Madison: Graze

What started off innocently enough with a Facebook post, ended with me biting off a little more than I could chew. Seeing as I’ve spent minimal time in Madison, I asked my lovely FB friends for some advice on the cuisine in the area. And boy did I get answers, really good ones too! I think in total I got 30 ideas (and some repeats) for restaurants in the Madison area that I needed to try. So I did my research.

Although I wanted to try every single one of the suggestions on my list, I realized that time and time again, I kept coming back to Graze’s menu. Graze, a bright and cheery farm-to-table gastropub in very close proximity to the Wisconsin State Capitol. Scratch that – with a perfect view of the Capitol. Since we were visiting that particular landmark that day, it seemed to be the perfect choice. Not to mention that Graze had come up multiple times in the suggestions from my friends. Thanks again, everyone!

Honestly, you probably all think I’m crazy and that I eat brunch for every meal, but I promise I don’t! My intentions were to order from the regular menu. The fact that we stumbled into Graze on the exact day at the exact time of their brunch was just a happy accident. Funnily enough, what I ended up ordering was a variation of what I was originally going to order from their regular menu!

My plans for ordering the bibimbap turned into ordering the bibimbap burrito, per our lovely server’s suggestion. And it was an excellent choice. Inside of the burrito, you could choose between marinated ground pork or tofu, and I of course chose the pork. Then you had crispy rice, fried egg, market vegetables, spicy gochujang, wrapped in a flour tortilla, with mixed greens as a side. All delightfully fresh.

My very favorite part was the crispy rice, but I also was a huge fan of the level of spice that the spicy gochujang added. Throwing an egg into the mix was clearly for the sake of making it a breakfast food (and I am always a fan of throwing an egg in), but other than that, this could totally have been eaten at any time of day. And you can’t say this about every food, but it was just as good as leftovers as it was to begin with. That’s success.

Both of my parents ordered Graze’s Eggs Benedict. Berkshire ham, poached eggs, hollandaise, on an English muffin, with mixed greens and potatoes as a side. If you’re looking for the traditional Eggs Benedict, this is the perfect choice. Although I only had a few bites, I will vouch for its deliciousness! My mom wanted to point out that she enjoyed that farm-to-table freshness that is clearly evident in each part of this dish. The little potato pancake was the perfect addition, and we all really enjoyed the lightly tossed mixed greens that came as our side.

For dessert, we had the beignets. They are like little pillows of sugary goodness, topped with powdered sugar, of course! Since we were all pretty full after our meals, it was a perfectly sized choice. They aren’t too filling, but you still feel like you ate a proper dessert. Light and airy!

So basically, I have to go back. First I have to try the other 30 restaurants that have been recommended to me, but in total this should only take about 6 months. Just kidding, but at the rate I’ve been visiting restaurants lately that’s about the rate I’ve been going at! And I didn’t even mention when our server (having told him about the Female Foodie biz) dropped the forks all over and said, “great, that’s going to be all over the Internet.” Kidding again!

But thank you, Graze. We couldn’t have chosen a better spot for brunch on a lovely Saturday in Madison.

Graze (1 S Pinckney Street, Madison // 608.251.2700)

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