then I think they both are worth trying. I am more of a fan of Honeypie.

Maxfield's was Ok when I went, but very typical breakfast/pancake house spot. Not exciting.

Brewed is a small and order at the counter. I often get a coffee there when in the area, but can't comment on their food.

Mykonos is also order at the counter, very casual, what you might expect with gyro in the title. Have only had their gyros/dinner type food, but they do a good job at that.

The National may be order at the counter, but it sounds great. That is definitely on my to visit list, so I will have to try to report back when we make it there.

Jun 17, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Asheville Trip Report

We were charmed by Asheville five years ago on our first visit and to return to an even greater bounty of food and drink was overwhelming, but only in the best of ways!

Dinner at Curate was excellent. Cold items ordered were serrano ham, artichoke salad, and a raw local trout dish. Artichoke salad and trout were really special. For warm dishes, we tried the grilled lamb, sautéed mushrooms, and the octopus. Loved the lamb and mushrooms. The octopus was good, but it was the one thing I would have switched out if doing over. Wine recommendation from our server was spot on.

Enjoyed dinner at Limones. Lobster nachos to start were great (these were specifically on our to-do list from our last visit). Husband had the pork tacos and really liked them, but thought for the price, he maybe should have gone with something more unique. I had the scallops with squash/bacon/brussels sprout hash. Great flavor, but the squash was slightly underdone. I just honed in on the scallops, bacon, and sprouts and that hit the spot.

For a planned brunch, we ate at Chestnut and this was pretty solid. Tried the basic breakfast, seasonal salad, and the lobster roll.

We rarely visit same spots twice, but we did end up starting our trip at the West AVL Biscuit Head for breakfast and made a quick stop at the other location on our way to the airport. Wonderful biscuits and wow--the butter, jam, hot sauce spread was impressive.

For other meals, we did a lot of bouncing around sharing and snacking just trying to fit it all in.

All Souls--Shared the Soppressata pizza. Very light on the cheese, so this may not be everyone’s choice for pizza, but with the quality of the ingredients and crust, we thought it was awesome.

Needed a quick & casual stop for something small after kayaking. We picked up a house made hot dog (Carolina Style) from Foothills Meats in Ben’s Penny Mart. Quirky little place. Great hot dog. The fact that we had to share the hot dog just made my husband want more, so when we stopped at The Imperial Life later during the trip and spied another house made dog, we had to try it. Also, very delicious, despite not expecting to be doing a lot of hot dog sampling on this trip. We also had a tartare on toast with avocado there and that was very nice.

Chai Pani for the Bombay Chili cheese fries was on our to-do list. These were good, but they came out room temperature, so that might have taken away some of the enjoyment. I think something a little saucier would have been my preference with such very crispy fries, but I am glad we tried them.

MG Road: Current food theme is Summer of Sandwich. We tried the fried chicken w/pimento cheese and pickles. It was a nice little sandwich to share for $5 while enjoying a craft cocktail.

Donuts--we shared a donut each at Hole and Vortex. Husband really liked the Vortex donut, but I preferred the uniqueness of Hole in that they cooked the donuts to order and were light with the perfect touch of sweet glaze. Great coffee at Vortex.

Rhubarb: Had ruled out doing a full meal here, but in passing by we noticed the cheese plate and this seemed like a good chance to sample some local ones. Great cheese plate. The server also suggested the fried green tomatoes as well with pickled shrimp. I thought the texture of the shrimp came across as overdone, but the tomato and sauce/garnishments were of the plate-licking kind. Funny note, the fried tomato was actually a red one and not a green tomato?!

In between all the food, we made it to many (probably too many…) of the area breweries and were so impressed with the quality and innovation in your local beer. The only “problem” was there was just too much temptation to keep sampling and moving on to the next spot instead of just relaxing.

We did have a drink at the Top of the Monk recommended by miss piggy on the board. Cool spot, nice view, and the cute small snack accompanying your drink was a nice touch.

Well, after putting this together I think I need to go eat some steamed vegetables, but it was a pretty great trip in terms of our eating and drinking. We so much appreciate all the active SE board postings. Thanks!

Jun 15, 2015
bte576 in Southeast
2

Looking for German Supper in Madison Wisconsin

The Essen Haus.
Also, with our strong German heritage, you will also find some German influence on the menu at The Old Fashioned, a "Wisconsin" themed restaurant.

