Ribs & Biscuits

Photos by Meghan Horvath

Photos by Meghan Horvath

By Amelia Chen

Sometimes the satisfying thing about eating is not just the food itself but the primal nature of eating with your hands, gnawing on bones and just making a huge mess. Wings and drumsticks are perfect meat lollipops for casual Friday nights around the television. Chops are meant to be licked clean at the end of a comforting dinner. But what really satisfies that primal urge for me is a sticky, juicy and tender rack of ribs.

Barbeque can mean different things for different people and, hailing from North Carolina, that usually means pork for me, whether it’s just the shoulder or the entire hog. Or a sticky, juicy and tender rack of ribs.

Like any low and slow meat dish, ribs are incredibly low maintenance. They require a watchful eye once they go in the oven, but the next time you have big plans to study while doing laundry, maybe make some ribs instead. Somehow, I think taking down a rack of ribs is the perfect reward after a couple hours of productive work.

And if you’re a scavenger like myself, save and freeze the bones for a good homemade stock down the road.

Spicy Date Dr Pepper Ribs adapted from Pioneer Woman

6 ounces dates
½ cup sugar
1 can Dr Pepper
5 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages baby back ribs

Bring all ingredients except ribs to a gentle boil for about 20 minutes or until dates break down and sauce is reduced and thick. Allow to cool completely before blending sauce until smooth. Divide into two portions.

Brush half the sauce on ribs, wrap with foil and refrigerate for eight hours or overnight to marinate.

Preheat oven to 275°F. Place covered ribs on pan and roast for two hours. Remove foil and brush more sauce onto ribs. Increase temperature to 300°F to finish cooking another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove when fork tender and ready to fall off the bone. Serve as with pear walnut biscuits.

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Pear Walnut Biscuits

1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ tablespoon distilled vinegar
1 large pear, peeled and cubed
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 475 °F.

Simmer milk with pear chunks until softened. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Add vinegar and let sit a couple minutes to curdle.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form. Add in walnuts. Slowly pour in milk until it comes together.

Turn out dough on floured surface and lightly knead before rolling out into a rectangle. Cut out rounds with biscuit cutter, being careful not the twist cutter. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

That BBQ Joint

Photos by Meghan Horvath

Photos by Meghan Horvath

By Joshua Bartels

It was a blisteringly cold day in February. The kind of day where you just want to sit down next to a fireplace with a warm cup of hot chocolate and a book. However, I was craving some good ole’ fashioned barbecue. So, after class I headed straight towards That BBQ Joint.

That BBQ Joint is located at 901 Williamson Street, about two-and-a-half miles away from campus. Is the walk worth it? In a word: Frick yes! Okay, that was two words, but you get the idea. I was immediately welcomed to the restaurant with very friendly service. The eatery itself is on the smaller side, as it holds only about five tables, but it is very cozy with BBQ-themed art along the walls. After taking an embarrassingly long time to decide what to eat, I asked the clerk what he recommended, and he responded with the Rib Sammie, their rib sandwich.

Photos by Meghan Horvath

Photos by Meghan Horvath

After about a five minute wait, I got my warm Sammie along with sides of potato salad and brisket chili. The sandwich itself was very delicious; filled with extremely tender BBQ, lightly covered with their signature Mo’ Sauce, next to crisp onions and sliced pickles.  At first, it seemed a little lacking of sauce, but thankfully they give more for those who want it. With the added sauce, the sandwich was like a BBQ lovers dream come true, especially on such a cold evening. Their three options for BBQ sauce were all good, but I’d have to say that the Mo’ Spicy sauce was by far the best, as it left the perfect amount of that spicy tingling sensation of the tongue that the best sauces always do.

As for the sides themselves, they don’t quite compare to the greatness of the actual BBQ. The chili and the potato salad tasted like your generic chili and potato salad that a distant relative brings to a reunion. They were both good, just not great. Another negative to the restaurant is that it keeps odd hours. It is closed on both Monday and Tuesday, along with breaks between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

So would I recommend That BBQ Joint? Why yes, yes I would. Even though the hours might not always be the most convenient, it’s located a bit farther away and the sides may not be outstanding, the BBQ itself is amazing, and if you’re going to That BBQ Joint for the BBQ, then it’s perfect. Not only that, it’s amazing. I know I’ll be returning there shortly to get another fix of some of the best BBQ Madison has to offer.

