Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and this will definitely be true of this post. I have to tip my hat off to food critics who can accurately describe how something tastes and smells, enough so that they convince you that you are hungry, even when you are not. It’s like watching Food Network. Regardless of the meal I consumed 10 minutes prior to watching any show on that channel, I always manage to convince myself that I am still hungry and should probably grab a snack. Or how about that grand old rule of thumb “Never grocery shop on an empty stomach.” I’m gonna go ahead and warn you readers – probably shouldn’t view this post on an empty stomach. You may just find yourself AWOL at work and munching on a coconut curry egg sandwich at Mermaid Cafe.
This past Friday, I (Melissa, your faithful B-cycle Brunch Tour Guide and frequent blogger), was fortunate enough to join up with Madison Eats – a local food-lovers club in Madison – and B-cycle around town while indulging in fine local cuisines. Rough work day, right?
When I first heard of the club Madison Eats, I was pretty sure I was already in in it. I live in Madison and I eat a lot of food. But Madison Eats provides some pretty unique opportunities to explore the underground and local food scene in Madison – this brunch tour being one of them. The founder of Madison Eats – Otehlia – had been doing brunch tours for years and had just recently had the stroke of genius to pair with Madison B-cycle to cover more amazing foodie havens. The staff at B-cycle was more than ecstatic about this partnership.
Below you will find my storybook account (lots of mouth watering pics, few words) of our tour that day – beginning at Mermaid Cafe on Winnebago Street, ending at Hotel Red, and delighting in Batch Bakery and Graze in between. You may be asking yourself at the end of this post “Why haven’t I done this before and how do I make sure I don’t miss out next time?” Well friends, sign-up is easy. Click here to buy your tickets for you and your friends. The next tours take place on June 29 and July 11 – with hopes to add more based on demand. And by demand, I mean I will be demanding that Otehlia lets me lead another B-Cycle Brunch tour. Because who doesn’t love eating and biking? No one. That’s who.
I had never heard of Mermaid before this tour. I’ve already been back. A true Madison gem.
Truffle quiche and radish salad
Next stop – Batch Bakehouse on Willy Street
Holy baked goods, right? Every item made by scratch, by hand, and before dawn.
Behind the scenes cookie dough spotting. That tub would last 2 days in my fridge…
Batch’s bread schedule and my new phone background.
After Batch, we were all feeling a wee-bit full from not-so-sample-sized samples of pound cake and rhubarb bars, so the backside of the capital hill to Graze seemed a little daunting. So we did a B-cycle and Brunch tour first! We took the magical elevator at Monona Terrace!
It only took us three separate trips to get all those B-cycles up, but walking out to this view was totally worth it. Do we live in a gorgeous city or what?
Mac n’ Cheese and pickled sampler plate at Graze
Our last stop
Crab cakes and a blended pepper dip
Olive oil cake. Literally my mouth is watering as I type this…
Two sisters – one a local and one visiting from Iowa. Talk about a great thing for visiting friends and family.
Our awesome biker gang.
Plates licked clean. Every time.
And that’s a wrap folks. Huge thanks to all the wonderful restaurants that hosted us. We appreciate all you do to support local farms by sourcing the finest products that Wisconsin has to offer.