May 31, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes
2

Food around convention center, no car, lots of ladies [Milwaukee]

There is a newer Vietnemese sandwich shop called Xankia very close that could be an option--haven't been, but I have seen some positive reviews. Waterfront Deli (an old favorite of ours) or the new Color Palate (don't know much about it, but it has been getting some good press) would be good options, but a little further walk. Otherwise, check out www.flavorcycle.com for delivery options for a list of good Mke spots!

Also--not sure how it compares to the orig., but there is a Jake's Deli in the mall food court and that's a pretty notable Mke spot for corned beef and pastrami. I think there is still the Wild Flour bakery in the mall as well--another possible option.

May 26, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

I saw those noted in a write up somewhere already, so my itinerary actually has a note on it to "fit in Bombay Chili Cheese Fries at Chai Pani!"

I did see several comments on yelp about lines out the door at Chai Pani....is that mostly a peak dinner time issue or is it busy all day?

Just trying to decide if this is a viable option for just sharing those fries or if we should just plan on eating a full meal there.

May 26, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Food around convention center, no car, lots of ladies [Milwaukee]

Just wanted to add for coffee, I would recommend a visit to Colectivo in the Third Ward or the Stone Creek Coffee on 5th Street.

May 19, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Food around convention center, no car, lots of ladies [Milwaukee]

It really won't be that dire, so it would be helpful to know if you are looking for anything particular--super casual, more upscale?? Also, Milwaukee's downtown is not all that large, so $10 in a cab or an Uber will get you to some other neighborhoods easily. There is also a $1/ride Trolley loop around the city in the summer that you may want to look up.

Just taking a shot in the dark, these are places just over a mile or less from the Wisconsin Center that I would look up and see if they interest you.

The Rumpus Room
Ale Asylum Riverhouse
Milwaukee Public Market
Vagabond
Cubanitas
Rustico
Mason Street Grill
Bacchus
Hinterland
Bavette

Water Street Brewery, Rock Bottom, and Mo's Irish pub are not going to be high on the list of most chowhounders, but for more of a pub/grill food type spot, I've had perfectly fine meals at each place over the years and those would be in your vicinity.

If you classic German interests you, Maders or Karl Ratzch's are worth a look.

Spots on my "I've been meaning to try for years" list in that area would be Buckley's and Sababa, so there's a couple more thoughts.

Enjoy your trip.

May 19, 2015
bte576 in Great Lakes

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

Thanks for all the tips. Looks like I have a few more spots to look up and we'll have to see how all the pieces fall together.

I wasn't really considering brunch at Curate on Saturday as I think that's a place we'll definitely want to (freely) enjoy wine with our meal and we booked a brewery bus tour for that afternoon, so a boozy brunch is probably ill advised.

I'll figure it out and will be sure to report back with our thoughts!

May 17, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

Hmm....if we switch to Limones for dinner, do you think there is a clear winner in town for a Saturday lunch/brunch that takes reservations (or wouldn't likely be running on a wait)?

We have plans after lunch and definitely want to try to eat around 11-11:30.

I feel so needy--sorry--but I really appreciate your recommendations!

May 16, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

miss piggy--thanks for making it easy to cross Rhubarb and Ghan Shan off the list.

Thirsty Monk was a favorite from our trip last time and I noticed the Top of the Monk on their site and wondered if it would be a good stop--will def try to visit for a break from all the beer.

We'll skip trying to eat at Wicked Weed if it is a mad house. If we try to stop by on the concert night, we will prepare ourselves for it being too busy and just try to stop by the next afternoon. Or is it pretty much always crazy there?

Complicating things I know--but is Bouchon a good stop for drink and sharing something? I overlooked it for this meal due to it being further north, but if we end up walking it will be right on our way. I also saw they have opened a sister Cajun restaurant right there. I was just thinking this could be a good companion stop to Storm (or other options) for more food. I like the idea of making a few stops to experience more spots, but also feel like a big sit down dinner before a concert can sometimes feel draining.

danna--we are eating at Curate the night before, so that's why I didn't consider Zambra (we ate there last time and did enjoy it) and also figured I didn't need to do Nightbell after Curate if the chefs are the same, but that might be a silly thought if food is great.

I did consider Thunderbird, but that appears to be ending before our trip. :(

May 15, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

This is all very helpful! Thank you.

Sky Bar does sound like it would be a neat stop if we can fit it in.

Funny...we picked Asheville for this trip thinking we've been there once before and it's a smaller city, so planning will be easy... Yet I am still finding decisions to be plenty difficult. I am sure, however, that whatever we chose we will have a great time.