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Photo by Meghan Horvath

Macha Tea Company resurfaces

Photos by Yusi Liu

Photos by Yusi Liu

By Meghan Horvath

The deep green, frothy liquid runs towards the rim of the porcelain mug as swirls of milk add more color to the tea, the white pattern contrasting with the deep matcha tones. Following a year long hiatus, Macha Tea Company is back.

After serving Monroe Street for seven years, Ma Cha Teahouse and Art Gallery closed its doors at the end of 2014. With an expiring lease and anticipated construction on Monroe, owners Anthony Verbrick and Rachel Fox decided to close the neighborhood’s beloved tea shop.

Just over a year later, on Feb. 12 Macha reopened under the same owners, this time on the city’s east side.  

“After we closed our Monroe Street location in 2014, we didn’t have plans to reopen at that time,” Fox said. “But a few months later we came across a space we were familiar with that was only a few blocks from where we live. It felt serendipitous, so we had to take the leap.”

Now located at 823 East Johnson Street, Macha Tea Company offers an inviting space to relax and travel the world through tea.

Photos by Yusi Liu

Photos by Yusi Liu

“The renovation process was challenging since the building we are in is 100 years old, but with that age comes a lot of character, which was appealing,” Fox said.

Macha held a grand opening event in their new space, which was publicized via social media and drew nearly 800 people to express interest in the event on Facebook.

“I started following them on Instagram when they were doing renovations last summer,” UW student Yusi Liu said, “When they posted they were opening in the new location on Johnson, I knew I had to try it.”

Liu, a sophomore in Art History, is from Beijing, where tea is integral part of her daily routine. When far from home, tea provides a sense of comfort. That familiarity, however, also means high standards for Liu in terms of what makes it quality.

“I’m from China and I cannot accept the lower quality powder of tea bags,” Liu said, “There’s no comparison to real leaf tea and Macha has real leaf tea.”

Macha Tea Company 2 - Yusi Liu

Photos by Yusi Liu

Fox is half Chinese and grew up around tea as well. Jasmine and oolong were originally her main staples, and it wasn’t until college that she gained exposure to the immense variety of teas out there.

“We both feel Madison is a great place for a small business, but particularly for tea because the market isn’t overly saturated yet,” Fox said, “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to offer something new and different to a city we love.”

Both Fox and Verbrick have been drinking tea for quite some time, and with the opening of Macha, they hope to share their passion with locals.

“Ultimately we want to remove the intimidation and pretension from tea drinking, and make it fun and easy for people to learn more and build their own knowledge base,” Fox said, “Some of the stereotypes that exist around tea drive us crazy, and we’re going to do our best to abolish them completely.”

The atmosphere of the new shop is indeed conducive to relaxed imbibing over studying or conversation. Sunlight floods in from Johnson Street as Macha’s floor-length windows illuminate the space. The walls are painted a matcha-esque shade of green and lit lanterns hang from the ceiling through the center of the room.

“I’ve been to almost every coffee shop on State Street and they all kind of have the same feel,” UW student Ibstisam Haq said. “The interior at Macha is much different, very Japanese and minimalistic.”

For Haq, a sophomore in Fashion Design and originally from Pakistan, tea is also central to his lifestyle.

“I’m from a former British colony so yes tea is huge,” Haq said, “and I love tea, I do. I drink it on a regular basis. It’s a cultural thing.”

Elaborate tea sets are available for purchase, as well as a variety of teas hand-selected by Verbrick and Fox. A world map decorates the wall above the assortment of teas, displaying the global fondness for the drink and how deeply ingrained tea is in various world cultures.

“We really dove in to more intensive research and plenty of tea drinking to continue expanding our base knowledge,” Fox said, “Over the years we’ve developed meaningful relationships with people in the industry, which is tremendously important in continuing to learn more.”

Macha offers a varied mix of seating arrangements. A cozy alcove of cushioned chairs is set up in the front of the shop, where guests can experience a more comfortable, intimate space. Then in front of the counter is a communal table ideal for studying sessions and larger groups. The back portion of Macha also houses a tea bar, which reimagines norms in terms of coffee and tea shop seating.

“The focal point of the new space is the tea bar, which is allowing us to interact with customers in an entirely different way,” Fox said, “We want people to be comfortable dropping by for a pot of tea, and while they are enjoying that we might pour them a sample of something else.”

