humble.

humble.In a word: Just sayin'.

The specs: #00914   
10 S. Allen, 53726
Details at Yelp, Humble. Sweet & Savory Pies on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook

Latest humble. news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM ate the beef and root vegetable pasty, a fudge pie, and a root beer.
Nichole ate the grape and goat cheese galette, the sour cherry galette, and a ginger brew.
The bill was $28, or $14/person, plus tip.
JM gave humble a B+; Nichole gave humble an A- (see our grading rubric).

Humble is a sweet spot for a snack. The fare is light and airy, the menu earnest, and the ingredients locally-sourced. The crusts really raise the bar for this town's bakeries; the mere existence of humble should urge them to improve their shortenings.

Pasty

JM's pasty was everything he hoped for given the name of the dish.  The nice thing about a pasty/pot pie is that you can eat something without having to confront it visually.  The flavors here were great: robust and intricate.  Though, the pasty wasn't quite warm enough for his tastes. It seemed like a catch-22: if you wanted both flaky crust and warm innards you'd have to arrive when it was fresh out of the oven. 

Grape and goat cheese galette

The goat cheese and grape galette with pistachios was pretty amazing. The grapes had retained their flavor well, and matched up with the mild creamy cheese perfectly. Meanwhile the green nuts were the ideal choice in color and taste to pair with the purple fruit.

Fudge pie

The fudge was a strong, deeply rich fudge thing.  The crust was again flaky, but here there was nothing to complain about in terms of temperature.  Certainly, any avid chocolate aficionado will want to round out their order here with one of these.

Cherry  galette

Finally, the cherry galette loaded with sour cherry filling was both hearty and delicate. Two galettes in one "meal" was probably not a well-balanced choice, but the stuff was so well-made that it wasn't a monotonous experience.

The prices across the board here a definitely more than you'd pay for comparably sized dishes in almost any other neighborhood. But even then, the care that has been put into it makes up some of that value.  If you haven't tried humble yet, do - we'd recommend them for a snack rather than a full meal.

Bike the Barns 2014

Bike the Barns, the annual fundraising ride for FairShare CSA Coalition, happened yesterday. It was fantastic! We highly recommend it to anyone who rides bikes, likes fun, or eats food.

The farm tours were interesting, restful & hospitable. Here are some onions in Luna Circle's hoop house.

Onions in hoop house

Lunch and snacks were amazing. Here, brat burger and sides from Food Fight; at other stops, scones from 4&20, Sassy Cow milk, cookies from Graze, Madison Sourdough Co. granola bars, apples, and at the end kabobs or La Fortuna pizza.

Burger

At the end, music, massages and cool green grass to lie in.

Sky after Bike the Barns

Thank you pledgers, congratulations FairShare on another great year (holy cow, John and friends! Awesome job!), and ride on.

House of Mei

House of MeiIn a word: Mei, Mei, Mei... Once Bitten Twice Shy.

The specs: #00913   
120 E. Main St., Sun Prairie, 53590
Details at Yelp, House Of Mei on Urbanspoon
Official web site

Latest House of Mei news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM, Miranda, Nichole, Phil and the kids ate the hot and sour soup, moo shu egg, seven color vegetarian crepes, ma po tofu, garlic eggplant, cashew shrimp, and house special tofu, plus four smoothies and a lemonade.
The bill was $66, or $11/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave House of Mei a B- (see our grading rubric).

Blueberry smoothie and menu

This was our second visit to the storefront that used to house Brewer Square Gallery Bistro. It is still a small, intimate space, but now instead of funky art, there are TVs showing Chinese spy thrillers on MUTE.

Garlic eggplantCashew shrimp

House of Mei seems to be doing a brisk take-out trade which is certainly a plus, the minus was that this meant that our six-top table (really the only one occupied for most of our meal) was left to fend for itself.  Refills on beverages never quite came, and other than food delivery, everything else was so slow that this ended up being a meal just under two hours.  Thank goodness for good company.

Hot and sour soupMa po tofu

The smoothie selection was first-rate.  Nearly every color of the rainbow was represented and House of Mei drops a matching colored straw into every drink.  These smoothies were sweet and satifying without getting treacly or too pulpy. 

SmoothiesMoo shu egg

The main courses were pretty standard fare. The shrimp dishes were pleasantly umami but lacked a nuanced flavor, instead acting as if they were a blunt instrument. The tofu and vegetable dishes were warm and flavorful, but really lacked a convincing zing. Most dishes were covered in sauces that were a little too overbearing.

It certainly seems like House of Mei is a step up from Chinese restaurant in a box (the smoothies alone prove this), but sadly, it may be that their best take-out in SP strategy will serve them well even if that leaves Madison visitors out in the cold.


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