ROYAL INDIAN CUISINE'S BUFFET SETS A REGAL BAR

Spicy curry, masala, ginger and chili sauce are the sentimental smells of a classic Indian buffet. Madison’s newest place to find these aromas, Royal Indian Cuisine, has bright orange walls and flavors that surpass buffet expectations. This 15-part lunch menu is fit for, well, royalty. 

“People come here hungry and we should be taking care of them,” said Inderjit Kaur, co-owner and manager of Royal Indian Cuisine. “For anybody who comes here to eat, everything should be perfect.”...

EL CHARRO TAKES SUPER-SIZED DESSERTS AND SAUCY BURRITOES FROM WAUNAKEE TO VERONA

Since first arriving in the U.S. at 15 years old, Ruben Ramirez has lived by his mother’s motto. 

“I remember she would say, ‘Don’t worry about what you do, just make sure you are one of the best,’” said Ramirez, owner of Waunakee’s El Charro Mexican Grill. “If you clean dishes, it’s fine. But you have to do the best clean dishes. I cook Mexican food, and I think we are the best.”...

KINGLUV TACOS HONORS A FATHER WITH SAUCY, SPICY FUSION

With its bright red truck and giant blue alligator mascot, the Kingluv Tacos cart is hard to miss. Saucy, spicy and succulent tacos, filled with Korean short ribs or ginger garlic chicken, make Kingluv even harder to forget. Kingluv debuted in spring 2018 at Stoughton’s Norwegian Syttende Mai festival and hit the ground running. It makes its Capitol Square debut next weekend at Taste of Madison, where co-founder/chef Sam Eifert hopes his tacos' bold flavors will stand out...

YUM YUM FEST 2019 SERVED SPECIALTY DESSERTS THAT WERE FRUITY, FROZEN AND FRIED

With aerialist performers, live music, yard games and more than 20 food vendors offering $5 dishes, Breese Stevens Field busted out all kinds of fun for the sixth annual Yum Yum Fest, the city’s biggest foodie event of the summer. The sun was high and the breeze was low, and members of the Madison Area Chefs Network brought their A-game when it came to desserts...

TRY 7 TRENDY TAKES ON TACOS WITH GRITS, GRASSHOPPERS AND JACKFRUIT

Madison has a knack for taking a common summer craving like tacos, and giving them a unique flair. Madison’s taquerias may offer Mexican cuisine with a home-cooked feel, but many also like to get creative, combining recipes from a number of cultures and packaging them in corn tortillas. This week, we’re looking at seven trendy tacos that explore Middle Eastern flavors, tempura crunch and vegan-friendly grilled fruits and veggies. These tacos welcome anyone with an adventurous palate...

GRACE COFFEE SERVES STATE STREET WEST COAST ROASTS AND AVOCADO TOASTS

People “buy with their eyes” according to Mallory Orr, co-owner of State Street’s newest coffee shop.

It was this philosophy that inspired Grace Coffee Company’s menu, interior design and the packaging of coffee blends.

“We wanted to offer food that wasn’t just good quality but also pretty and aesthetically pleasing,” Orr said as she sat down at one of the shop’s tables. In front of her was a massive bowl of mixed greens, avocado, grilled potatoes, ham and eggs drizzled with balsamic.

“I also wanted to create an environment where people can really feel at home,” Orr said. “I know how important it is to have a place like that.”...

MOUNT HOREB GETS AN 'ICKI STICKI' HAWAIIAN HEAVEN

Icki Sticki is a tropical paradise, or as close as it gets here in Wisconsin. Walking into the new ice cream shop in Mount Horeb, it’s difficult to say what catches the eye first — rows of candy toppings, multicolored shaved ice menus, giant woven checkerboards, or dozens of pineapple symbols dispersed throughout the ice cream shop.

“Our whole theme is very laid-back Hawaiian,” said Daniel Jackson, who owns Icki Sticki with his wife, Jessica. “When we were going through design layout, Jess and I said we wanted something that was warm in the winter but cool in the summer. That’s how we came up with this.”...