May 14, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

No worries, I had just assume those two would be generally considered a little better from my research...but with Storm's location being so convenient for our evening, wishful thinking had me hoping maybe you had really high regards for Storm.
Thanks for the input!

May 14, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

So Storm wins over Bull & Beggar or The Junction? Sorry...just making sure I understand what you meant.

May 13, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Asheville--Lingering Questions for June trip

I’ve done research, but do hope to get some thoughts on the following. I do appreciate your help!
We had reservations at Seven Sows for a Thursday dinner before a concert at the Orange Peel, so my preference would be to stick with the downtown area…but both The Junction and Bull & Beggar do sound great, so if those are hands down better choices than the following—please chime in.
---Posana, Chestnut or Storm could work instead? We were going to do Limones for brunch on Saturday, but we could also flop that and go there for this dinner and then another spot for brunch if something else is stronger for brunch.
---We do also really enjoy just stopping at the bar at several places and sampling a few things, but sometimes it is hard to know if a place will be appropriate for that and/or just likely be too busy for that to be possible. Any thoughts on a good itinerary for a little progressive bar dining are also appreciated. We are hoping to have beers at Wicked Weed on this night, so we could something there as well, just trying to get a feel for what’s reliably good.

A few other questions.
Any updated thoughts on Rhubarb? It just seems to be getting all this national coverage, yet I know some of the past comments on here haven’t been great and the reviews are sure mixed.

King James Public House—I saw the news about the chef change and was just wondering if anyone has been recently?

Chai Pani—I’m intrigued by the menu and would love to stop in for a snack at least. Is this a sit down restaurant or order at the counter. I am having a hard time getting the vibe.

Gan Shan Station—Anyone been yet? I saw another post asking, but no response.

It looks like we're definitely planning to do a dinner at Curate, brunch at Biscuithead, and a lunch at All Souls already btw.

Thanks!

May 13, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

Seven Sows to close (Asheville)

Thanks for sharing their recommendations. We also had it booked for our trip next month and got the call earlier today and after I hung up the phone, I thought I should have thought to ask what they recommended just to get another opinion.

May 12, 2015
bte576 in Southeast

In search of diagnosis and cure for "off" cookie texture

Great point! That's a lot of dried cherries for this sized batch of cookies when there are mix-ins already. I think I read that as 1/2 cup, not 1 1/2 cups!

May 12, 2015
bte576 in Home Cooking
1

Should I not marinate my leg of lamb?

I just proceeded as planned with the lamb and found it to be enjoyable and as expected.

Leg of lamb was new to one guest and she asked if it was supposed to be a little chewy—go figure.

I think I have always marinated leg meat to some extent, but I think I will have to try just doing the simple oil, salt and pepper before cooking to compare the texture at some point.

May 12, 2015
bte576 in Home Cooking

In search of diagnosis and cure for "off" cookie texture

The recipe has a fairly high sugar to flour/butter/egg ratio seems in comparison to most traditional chocolate chip cookies. I would not change what you are doing with the butter.

I would try cutting the sugar a bit. Other thoughts would also be too make sure your baking soda is fresh and that your oven is not running hot.

If you are adding in dried fruit, that’s even more of a reason you should be able to get by with less sugar.

Also, what kind of cookie sheet are you using? I prefer non-insulated aluminum sheets for most cookies. I always end up with too much spreading on the insulated ones.

I like to play around with drop cookies and usually draw from this basic formula: 1 stick butter, ¾ cup sugars, 1 egg with 1 ¼ cup flour. (I also include vanilla and ½ t. baking soda of course—if I plan to chill for days in the fridge before baking, I will throw in a little baking powder as well).

If I want chewy cookies, I like to add 1 T. cornstarch. If I am adding dried fruit as one of my add-ins, I may even scale back a little on the sugar.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

May 12, 2015
bte576 in Home Cooking

Should I not marinate my leg of lamb?

Was thinking a stove top sear and then roast at 350. Pulling at 130° ish and letting it rest for 15-20 minutes. As far as the issue of chewiness goes, I have found that we prefer the texture of leg of lamb if pulled from the oven at a slightly higher temperature than we would for beef roasts which I take out by 125°. I’d love to try a lower, slower method sometime, but with this being a Friday after work meal, I won’t have more than a few hours.

May 07, 2015
bte576 in Home Cooking