Farewell!

It’s time to bid this blog & project a proper goodbye. It was fun for our first year of graduate school, but by the second year, our time filled up very quickly. The MetaDiners are still around ! — we chat on a group page on Facebook, work out together, and recently had our 2nd Sexy Librarian/Archivist Pub Crawl. Alas, there’s not much to write about.

Dana Gerber and Meagan Schiebel (hire us please!)

Welcome new students!

How great of you to find us! We are really excited about meeting and getting to know all of you.

Feel free to look around and explore our blog.  For the most up to date information ask to join the Facebook group page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/slisbrunchclub/

Also, please come to the new student social on Wednesday, September 29th at 4:30 on the Memorial Union Terrace and our fancy schmancy garden party on Sunday, September 23rd at 3:00.  Check out Facebook for more information!

Even though we kind of abandoned the blog over the summer, we had some pretty cool people that commented/saw it over the past year:

  • AJ Bombers commented on Allison’s post about our lunch at their restaurant here
  • Ed Janus commented about Dana’s post (but in the About section) about our post about the WI Love Cheese event at the Wisconsin Historical Museum here 
  • A MPL librarian asked us to be on a food panel over the summer
  • A “real” Madison foodie commented about our Fund Drive here
  • Also, Madison A to Z links to many of our posts on their website

Have any ideas of new events or places to go? Share on the facebook page!  After an event you are also welcome to write a blog post if you’d like– just talk to Dana or Meg.

Update!

The Metadiners have been busy, but we’re still here! Sorry there have not been any posts lately, but that does not mean we haven’t been able to get together and eat good food!

We laughed, crafted, and tried our hand at homemade pizza at

Amanda and Chad’s house in February in celebration of Valentine’s day:

meg throwing pizza dough like a pro

Dana and Meg enjoying the homemade creations

the wonderful host, Amanada!

creating Valentine's day cards for the ones we love!

the finished products!

Not only can we eat really well, but we are quite crafty and creative as well:

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We also enjoyed terrible service but wonderful food at the Pancake Cafe in Fitchburg. This time we had some not so familiar faces joining us!:

Fun with friends

Isn't this just adorable?

Finally some food to fill our growling stomachs

I see no problem in having sugar for breakfast

good food, great friends, full stomachs

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So what’s next on our plate?
On the 28th of April we have a Zoo-stravaganza & Picnic planned at Henry Vilas Zoo and park.
Dana also has talked about planning a garden party with “tea, sandwiches, croquet, and pretty clothes” that I can only imagine will be super fun and  classy!

And for those of us staying in Madison past the semester’s end I’m sure we’ll be having a lot of food-filled fun 🙂

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Wi Love Cheese !

by: Dana

I am from California, and moved to Wisconsin just for graduate school. Here are the two things everyone — EVERYONE — mentioned in some way or another as they found out I was moving to Wisconsin: winter … and cheese.

Now, being from California, obviously we’re ignorant and full of ourselves, and I only had a vague idea about the amount of cheese here. For example, cheese curds? Never heard of them. Certainly never envisioned eating deep fried pieces of curdled cheese. The first lunch that my boyfriend and I ate when we moved here started with cheese curds, so we felt that we introduced ourselves pretty well to Wisconsin.

To get an even more thorough education though, my friend and co-MetaDiner Meg and I visited the Wisconsin Historical Museum for a great event titled Wi Love Cheese! Not only did the people here really love it, it was also held on the weekend before Valentine’s Day. 🙂 The museum holds many events which I highly recommend, and one of the series is on Taste Traditions. Me, a history major in undergrad, a studying archivist now, and a MetaDiner … what else is better than Taste Traditions?

The author of Creating Dairyland by Ed Janus gave an incredibly interesting and fun talk. He was a great speaker, both of us thought. I never knew so much about the cows of Wisconsin! And, I’m so glad I do now! Cheese is more than a tasty treat that is really good fried and with some special sauce. The entire way of life that goes into making it is a fascinating process with love and soul.

Then, George Crave, of Crave Cheese (no, really, crave it) gave a talk about his cheese factory. It’s quite the operation. To save gas money, they actually pump the milk through a pipe underground right into the cheese factory.