Macha Tea Company 11 - Yusi Liu

Photos by Yusi Liu

Fresh baked goods are also offered. Gluten free sweet potato cake, chocolate zucchini cupcakes, ginger scones and a traditional matcha chiffon cake are all baked in house. Each can be paired with a select tea that compliments the flavors of the dessert, and owners Verbrick and Fox are more than willing to help you choose.

“We’re going to show everyone what you can do with tea, including cooking and making cocktails, to give a few examples,” Fox said, “We are always experimenting with tea blends and trying new things in the kitchen, so the new space is about continuing to challenge ourselves.” 

Though the shop was out of commission for a year, it continues to attract customers new and old. With its appeal to international students and locals alike, Macha doesn’t seem to have lost its charm.

“And now that we’re open, running a business in our own neighborhood feels very comfortable and like we were always meant to be here,” Fox said, “The energy in the East Johnson Street area is wonderful to be a part of.”

Photos by Yusi Liu

Photos by Yusi Liu

The Office of Sustainability

By Meghan Horvath

As undergraduates go forth in their future career paths, The Office of Sustainability raises awareness on sustainability, encouraging students to keep these efforts top of mind as they enter the workplace.

The Office of Sustainability’s mission is to highlight sustainability as an issue that warrants the attention of all majors. It works to show students that they can install sustainable initiatives and spread knowledge of the topic in their respective fields regardless of degree.

Jackie Hazelwood, communication and outreach intern for The Office of Sustainability, is a senior studying Community and Environmental Sociology with an Environmental Studies certificate. In her time working for the office, she can attest to the healthy range of majors that get involved.

“It’s anywhere from Environmental Studies to Business, which is something I like a lot about The Office of Sustainability in general is the diversity,” Hazelwood said. “It’s really necessary; I think what we’re trying to bring to campus is that sustainability can be applied to pretty much any field and can be inputted in your daily life and any job, especially people that are leaving and going into the working world. This is the time for sustainability to be put into place.”

Run by dedicated university faculty, staff and student interns, The Office of Sustainability is the lead resource for sustainability efforts on campus. Since it started in 2010, its team continues to promote education and best practices to make sustainability a greater part of campus culture.

Brenna George, student leader and student programs coordinator with The Office of Sustainability, is earning her degree in Environmental Studies, as well as Operations and Technology Management in the business school. She intends to pair sustainability with business in her future career path.

“My sophomore year I worked with a professor in business and sustainability and he encouraged me to apply for a leadership position with the office,” George said.

Within the office, she’s worked specifically with the Sustain-A-Bash event, which is designed for freshman engagement in sustainability, as well as the sustainable Wisconsin Welcome that shares a similar goal of reaching new students as they arrive on campus.

With eight interns, two supervisors and two full-time employees, The Office of Sustainability primarily works in conjunction with other local, environmentally-focused groups.

“The Office does a lot of partnerships to help other sustainability initiatives on campus. When there’s a void, we’ll fill it, which is how Sustain-A-Bash and the ABCs of waste were developed,” George said.

As part of the ABCs of waste program, interns weigh trash bags around campus buildings as a form of trash auditing to account for waste.

“We did trash audits in housing this October and found that 37 percent of the trash was compostable,” George said. “Food waste is super heavy and we have to pay to send it to the landfill.”

On top of current initiatives like Sustain-A-Bash, sustainable Wisconsin Welcome and trash auditing, The Office of Sustainability is also looking to expand its mission to be an even greater resource to students.

“We’re trying to work more towards a consultant and partnership model,” Hazelwood said. “We’ve worked with housing a lot in the past and We Conserve. We are a resource to students. In the future, we’re definitely moving towards more group interaction and brainstorming.”

With the combination of its sustainability programs and its partnerships, The Office of Sustainability serves as an outlet for students to pursue their passion and make a difference in sustainability efforts.

“Coming from San Fran, I think I came into this university with a very environmentally conscious interest,” Hazelwood said. “I really wanted to get involved in some capacity in that and put to practice what I was learning. This gave me a resource to do that and try to make a difference on campus in any way we could.”

FDN quotes

Lily Hansen, Special Events AD for WUD Publications Committee
“The experience was a first for me, and definitely something I want to do again! I met a lot of people, many of who actually turned out to be involved in several student organizations I am part of, and we had a lot of interesting conversations. Slow Food was a great way to just relax from the stress of classes and share a wonderful and locally-sourced dinner with people in our community!” 

