Wisconsin!! I have a newfound appreciation for this state. I will be obligated later, as a born and raised Minnesotan, to make fun of this state, but for this entire entry I SWEAR I will not. Maybe.
In short, Wisconsin is home to a bar with the best vegan bar food I've had outside of Portland, Oregon, a kickass bakery with vegan donuts and a slew of other places that also rock for vegan food finds. AWESOME.
Larsen's Bakery in Racine! They serve vegan donuts on Thursdays and since we were passing through on a Saturday, we had to do a special order for them but man was it worth it. We got a mixed order of jelly filled and bavarian creme donuts. Below is a picture of the bavarian creme donut I ate right out of the door.
The bavarian creme in this donut was excellent-perfect texture and vanilla taste, not too overwhelming at all. I could eat probably five of them and not get sick of them. The jelly filled ones (not pictured) came with vanilla frosting on top. Delish!
Also in Racine...Circa Celeste: a very tiny but cute cafe!
That there in the upper left is the hummus plate we shared, which was really good. The pita bread was warm...drool. This place boasts a vegan-friendly cafe menu and freaking amazing vegan pastries/breads. I got the cranberry orange walnut bread slice (pictured on the right) and my good friend Melissa got the banana bread slice (on the left). I tell you what...I have NEVER had a better piece of cranberry orange bread anywhere else. It was SUPERB. I'm running out of adjectives.
Next up! The Raw Deal in Menomonie. I have been here several times before and they have fucking amazing desserts and pretty delicious raw eats too. I opted for the most decadent piece of pie I could find-turtle of course.
This pie had it all. A hard layer of chocolate topped gooey chocolate/caramely cream and nougat with a nut crust. A bit rich, but I could have given a crap-I was in heaven. I also got a piece of raw taco (pizza?) with avocado on it. It was so delicious, it warranted me making up a new word to describe it. Errr....AWESOMETASTIC. If you're ever in Menomonie, do not fear! Raw Deal is right off of the beaten path (94E).
Now. For all you people that think Madison, WI kicks ass...boy are you ever right. It's home to many vegan-friendly eateries. I had to stop at Mother Fools Coffee House again since I had been there last year and they have a huge vegan bakery. I didn't take pictures of what we got, since I just got the Manfriend a vegan banana chocolate cupcake. The whole coffee shop itself is vegan, which is great!
We also went to the Green Owl. Holy crap! Check out my raspberry lava cake and Melissa's banana creme pie!
My slice of heaven was as rich as it was decadent and Melissa's pie was banana-y, creamy goodness. Both were a very much needed treat and this place is great! Next time I stop there, I really want to try actual savory food instead of just sending myself into a sugar coma.
And now, the finale.
The Palomino. Holy ballbasket. This place is awesome for bar food and dare I say it, better than the lovable Triple Rock that we have here in Minneapolis! The prices are so cheap for the amount of food you get, your eyes will probably pop out of their sockets. Yep. Here's what we got for a mere $30-ish:
Keep in mind at this place, you get TWO sides for each sammich and TWO dipping sauces. YEP. TWO. I've blown your mind haven't I. Sorry about that. And each sammich is only $8-9. Go ahead and scrape your brain off of the wall because I know your head exploded. Pictured top left is Melissa's sammich-vegan BBQ seitan with a side of vegan onion rings and mashed taters! Yum. We shared appetizer sides of vegan hush puppies and mozzarella cheese sticks. I got the vegan Po Boy ('cause I had to) with a side of mashed taters and sweet tater tots. WHAT. Everything was exceptional. I couldn't have been happier. I might have almost barfed because I ate so much. Every vegan should experience this place at least once and I am completely SERIOUS. It's like being in Portland except not.
So this concludes my trip to 'Sconie. Keep in mind that the order of the way I introduced the above restaurant visitations was not quite right. It was really all just a blur of deliciousness and so I put the places in random order. If this doesn't convince you to get your ass to Wisconsin pronto I don't know what will.
P.S. A giant THANK YOU to my good friend Melissa for showing me the ropes of Wisconsin. Much love!