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Lunch at Merchant in Madison, WI: My First Time Eating FRIED Cheese Curds!

Hi! I spent a weekend in Richmond, VA visiting my friends Jenn and Luis and also participating in Sabra's Tastemakers program. I will fill you in on my adventures later this week, but for now I wanted to do a quick post about lunch I had on the last day of my Madison Weekend (Part 1, Part 2).

As I've mentioned before, I'm used to traveling solo and don't mind it much, but it's always nice to get together with friends while visiting new places. Well, during my trip to Madison, not only did I get a chance to catch up with my friends Emily and Amanda, but I also got to meet Lori! Lori and I have followed each other on Twitter and have been FB friends for a while, but nothing beats finally meeting someone in real life and liking them even more in person!

I was thrilled Lori decided to drive to Madison from Milwaukee and meet me for lunch at Merchant.

I finally got to try FRIED CHEESE CURDS! Yes, I had to type this in all CAP letters because they were that good!!! Melted cheese on the inside, crispy coating, and creamy dip: who could say no to this? Ok....maybe vegans...poor souls ;)

Fried Cheese Curds
Hopalicious Ale battered 
with buttermilk ranch

There were so many great options for the main course, but I decided meat was in order even though it was Meatless Monday...I break rules from time to time.

Classic Burger
House-ground sirloin & brisket patty on a brioche bun with choice of toppings: 
lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion

The burger was juicy and had the lovely pink color inside, and I really liked the big chunks of blue cheese. Unfortunately, the Mexican Street Corn I ordered was underwhelming.

Lori ordered one of the pastas:

Ricotta Dumplings
with preserved grapes, spinach, hazelnuts 
& shaved Grana Pedano cheese

What a creative dish! The dumplings had a slightly sweet taste and an orange fragrance, and I absolutely loved the preserved grapes and the toasted hazelnuts.

We had no room for dessert, so ordered tea to make lunch last a bit longer. This was a lovely way to end my first trip to Madison!

PS PLEASE vote for my lamb recipe!


Lori @ Burp! blog said...

Such a pleasure meeting you, Olga! Just looking at those shots of our lunch is making me hungry! :)