MAD SHAWARMA COMES FROM A LONG TRADITION OF FAST FOOD

One of the most common identifiers of a fast-food restaurant is the warm and intoxicating smell of all things fried and greasy. Most Americans, wherever they’re from, may feel comforted smelling hot fries and freshly made burgers. With Mad Shawarma, Mohamed Kalboneh aims to bring a taste his own home to Madison with some of his beloved Palestinian fast-food. “Shawarma is like the McDonald’s of the Middle East,” Kalboneh said...

CURTIS & CAKE'S SOUTHERN-STYLE CONFECTIONS 'DRESS FOR THE OCCASION'

It’s an experimentation day for Monica O’Connell. Melted butter and whiskey bubble on the stove as she drizzles brown sugar butter rum caramel syrup on a vanilla rum bundt cake, then pulls a chocolate bundt out of the oven.

“Today I am a woman on a mission,” said O’Connell, founder of Curtis & Cake. “It’s time to get these cakes settled.”...

TART'S FREE-FORM, RUSTIC GALETTES MAKE FAMILY-FRIENDLY FROZEN MEALS

During summer, the five commercial cooking stations of Madison’s FEED Kitchens are bustling with food truck vendors. It’s a madhouse, with every cutting board, stove top, oven and sink space occupied. But between October and April, there’s silence. For Ana Luyet and Carissa Mangerson, founders of Tart, these are the magic months...

THE CAP TIMES: MADISON'S SEVEN SWANKY SUSHI ROLLS

During this frigid season when the Midwestern world is blanketed in white and gray slush, we’re looking for a little culinary color. Madison’s sushi restaurants aim to please with ever more enticing ingredients, from kiwi sauce to sweet potatoes and tobiko in a rainbow of colors...

THE CAP TIMES: TAKE A WALK TO WILDWOOD

At Wildwood, there are wild flowers on every rustic, wooden table and wilderness books on any open counter or white windowsill. The natural light and vintage paintings add a cabin-like feel to this cafe, located on Stoughton’s Forrest Street. One of the cafe walls is dedicated to selling travel mugs, flasks, Ruby’s ground coffee and more. There is also a 1994 Marzocco espresso machine that Ryan customized and refurbished himself...

EAST SIDE DELI ALIMENTARI MAKES THE HOLIDAYS EASY, BREEZY AND CHEESY

It’s been less than four months, but Madison’s new east side Italian deli is already becoming a go-to for party sweets and appetizers. When Alimentari opened in September from the owners of A Pig in a Fur Coat, it initially gained popularity for traditional, rustic Italian sandwiches. With the holidays peeking around the corner, this part-eatery, part-specialty market has become a saving grace for party-goers and hosts alike who lack the resources and confidence to create show-stopping dishes themselves.

BOULDER BREW PUB HOPES TO ROCK FORMER GRAY'S TIED HOUSE LOCATION

With two floors, two bars, three separate event spaces and an outdoor patio that seats almost 100 people, Boulder Brew Pub in Verona is far from a hole-in-the-wall bar and grill. The vaulted ceilings, wood pillars and warm-lighted hanging lanterns gives the pub a country club feel, while the rock music and comfort food boasts “All are welcome!” whether in sweats or slacks.

“There’s passion in this place,” said Greg Dorsey, the pub’s executive chef...

THE CAP TIMES: 40-YEAR-OLD MARIA'S PIZZA 'KEEPS THE MEMORIES' IN OREGON

Outside a modest little brick building off South Main Street in Oregon, an Italian flag awning reads “Maria’s Pizza.” Time has stood still for 40 years at this restaurant, with owner John Indelicato having made a point not to change one thing since opening Maria’s in the 1970s. Even the cash register, with the employee names tapped to the front, is the same one Indelicato purchased back in 1978...

THE CAP TIMES: VATRUSHKA BAKER BRINGS A LITTLE RUSSIAN SWEETNESS TO MORNING MARKETS

Despite the creamy contour of her chocolate meringues and glazed looks of the popular Geese Feet cookies, sugar and frosting are not the key ingredients in Olga Aydinyan’s Eastern European pastries.

Instead, egg whites, cheese and butter make up the foundation of Aydinyan’s baked creations, which pay homage to her “international family.”...

Please reload