My mother called this morning in order to inform me of a blizzard that is coming to Madison! Supposedly there hasn’t been one this bad since 1992, we will see if that is true, however this crushed my dreams of feasting on some tasty Mexican cuisine in the near future. One of my favorite things about Madison is their mix of ethnicity in the restaurants.
First is one I have actually been to with my Dad when he visited, Eldorado Grill. This unique Mexican restaurant, located on Willy street right off the capital square, is one of my favorite areas when I want to escape the hustle and bustle of State Street. Their specialty is working with fish and putting a twist on authentic Mexican entrees. I had the Pasilla Chile Chicken Enchiladas which were served with the sauces decoratively displayed on the plate leading to a taquito style enchilada. My dad enjoyed the Market Fish Special which appeared shaped as a butterfly. The food is pleasing to the eyes and palate.
La Mestiza is an authentic Mexican restaurant I have not had the luxury of dining at but according to Urbanspoon and other sources it is one of Madison’s best hot spots for a traditional Mexican meal in a great atmosphere. There is a location downtown and on Madison’s outskirts, on Odana Road. They pride themselves by having food that is “…from the ordinary to the extraordinary eclectic Mexican cuisine”.
Mango Man Cooks! The story behind this restaurant helps make it a must on my eating to-do list. Thony, a Madison food-cart regular, gained much popularity from selling food on the capital square as well as around the UW campus. Once people started demanding more amazing cuisine he opened up a restaurant, Café Costa Rica, on South Butler Street with plans of opening another downtown on Willy Street. Mango Man, which is who he came to be known as, does a phenomenal job of serving Mexican food with a Caribbean twist. The Mojito’s are supposedly to die for while the rest of the menu will leave you wanting more as well!
Finally, there is L’Etoile. This is not Mexican cuisine but chef Tory adds his own Mexican spices and accents to unique entrees. At L’Etoile they strive to use all local farm ingredients which creates a delicious and seasonal menu. Chef Tory’s experience in the kitchen is gaining popularity all over Wisconsin and reviews compare him to Chef Rick Bayless, who has two extraordinary restaurants in Chicago, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. Chef Tory and his crew have also opened up a new gastropub, Graze, which follows the same principles of cooking comfort foods from grass-fed animals. At Graze the chefs strive to offer a higher level of regular pub food that allows its customers to enjoy their company while grazing.
Apologies if you are like me and stuck inside because of a storm-to-be, but at least your imagination will be satisfied!