 

Ali Castriano, Marketing Director for The Dish
“Working behind the scenes with this great organization was such a cool experience. I loved seeing the passion for wholesome, local food that the students have. Seeing how they transfer this passion into an amazing meal for our community was inspiring.”21986619702_c19fe72639_o

 

Liz Schnee, Food For Thought Editor
“Being able to cook for Family Dinner Night was an amazing honor for me. I had so much fun designing the menu and being creative, and then preparing the meal with the talented interns. And, I got to learn what the farmer’s market looks like at 7am when you can still walk both directions!” 

 

Janey Sheth, In The Kitchen Writer
“Collaborating with Slow Food to make delicious dishes for the public was such a rewarding experience! I was able to eat tasty food and also gain satisfaction knowing that we used clean and organic ingredients.”

 

Rachel Wanat, Director of WUD Publications Committee
“Family dinner night at Slow Food is great because you get to sit down and enjoy food without worrying about cooking, cleaning, etc. The setup of the event allows the group you come with to mingle with other people, so it’s also a great way to get to know people. The food is delicious too — so that helps!”

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Emmett Motl, Editor-in-Chief of Illumination

“Home to me is the feeling that you get when you sit down for a meal and feel perfectly at ease. During the hour that I was at the family dinner night, I felt like I was home again. The food was delicious, exciting and still invitingly familiar. My excitement about trying a new dish was rivaled only by the joy of meeting new friends.”

 

Meghan Horvath, Editor-in-Chief of The Dish
“I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Slow Food. The organization deserves credit for all the work they put in each week to feed the community a homemade meal from locally-sourced ingredients. Their work ethic and commitment to sustainability is impressive and I’m so glad
The Dish was able to work alongside their interns and help their mission.” 

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Kilwins Winter Desserts

By Meghan Horvath

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It is the most wonderful time of the year indeed. With snow falling, classes winding down and people growing genuinely jollier, what’s not to love about the holiday season?

As we engage in extravagant shopping sprees and prepare for the slew of parties that characterize these wintry months, our thoughts naturally turn to the sugary concoctions that warm our hearts each winter. The pumpkin-esque items of fall suddenly transform into scrumptious peppermint concoctions, just as gingerbread men and molasses sugar cookies start to sneak their way into our kitchens. Who’s complaining? Not me.

Though tasty, baking up these sweet masterpieces does take time and a certain degree of skill. If you’re not feeling up to the task, find solace in the fact that Kilwins has you covered.

 If you haven’t had the pleasure of walking past this adorable shop on State Street, you are missing out. Do yourself, and your taste buds, a favor by dropping in and basking in the incredible aroma of all things dessert.

 Once inside the store, you will be graced with the heavenly scent of buttery caramel, melted chocolate and roasted nuts. What makes Kilwins so wonderful is the freshness and quality of each of their items. They are continually whipping up a new batch of fudge or caramel to coat their signature caramel apples. Sugary bliss, I tell you.

 Another fantastic aspect of Kilwins is being able to watch the masters at work. That’s right, the sensory stimulation is not limited to simply smelling unctuous caramel because you’re also able to observe as mass amounts of silky, ribbon-like deliciousness stream out of huge copper cauldrons. Talk about a serious treat for the eyes.

 As far as what to get at this beautiful shop, you really can’t go wrong. When each item is made with this level of love, care and attention to detail, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that doesn’t ring music to the soul.

 But when faced with such a plethora of sugary goodness, it is always a serious struggle to narrow down your options. If you find yourself in a predicament of indecision, I insist you check out the caramel apple selection. While these treats are always delicious, the caramel apples at Kilwins are on a whole other level. With glorious flavors like sea salted caramel, apple pie and peanut caramel, these decadent sweets will instantly get you in the holiday spirit.

 Aside from the always-wonderful truffles, pecan turtles, dark chocolate almond toffee, butter pecan fudge and peppermint bark, Kilwins also has some mighty fine ice cream. Their Praline Pecan and French Silk varieties tend to make an appearance as we approach the heart of winter, and despite the cold, they definitely warm the soul.

 Another flavor you’ll be admittedly hooked on is the Cinnamon Crumb Cake. When you combine hefty doses of cream and cinnamon interspersed with crumb cake pieces, you’ve got a cup of something resembling ice cream, but tasting much more like the best cinnamon roll ever.

