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Cortadito Express serves Latin-inspired food

Cortadito Express serves Latin-inspired food

By Dan Curd

It's not the biggest idea that the Berge Brothers (of Magnus, Weary Traveler Freehouse and Natt Spil) ever had, but it's nonetheless intriguing. Located in the Cardinal Bar?s former cloakroom, Cortadito Express gets its name from an espresso and milk drink popular in Cuba. Besides the cortadito, the limited menu of Latin-inspired dishes includes ceviche de corvina, meat and potato croquetas, and churros with chocolate for dipping. The Ricardo, a twist on the classic Cuban sandwich, bears the name of the Cardinal's owner, Ricardo Gonzales. Carryout from the walk-up window is available daily from 3 p.m. (10 a.m. on the weekend) until 3 a.m.

Cortadito Express

418 E. Wilson St.608-251-0263,


Check out Dan Curd's Small Dishes blog.

New rib joint menu full of southern items

New rib joint menu full of southern items

EatDrinkMadison.com reviews JB’s Eat-A-Bite BBQ

The south end of Park Street seen new businesses sprout up recently, including JB's Eat-A-Bite BBQ, which opened in the winter. It took over for the space once occupied by Mario’s Pizza and is adjacent to 7-Eleven.

The menu is full of wonderful southern items, from chicken gizzards to frog legs to candied yams. Of course, it has the staples, many of which are found in the sandwich section.

Read more about the restaurant's catfish fillets, alligator bites, ribs, mac and cheese and more at EatDrinkMadison.com.

New pizzeria inspired by old gun shop, owner's grandfather

New pizzeria inspired by old gun shop, owner's grandfather

A long-standing Madison gun shop will turn into a pizzeria Wednesday.

New owners have renovated the former Grampa's Gun Shop at 1374 Williamson St. into a restaurant, but have kept hints of the building's past intact in the new design.

Gilbert Altschul said the heart and soul of Grampa's Pizzeria comes from his my grandpa's pizza recipe.

"He used to own a bar and hand roll out pizzas," Altschul said. "[We are] paying tribute to that while adding some of my own touches to it."

The pizzeria will offer a variety of artisan pizzas, like the Barbarini, which is a pie with tomato sauce, calabrian chilis, ricotta cheese, topped with watercress and honey. Grampa's also offers other dishes, such as a beet salad with pistachio puree, oven-roasted beets, topped with pea chutes, truffled goat cheese, and finished with edible flowers and fennel buds.

Madison restaurants embrace diverse Mediterranean culture

Madison restaurants embrace diverse Mediterranean culture

A canvas of brilliant blue water, white, sandy beaches and lush, green vegetation, the Mediterranean region is a popular destination for travelers and one of the most widely represented cuisines among Madison’s international restaurants. Authentic Mediterranean food cannot be distilled to just one menu because the cultural and ethnic diversity surrounding the actual Mediterranean Sea makes for a diverse regional diet.

In Madison, restaurants whose chefs and owners have ties directly back to a Mediterranean home country include Plaka Taverna, Mediterranean Cafe and Bunky’s Cafe.

Walking food tour offers helpings of history

Walking food tour offers helpings of history

A local group is offering a local bite of the city through a walking and tasting tour.

The Madison Food Explorers will host a taste tour Sunday in the Monroe Street Vilas Neighborhood from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Tour owner Andrea Hughes said the Explorers event is food-focused but also offers a look at the other influences of Madison.

“We do everything from, of course, the cheese, to the ice cream, to the beer and the brats,” Hughes said. “And around that is all of the history and the architecture and some of the cultural nuances of our city.”

Organizers said the tour includes four-to-six tasting locations totaling a meal-like portion from start to finish.

A ticket is $43.

Hughes said another benefit of the tour is the exercise versus tasting: the two balance each other out over the afternoon.

Wisconsin goes down in Frisbee nationals

Wisconsin goes down in Frisbee nationals

Wisconsin Ultimate Frisbee started Saturday well at the Ultimate Frisbee Nationals.

The squad defeated Harvard 13-11 in their first game of the day.

After that, UW beat Florida State 15-13. Both of those wins took place in pool play.

Then the Hodags saw their run come to an end in tournament play as they suffered a 15-11 loss at the hands of UC-Irvine.

The nationals continue Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. at Reddan Soccer Complex in Verona.

Local food event offers fare from 20 area eateries

EatDrinkMadison.com previews 'Flavors of Madison'  

The second annual Flavors of Madison takes place from 5-7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Concourse Hotel.

For $40, attendees get to try dishes from about 25 area restaurants.

I was wondering how this event differs from the Taste of Madison. According to Joan Herzing, marketing manager of the Concourse: "The restaurants are all local and independent, the serving sizes are smaller so you can taste from more places and the tastes are included in your [admission].”

That means no national chains like Little Caesar's or The Melting Pot; rather, you'll get Pizza Brutta, Brasserie V and Old Feed Mill. I'm looking forward to the diversity of cuisine types, from Blue Marlin to Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery to Quivey's Grove. There will also be a cash bar.