Alyssa Tesar Henry is a Madison-area native and a passionate locavore and food enthusiast. She serves on the leadership team for Slow Food Madison and is the author behind the very informative food-themed blog, Earthmuffin Adventures.
Mad Town Lunch: Alyssa Tesar Henry
Occupation: Nurse anesthetist and owner of Rest Assured Anesthesia Services, LLC; local food advocate (it's volunteer, but feels like a full time job).
Where do you work? Wherever I'm needed. Mostly west, near west, and Middleton.
Foods you love: Quality house-made food of any ethnicity, preferably using locally and/or sustainably sourced ingredients... and sushi.
Foods you prefer to avoid or won't eat: Highly processed, mass produced, and of questionable sources... mostly I avoid chain restaurants.
Favorite places to eat lunch in Madison: Macha Tea House, Brasserie V, Jordandal Cookhouse (Verona), Saigon Noodle, the Nile, and Bandung... and I have a long list of places yet to try!
Fallback -"go-to" lunch place: Takara on the west side (usually to go).
Favorite lunch dishes: Sweet and spicy soy glazed tofu donburi, pork bao, thai basil and lemon cookies, and a pot of Kabuse Sencha tea at Macha Tea House. (The curry chicken salad is also a winner!) And moules et frites... the best in town!... at Brasserie V. The #52, bun tom nuong and cha gio at Saigon Noodle. Acar, udang goreng mentega and a nutty coconut at Bandung.
Now-defunct Madison restaurant(s) you long to eat at again: Radical Rye. I loved the build-your-own sandwiches and a la carte-style menu. The White Horse Inn, because it was the best and most convenient place for a moderately priced "pre-show" dinner near the Civic Center. The Ground Round -- I would never go there now, but when I was a kid it was the "go to" destination for my birthday... tableside balloon animals, treasure chest with toys, movies playing, and peanut shells on the floor!
If you could eat only on one side of town, which would you pick?: Near east side hands down! The Willy Street-Atwood corridor is a treasure of independently owned, sustainably-minded, and culturally loyal eateries.
What's your #1 food desire yet-to-be-fulfilled? Sustainable, traditional, coastal quality sushi... there may be an oxymoron in there.
Finally... pupusas, or arepas? I guess I need to step up my "foodie" street cred because although I've heard these terms, I had to Google them and sadly, I've never eaten a one.
Do you have a question to Isthmus readers about food? Where can I get delicious, authentic, "outside the box" regional Mexican food for lunch (Something other than the standard northern border Mexican fare we're used to.)
Mad Town Lunch is a series devoted to finding out where all kinds of folks like to eat lunch in Madison. Do you eat lunch? Of course you do. If you'd like to be featured as a Mad Town Luncher, contact Linda Falkenstein.