Eating Around Town

When you consider how long it’s been since the last time we posted anything, you might not be surprised to hear that we’ve been to a few restaurants since then. Here are some quick and dirty reactions.

Sofra Family Bistro:

I went here with a friend for dinner one night. I haven’t been back since, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. The food was good — I had a chicken and date salad, everything tasted fresh, and I thought the flavor combinations were interesting. We might have been there on a weird, off night, but it was so quiet inside the restaurant that I felt self conscious having a conversation. I also thought it was a bit pricey.

Verdict: I’ll probably go back. I certainly wouldn’t mind going back, especially if someone else paid. Hah!

Palmyra Restaurant:

I tried to go here several times, but it was always closed. Apparently, that’s because it’s gone out of business.

Verdict: Closed.

Prairie Cafe and Bakery:

According to their website, this restaurant was “established as ‘the meeting place’ for the New Urbanism Community of Middleton Hills.” I am not at all sure that I fit into that category. I am new to Middleton, having moved here within the past year. I am urban, I guess, in that this is a community of people. And I did “meet” someone at their restaurant, so… the formula works! I had the scramble of the day, and it was tasty. Ham, cheese, and veggies, so it’s hard to go wrong, but it was well done. The restaurant had a happy, warm, bustling vibe, but we were still able to find a table without a problem. I found the coffee a bit acidic for my tastes (it reminded me a lot of the coffee they serve at Indie Coffee in Madison, where I actually go quite frequently for the chicken and goat cheese sandwich. I had dreams about that sandwich when I was in Honduras).

Verdict: Will definitely return!

La Zacatecana:

This is a grocery store on the the north side of Madison. There’s a little restaurant in the back that serves El Salvadoran, Honduran, and Mexican food. The ambiance is such that I could have believed I was back in Honduras (except that it’s winter here and it’s cold). We went there for the pupusas, which are an El Salvadoran and Honduran food. Pupusas are made by grabbing a ball of uncooked corn tortilla dough, putting some filling in it, and then flattening the whole thing into a tortilla shape and cooking it on a griddle. Because the dough and the filling are cooked at the same time, the cheese inside is melty and crispy in all the right places. When I was in Honduras, I found these to usually be filled with just cheese and maybe some chopped up bell pepper, but in El Salvador they are bigger and have more variety of filling. At La Zacatecana, Josh and I tried all three kinds of pupusas — those with beans, those with chicken, and those with chorizo. They’re served with the traditional, vinegary coleslaw of cabbage and carrots, and some pretty banging green chile sauce. I was surprised that the chicken was my favorite, because it was arguably the most Americanized, but dang it was tasty. Josh liked the chorizo the best. All three were pretty good though, and were the closest I’ve gotten to a “real” pupusa since I left Central America. (I tried to make them myself, and no.) Also, they are very affordable, at $2 a pupusa.

Verdict: I can’t wait to go back and see what other Honduran food I can get my hands on. Baleadas, anyone?

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