Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alchemy Cafe

Alchemy Cafe is the kind of place that Madison breeds. It's a bar with a good selection of highly alcoholic beers, served in glasses particular to your beer selection. The food is mostly organic. There is a clear commitment to locally sourcing both the food and drinks and informing the consumer about the source of their food. Some cities have dives. Madison has gastropubs, where foodies expect to know the farm which raised the cow for their burger and smell a sample of the grass the cow grazed. One of those statements is an exaggeration.

Alchemy is a cozy place inside. It does not take credit cards, but is kind enough to have an ATM inside (pet peeve alert: ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine... people who say "ATM machine" are best publicly humiliated). The lights are relatively low and they often have music, though not on our trip.

We went as part of REAP's local harvest: taste of the town. I got the burger special, which was seasoned with aioli and had some seasonal veggies. The burger was great... except for the meat part, which I ordered medium-rare but turned out very dry and shrunken, served in an over-sized bun.

We also tried the Matilda "burger," which is your standard butternut squash burger. What, you haven't had a butternut squash burger? Well, they're really good. A creative dish, pulled off well.

And I guess that kind of sums things up. A bar that makes a squash burger better than a beef burger. Someday, I'm going to miss Madison.

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