Summer update: books, bikes & barns

Cake book book cakeThis summer is a pretty exciting one for us. The biggest news is that the book we wrote, Madison food: a history of capital cuisine, is now available! We're very happy with how it turned out and so grateful to all the folks who helped it happen.

We have some events coming up related to the book throughout the summer. Watch our book page for updates, events, and where to find it.

Also, we're doing Bike the Barns as Team Madison A to Z again this year. It's a great event for the great cause of fresh food for all. Check it out - visit the FairShare CSA Coalition website to learn more, sign up to ride, volunteer or make a pledge. Thank you for your support!


Marrakesh Restaurant In a word: Watch me pull a Rabat out of my hat.

The specs: #00963   
5510 University Ave., 53705
Details at Yelp
Official web site, Facebook

Latest Marrakesh news and reviews at

JM ate the chicken kebab.
Nichole ate the lamb tagine and the muhammara.
The bill was $34, or $17/person, plus tip.
JM gave Marrakesh a B-; Nichole gave Marrakesh an A- (see our grading rubric).

Marrakesh has been open on University Avenue for two and a half years by the time we finally, officially, ate there together. Nichole had snuck in before JM shortly after Marrakesh opened in winter 2013, and enjoyed her meal then; the trick for us is that Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines are not exactly JM's favorites, so sometimes it's a hard sell. But if a place can make a good kebab, all is well.


Marrakesh's chicken kebab, sadly, was a little dry, which may be the fashion, but the herby yogurt sauce was little help. The grilled vegetables (green beans, squash, zucchini) were plentiful but could have used a little more char. Finally, the rice was boring and familiar with just a bit of herbs, and here is the beginning of the divergence between his and Nichole's opinions. JM found Marrakesh no substitute for Faouzi's.


Nichole finds it hard to pass up mouhamara, that variably-spelled walnut and roasted red pepper dip. Marrakesh's execution of it (in this one batch) was very nutty and not too darkly roasted, heavy on the cumin and garlic and served with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. Fresh warm pita accompanied the hearty appetizer.

Lamb tagineThe lamb tagine here was very good - richly spiced, super-tender meat, with tasty peas, beans and potatoes, but incongruous carrots that seemed to be the bagged, pre-shaped "baby" kind.

It was, in fact, at a meal at Dardanelles circa 2002 that we realized how different our tastes really were. At the time this was a point of conflict (and still can be if one or both of us is hungry and the next place is inaccessible) but if we agreed on everything, we never would have started eating in Madison A to Z. So, anyway, we were reminded of all this backstory by our pleasant meal at Marrakesh.


Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. Updates here.

And we're doing Bike the Barns again with Team Madison A to Z - more info, or pledge here. Thank you!


LOCAL FOOD HEADLINES (More: All | Extra hot)


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog Read our food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design