But the best part? We finally got to eat the cheese!!! We started with a mild string mozzarella. Meg especially loved it. Then we moved on to a stinky cheese with quite the rind that was a little too strong for me. I can’t remember the name, mostly because I moved on to the amazing, delicious, tasty, creamy, wonderful mascarpone simply on top of a Nilla wafer and with a little raspberry on top. Ugh, it was the perfect cheesy ending!

It was quite a nice event — tasty AND informative!

Here are some pictures just for you. 🙂

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We’re a winter ramblin’ group

by: Dana

It’s the end of our gloriously long winter break here at UW Madison and, in anticipation of another filled semester in the SLIS department, some of us early risin’ MetaDiners decided to take a walk today! Snow finally chose to fall, which meant it’d be quite a cold walk … and we all seemed to forget our snow shoes at home.

The winter ramble of the Madison Arboretum begins!

This was a perfect end to the break. All of us were spirited, talkative, happy, and awake. We all quickly forgot the cold and the warnings of impending freezing rain — which, to me, the Californian, sounds apocalyptic. We actually also met a few other people on the trail, all of whom either had snow shoes or cross-country skis (neither of which I remember ever seeing in person!); we got scolded for not walking in the middle, thereby ruining the trail for the cross-country skiers … Then we got ran off the middle of trail by a cross-country skiier! Maybe we were  a little lost …

Eventually, we found our way to a frozen pond. As aforementioned, I’m from California, as is my boyfriend Derek (the token boy today). This month in Madison is his absolute first time in snow! I’ve been in it a couple of times when I was young, so I don’t remember much of anything. I can’t say for sure whether this is true, but I’m fairly certain I’ve never seen or walked upon a frozen pond. It took a lot of coaxing to get me onto the ice. Caitlin, the organizer of this event, however, had a jolly good time jumping up and down on the ice.

A bit of merriment upon frozen water.

The above image was taken right after Meg, pictured on the right, told the rest of us that I once asked, “What’s ice fishing?” Meg has even started a twitter hash tag devoted to me: #thingscalifornianssay.

Eating fresh-squeezed snow.

Derek and Dana: the token Californians

Meg, shortly after receiving a snowball right in her eye.

Jessica looking bright and happy in her lovely red cap!

We spent some time around the pond, eating ice, taking pictures, and throwing snowballs. But by 10:30, we had worked up quite an appetite, so we did what we do best: eat.

Meg and Jessica need to refuel from the rambling with some m&ms.

Okay, we didn’t just eat m&ms! With Caitlin’s suggestion, we all headed over to Bluephies Restaurant and Vodkatorium. Since it’s Sunday and brunch time, you can bet it was quite busy. We were seated in a cozy backroom with lots of light and not too much noise. The place is decorated with lots of dark blue, red and yellow, and it’s quite easy on the eyes. 🙂

Most of us ordered coffee, hot chocolate, or mocha, but Meg and Allison went for a special Bloody Mary, which ended up being mostly very filling. Then we were sad to find out that they didn’t have fried cheese curds; the cold snowy weather made us so hungry for cheesy fried goo. And then, it was simply difficult to figure out what to eat!

Amanda had a delicious feta-filled scrambler, Jessica ate a fantastic plate of French toast with compote, Meg had a huge breakfast burrito she couldn’t finish (it had guacamole! that’s the main reason she ordered it, haha), Allison had an orangey plate of eggs benedict goodness, Caitlin had the Hungover Benedict with lots of grease to fuel that hangover, Derek had the jambalaya bowl, and I had a flight of 3 different kinds of pancakes: compote, pecan, and chocolate chip.

A perfectly spiced eggs benedict with artichoke and roasted red pepper.

Some of our best MetaDiners chowing down!

The Bluephies Pancake Flight: compote, pecans, and chocolate chips

Nearly everyone finished their plate clean, which is always a good sign. I have to say that my pancakes were a tad dry, but the compote was especially good with a slightly tangy and sweet flavor to rest on your tongue. I think next time (and there will be a next time) I will get that artichoke benedict, though I really think it should be asparagus!

So, MetaDiners, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that you are completely ready for this coming semester. Because, it’s here!