So preposterously good.

 With the impending stress of finals, allow Kilwins to help you decompress. Take a trip towards the Capitol and happily peer into the glass windows that face out to State Street, exposing tray upon tray of freshly dipped and decorated caramel apples and just-crafted chocolates. Don’t forget to take in that ethereal smell of caramel and sugary goodness that wafts itself out onto the sidewalk and convincingly begs you to enter the shop.

 See? Chocolate and caramel do provide instant stress relief. Kilwins, you’ve done it again.

Heritage Tavern

Trendy gastropub Heritage Tavern serves as a burgeoning foodie destination

By Meghan Horvath

Venture a few beats off Capitol Square toward 131 East Mifflin Street and you’ll encounter Heritage Tavern – a rustic yet classy gastropub known for its daring flavor combinations and bold assemblage of locally sourced ingredients.

Unbeknownst to many is the fact that Heritage opened its doors just a month ago in early September. Given how flourishing and decidedly distinguished the new restaurant has become, Heritage Tavern’s true state of infancy is quite impossible to discern.

Decorously furnished, Heritage’s leather booths and beautiful wooden tables sit atop minimalist deco tiles that contribute a sense of 1920s nostalgia to the otherwise modern trends of the establishment. In terms of atmosphere, Heritage allows the buoyancy of its patrons and the culinary mastery of its dishes to speak for themselves.

Glancing from table to table, it’s easy to note the enthusiasm with which dishes are being savored and the vivacity with which laughter is being spread. Both sensations are doubtlessly contagious, seeing as all patrons bear genuine grins of ease.

Allowing for such a heightened measure of relaxation is the fact that Heritage is dimly lit. Individual spotlights gleam down upon each table, as if to highlight and microscopically expose the depths of flavor concealed in each dish. Regardless of this exposition, catching sight of the entrée is by no means a requirement to enjoyment of the meal. Taste buds will be busy at work, decoding the flavor profiles of ingredients both familiar and foreign.

Now to get into the dishes themselves. Notably melding savory and slightly sweet notes is the Crispy Pork Belly & Seared Sashimi, served with a definitively licorice-like star anise and summer melon compote. Also delicious is the Saffron & Panko Crusted Wild Salmon, served with a capellini pasta, clam tomato broth, and mixed vegetables. The Roast Pork Tenderloin & Seared Foie Gras too offers indulgent flavors of pistachios and an apple-bacon-truffle reduction sauce. Along the same lines of decadence is the Peanut Oil-Fried Snapper that is prepared with a lobster curry sauce and served with sticky rice and bacon.

Despite the flavor variations, all of the entrees exemplify the farm-to-table theme that is very prominent in Madison’s culinary scene. Similar to nearby eateries, Heritage Tavern reaps the benefits of its surrounding local farming communities and their inevitable plethora of sustainable produce and ingredients. While the concept may not be incalculably original, I’m not complaining.

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The Secret to Happiness – Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

By Meghan Horvath

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Photo by Meghan Horvath

Chocolate. The mere word evokes lustful sentiments and feelings of intense desire. Chocolate is more than just a form of sugary sustenance; it is an encapsulation of all that is good in the world. Chocolate can no longer be classified as a type of food but rather a delicious manifestation of human emotion, a symbol of contentment. Lucky for us, a select number of individuals were placed on this earth to spread this embodiment of delectation. One such contributor performs her mouthwatering magic right here in Madison, concocting gourmet chocolates at one of the tastiest shops in town: Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.

Gail Ambrosius, founder of the shop, has been sharing her passion for chocolate with the Madison community since 2004, when she opened Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier. Ambrosius loves what she does so much that she was willing to respond to a few questions I was itching to ask about her chocolate-centric life:

Q: What was it like learning about chocolate in France from the esteemed Valhrona and Cluizel chocolatiers?
A: Both were very educational. Valrhona taught me about the science of chocolate production as well as the art and craft. It was only a week-long course but very dense and insightful. Cluizel, was only a daylong tour and opportunity to work with their chocolatier, Vincent. It was a good opportunity to see how two outstanding chocolate makers approach their craft.

Q: What would you consider your most useful tool for making chocolates and why?
A: A tempering machine is key, when you are working with larger volumes of product it is necessary to have your machine keep the chocolate in temper all day long, rather than hand tempering constantly.

