Friday, March 23, 2007

A Taste of Madison

Today was actually a pretty good day at work, considering I had to actually be at work. When I showed up, Cindy was freaking out and trying to finish up a bunch of platters in preparation for the 8th annual Taste of Madison. I asked her about it, because 1) I'm nosy, and 2) I wasn't here for last year's ToM and had no idea what it was about. It's actually a pretty cool way to attract new customers: area restaurants and catering services bring samples to the Cultural Center, and then locals pay $20 to go in and try whatever they want.

Long story short, I was asked to go along. And it was awesome!

I ended up staying there for about 4 hours, then driving back to the store to help close. But I didn't even mind that, because I got out the store and I really enjoyed my job for a change.

I also found some really great new places to eat. One of the perks of working Taste of Madison was getting to sample everything, too - but for free! The two best discoveries were Adrian's collard greens (I asked the owner the secret, and she told me that she adds crushed red pepper, onion powder, vinegar, and garlic - it makes them slightly spicy, and delicious!) and O'Hara's apple wood bacon-wrapped scallops with lemon risotto (I peeled the bacon off and gave it to Tiffany, who showed up to take pictures). There were also tons of bakeries and dessert-only booths, with lots of yummy cakes and whatnot. Oh, and a coffee shop (possible replacement for Barista's, which closed down late last year) with lobster bisque and chai tea (which doesn't actually go together that well, but separately they were fab).

I could go on, but the point is that I found a TON of new places to eat, I got out of standing behind the deli counter for a few hours, and I had a nice day at work. Oh, and they paid me for mileage (since I had to drive back and forth in my own car), and I'll probably use that money to buy the second season of Veronica Mars. Yay!

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