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Our Fund Drive

Well, the MetaDiners completed their first Fund Drive! Today we got a letter in the mail that finalized it: we donated a whopping total of $39.50 … but that donated 119 meals to residents around Dane County. That feels pretty good, doesn’t it?

Here’s what I definitely learned from this experience, having never run a fundraiser before: jars with stickers on them and posters everywhere don’t work. You really have to do more. There was talk about some things, like having a bake sale, faculty competition or class competition (who can raise the most), but with how busy we all were, nothing came to fruition. Next time, I know now to plan this a lot better, or to delegate to someone with more time. 🙂

Until next time though, I am proud of our 119 meals!

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The Quiet of Midterm

Hello all!

I fully realize this page has been quite quiet recently.  We have been meeting and eating, though! An event that deserves its own post is one put on by our lovely Cate, who created an entire Fall Festival for us to enjoy. That was on October 22nd but with how busy we have all been since, it feels like 6 months ago! For Halloween, we also got together to eat, drink, and watch Hocus Pocus. Perhaps a separate post will be made about that too. 🙂

The next project on my part has been the Fund Drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank, which was a little more difficult to set up than I expected. It’s now later than I wanted to start it but unforeseen hiccups have been made along the way. However, I’m not discouraged at all — it is all a learning process! I hope that by the end of the semester, we will have raised at least $100 dollars, which is enough to feed many, many families of Dane County, as the Second Harvest Food Bank really knows how to stretch a dollar.

With Thanksgiving coming up, the MetaDiners who can’t go home to visit family but still want to be around their classmates will meet up for their very own Thanksgiving. The details are still being worked out there too, but it should be a very fun, intimate, warm, and YUMMY occasion! The one thing that the Fall Festival taught us is the MetaDiners really know how to cook!

And lastly, to prepare for winter (we just had our first snow of the season — and my first snow at all! This is the first time I’ve lived somewhere that snows in winter!), we’ll be holding a Food Prep Party. We might even learn how to can things!

I hope you all are enjoying the season — well, the weather, maybe not midterm season, but it’d be great if you were actually enjoying midterm papers and projects!

Willy Street Walk!

by: Dana

This is an extremely late post, but I thought it should be done still.

At the beginning of this spectacularly busy October month, four of us MetaDiners (my boyfriend is an honorary MetaDiner, as are all significant others!) ventured to the (in?)famous Willy Street of Madison. Willy stands for Williamson, not Wilson street, which I found out the hard way.

I come from California, and specifically spent the last 6 years in the Bay Area. Willy Street’s reputation preceded my arrival to Madison and ever since I’ve moved here for school, I’ve wanted to visit. It sounded just like College Avenue in Oakland or a more gentrified version of Telegraph. I love little shops and cute cafes and small bakeries and grocery co-ops, so I had  a feeling I’d love Willy Street!

It did not disappoint. It reminded me a lot of Magazine Street in New Orleans, more so, actually, than the Bay Area. There are a lot of houses along the street which I’m sure have sky-high rents! Better than what New Orleans or the Bay Area can give, though, were the gorgeous trees lining the street. They had leaves just turning. The leaves littered the street in a way I’ve never lived with. Caitlin especially had a great time romping through the leaves!

Another thing we noticed on Willy Street was the large numbers of extremely cute cats sitting in windows.

We went into a shop devoted to hemp, a gothic costume shop, a pharmacy/costume shop (?), a pet store (mostly for Jen to figure out where to buy cat food!), a few super cute cafes, and finally the definitely famous Willy Street Co-op. What a great store! Everything looked tasty.

After the co-op, we had a brief adventure in the famed and much talked about Saint Vinny’s. Jen looked for stuff for her costume (Rosy the Riveter!) and Caitlin looked for great desks … and Vinny’s has quite the selection.

In true MetaDiner fashion, we ended the afternoon with some food. We went to Roman Candle Pizzeria, which I think is a small chain in the area. The pizza was a crunchy thin crust. I order a vegetarian one with lots of pesto and Caitlin got to order CORN on hers! 🙂

I will now leave you with some pictures of our windy day on Willy Street:

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Capital Brewery Tour

What is better then good local beer on a beautiful fall day?

Not much.