Q: What inspires you as far as coming up with new flavor combinations?
A: Tasting lots of great foods and thinking about how those flavors may pair with chocolate. Traveling inspires me, trying new foods and spices.

Q: Your chocolates are widely acclaimed. A great achievement was your earning the title of America’s “Best Little Box of Chocolates” on the Food Network. What was it like meeting celebrity chef Alton Brown for this television appearance?
A: Alton Brown did not come to my shop unfortunately, but his film crew was here for a whole day making the segment for the show. It is an honor and I thank all my customers for their support over the years, we couldn’t do what we do without them.

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone with a similar passion of starting their own chocolatier? Would you have done anything differently yourself?
A: Have faith in yourself and your abilities, do lots of research and homework, know your craft and work very hard.

As expressed, chocolate is way of life for Ambrosius. Over the years, her shop has become a beloved installment in Madison’s Atwood neighborhood, earning praise for its innovative flavor combinations and its commitment to artfully crafted chocolates. Ambrosius has melded outlandish ingredients with fresh chocolate in her acclaimed truffle collection, some of which include: Sweet Curry with Saffron, Lemongrass with Ginger, Shiitake Mushroom, Rose and Earl Grey. A few of her most popular flavors—Lucille’s Vanilla and Caramel Sprinkled with Grey Salt—are similarly transporting, albeit a bit more traditional. Whether it’s exotic or conventional chocolates you seek, know that Gail Ambrosius is here to satisfy.

State Street: If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It?

Photo By Andrea Knowles

Photo By Andrea Knowles

By Meghan Horvath

The beloved seven-block thoroughfare known as State Street has established itself as a truly dignified institution, capturing the essence of local flavor that defines Madison culture. From the timeworn storefronts to the weather-beaten pavement, this cherished pedestrian walkway is host to a comprehensive assortment of ethnic restaurants and off-beat, bohemian boutiques. Despite the general level of contentment that most Madison residents hold toward this city artery, the Common Council has recently approved proposals that argue for the redevelopment of what investors deem to be a dilapidated array of tired shops.

Demolishment plans have primarily been directed toward the 500 block of State Street, which is currently home to the well-respected restaurants Husnu’s, Buraka and Kabul, among others. Sadly, the displacement of these dining establishments is now an almost certain guarantee. In their place will be a graduated 12-story tower that will blend retail space and luxury apartment housing to create a modern-looking edifice presently deemed “The Hub”. While the structure will offer a practical alternative to the current status of the block, the project gives rise to conflict with current tenants, who will ultimately be uprooted by the 15-18 month long construction period. Roast Public House and Afghani-Mediterranean eatery Kabul were both able to secure a new space adjacent to their prior locations at the former site of S2 PizzaBar and in the upper floor of Gino’s, respectively. Yet, two restaurant favorites – Husnu’s and Buraka – have been compelled to close their doors completely.

As the first restaurant in Madison to specialize principally in Turkish cuisine, Husnu’s has been a welcome presence on State Street for the past 34 years. Yet, due to the impending redevelopment, Saturday, October 26 marked Husnu’s last night. Husnu’s dishes have always been strictly authentic representations of the inherent fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines, all of which come to define Turkish culinary practice. Largely integrating fragrant herbs and spices with an abundance of regional vegetables, the menu features equally healthy and aromatic dishes.

On Sunday, October 27, just one day after Husnu’s final day, East African restaurant Buraka too closed the doors of their current State Street location after 20 years of serving the Madison community. Named after the owner’s great grandfather, Buraka inherently celebrates the Ethiopian tradition of acknowledging and honoring one’s family. This significance in meaning is even more so evident through the level of hospitality and quality of service that Buraka has provided over the years. The restaurant began as a crowd-pleasing food cart on Library Mall and over time expanded to have its own storefront that was first located off Capitol Square, before it made its way over to its current State Street location in 2000. Regardless of locale, Buraka is widely recognized for its authentic Ethiopian dishes comprised of rich blends of exotic spices, all of which deliver welcomingly unfamiliar flavor profiles.

While the affected restaurants are being offered space on the main level of the new “Hub” development, restaurant owners suspect that the inflated rental fees will be at such escalated levels as to be beyond reach, leaving owners and Madison locals questioning the future of these cherished institutions and of State Street at large.