Monday, October 19, 2009

road trip! madison, wi

columbus day weekend brian and i hit the road to visit jenn and mark, who left cincinnati back in june for the wilds of wisconsin. when we were about two hours away, jenn sent a text which read, "head's up - it's not snowing exactly. just some flurries". snow before halloween? i didn't know we were visiting the arctic.

jenn and mark live off fish hatchery road. i saw no fish hatchery, but i assume the road's namesake had to be somewhere nearby. what a strange choice to name a thoroughfare. to my knowledge, in cincinnati there is no "slaughterhouse avenue" or "soap suds court".

jenn and mark have already been working on establishing themselves as regulars at the great dane pub. they have a fantastic beer list, which great names like "crop circle wheat". we all tried their seasonal brew "ride the dragon". it's a heavy-hitter with 10% alcohol, so the pub actually has a limit of 2 per customer. i'm not very good at describing beer, but to me, it was light with an herby flavor, kind of like twisted thistle.

apps consisted of pretzels with mustard and fried cheese curds (it's wisconsin, after all). the cranberry horseradish mustard was absolutely to die for. pungent - stings the nostrils. the curds were what you would expect. kind of tough to screw up fried cheese.

jenn and i each ordered a sandwich and split them. one was a buffalo burger topped with cheese from a local farm and the other was the "gourmet" grilled cheese (sensing the theme?) with smoked gouda and sharp cheddar, pesto, tomato, and bacon. everything was as good as it sounds. the accompanying sides were plantains and hot applesauce. the applesauce was more apple and less sauce. it belonged on top of a potato pancake.

Great Dane Pub & Brewing on Urbanspoon

the rest of the time we just hung out. sunday night we cooked a delicious dinner of marinated pork kebabs (see marinade recipe here), eggplant salad, and lemon-lime tart.

the eggplant was grilled, then topped with goat cheese, basil, mint, and pine nuts. the finishing touch was a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar. in retrospect, i probably could have lived without the inclusion of the mint.

the lemon-lime tart recipe came from luscious lemon desserts. at the last minute we decided to add the whipped cream. it was a good decision. the tart was very tart. our drink of choice for the day was sparkling wine, simply limeade, and a splash of rose's pomegranate infusion.

i'm so jealous of their kitchen! you can't see it in this photo, but they have a double oven, too.

it was really a fantastic trip. we plan on returning after the spring thaw and seeing more of the city.


Kevin said...

I can't believe you quoted "Anchorman"! What's this world coming to?!

camelia said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use or just go to and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,