On Sunday, October 9th a few of us metadiners went and toured Capital Brewery in Middleton.  Now, if you’ve never been to Middleton, you’re in for a treat.  It’s a cute little town with plenty of nostalgic little shops to go with it (unfortunately, most of this stuff was not opened on a Sunday).  Practically right in the middle of town is the brewery.  Capital Brewery considers themselves one of the leaders of the microbrew movement, having started in 1984, in the same building they use today.  Interestingly enough, they have had the same brewmaster since producing their first beer in 1986.

our tour guide explaining the history and a really neat poster explaining the traditional ways of brewing.

Our tour guide was a really personable guy.  I have been on a brewery tour where I was literally yawning from out boring the tour guide was. But, this guy knew his stuff.  Also, if you got one of his questions right on the tour, you got a little token for a free beer. (Allison won a question about Pabst and the Chicago State fair, and shared one of her tokens with me!)

I wish I would have taken notes because then I could give you all the big accurate names for everything that he showed us. But, I am not a beer expert so instead you’ll just have to look at the pictures:

Part of the boiling process

The fermenting tanks

the new tanks

At the end of the tour... ready to drink some beer!

One interesting thing about Capital Brewery is the fact that they don’t stray from the “authentic German beer”.  Our guide had mentioned (well, a couple times actually) about them not serving IPA or anything that isn’t brewed in the German style.

The best part (in my opinion) was at the end when we go to go to the “Bier Garten” and taste test! In the summer, you can go to the Bier Garten for live music and it is a popular place for kids and parents alike.

Between the 5 of us, we had plenty of token to try everything we wanted.  AND, if you wanted to take some home, you could walk into the gift shop and make your own 6 pack for only $1 a beer.

For anyone in the Madison area, touring a brewery should be on your “bucket list” because beer is a deep rooted and highly celebrated tradition across Wisconsin.  We love our microbrews!

Want to know more? Check out their website!
http://www.capital-brewery.com/home

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New Kid on the Block: AJ Bombers

So it was Saturday morning/afternoon (well afternoon, but I had just gotten up).  And some of us were feeling better than others:

Tomissa (top, left, dazed) had suggested that we try Madison’s hip new burger joint AJ Bombers.  It was good. Really good.  So good, in fact, that we forgot to take very many photos of the food, so you’ll have to trust that it just got eaten too fast, but there are a couple.  The delicious, greasy food and laid back atmosphere make it almost the perfect place to eat away your hangover on Saturday or Sunday morning, except for one thing: Bombers is a literal name.

They bomb you with peanuts.  Let me explain:

You’re sitting at your table and they launch these small bombs that are mounted to tracks on the ceiling (ours was R2D2, there’s also a Bucky) at your table.  The bomb hits the wall and drops its ammo (peanuts) down a chute.

Then you take out the bowl and eat the peanuts.

If you’re against loud noises in the morning you might not like it, but if you’re easily amused (we were) you’ll probably love it.

When you’re done you can do this:

So, the food: as I said, we ate it too quickly to take many pictures but it was all ridiculously greasy and good.  The menu is all burgers, except I had a grilled cheese (with bacon! It was a grown up grilled cheese.), ranging from beef, to turkey, to mushroom (there are two veggie options) to peanut butter (none of us were that brave) – the menu is here: http://ajbombers.com/, and the specials sounded delicious.  As Jen said “The waitress has explained that burger twice and I still can’t remember everything that’s on it!”

We did get one picture of our appetizer – buffalo chicken wing egg rolls:But we forgot until they were halfway gone.  They were that good.

And here is Meg with her burger – it was a special – a regular burger with a mushroom burger on it as well.  As you can see it was so big she had to resort to a fork.

Also, as a promotion, if you check in on foursquare you get a free cookie, and they aren’t messing around:

One of the most fun parts of the meal though, had nothing to do with the food – you can write on the walls! You have to ask a manager for a marker, because in the 3 or so weeks they’ve been open they have already had problems with people writing things they shouldn’t (genitalia related I assume).  But then you can write whatever you want –  we left a message, see if you can find it.

Some sample art

Librarians give it away for free!

So, in conclusion: AJ Bombers – delicious greasy crazy goodness.  And here is an awkward photo of us all: to make your day:

Jen, Allison, Meg, and Tomissa

Happy eating!

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