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Friday, March 6, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 2.0° F  Fair
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South American chicken at Fiesta 38 and more come to Park Street
The proof is in the arepa
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Credit:Linda Falkenstein

The latest addition to Park Street's multi-ethnic dining scene is Fiesta 38, a South American restaurant at 604 S. Park, right next to Inka Heritage. And in fact, Fiesta 38 shares the same owner as its Peruvian neighbor, although the new spot has a much different menu, which seems street-food inspired and is billed as "fast casual family dining." Grilled chicken platters, Latin American sanguches and "chicken chops" form the heart of the menu.

Sanguches, or a Latin version of sub sandwiches, include chicken, beef, pork and two kinds of South American sausages, and many are topped with homemade mayonnaise. Chicken chops (chopped chicken breast) come in Cuban, Peruvian, Mexican and "Latin Mix" plates, but the most intriguing version, tapadito, is based on ground sirloin, not chicken, served with hardboiled egg, fried egg, walnuts, raisins, olives and plantain. (The others are served with rice and beans.) Grilled chicken will be all-natural, and marinated in spices, citrus and New Glarus' Spotted Cow.

Also of note is the sides menu, which includes patacones (fried green plantains), papa rellena (Peruvian stuffed potato croquettes), tamales and arepas, a cornmeal cake.

Fiesta 38 (608-310-4287) is open now, although a grand opening is planned for June 19.

The Mason Lounge, a small bar that opened a little over two months ago in the former Azzalino's space at 416 S. Park St., represents an attempt to get away from the troubles that followed that establishment and bring "something positive" to the block, says owner Bryan Richgels. This is primarily a bar, not a restaurant, focusing on 19 different taps including many Midwest microbrews and 17 wines by the glass. Richgels calls it a quiet place to share a drink with friends, in a "nice creative space" with an "eclectic, quirky interior." Richgels, who is from Madison but more recently worked in a winery near Portland, Ore., for five years, is a first-time business owner.

If you do get hungry, there are a couple of small plates featuring cheese and sausage, or you can get a pizza delivered from Falbo Brothers, just two doors up the street.

Brocach Irish Pub on the Square has a new menu, with additions like a seared ahi tuna salad, the Kilkenny burger (angus beef, bacon, red pepper cream cheese and a soft-cooked egg on top) and a black bean burger. Brocach now also offers a grass-fed organic beef patty as an option with any of its burgers.

Fans of Odessa Piper will have a chance to attend a sit-down dinner cooked by her and Dan Fox, executive chef at the Madison Club, along with Jason Veal, the Madison Club's master baker. And the location is scenic, to say the least: Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's Spring Green compound. (Cocktails and canapés will be served in Taliesen's living room; dinner in the Taliesin Fellowship dining room at Hillside, according to a press release.) Ingredients will be drawn from gardens at Taliesin and Otter Creek Farm.

The event is a fundraiser for restoration of Taliesin's collection of musical instruments and limited to 90 attendees; tickets are $195/person (but not so bad as all that, as $145 is tax-deductible). More info at 866-530-7528, ext. 481, or at

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