A Squared: Madison Snapshots & Dining Alone

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Madison Snapshots & Dining Alone

My company has been asking me to visit my clients in person a bit more often, so I have been  traveling a lot recently. This week I took a roadtrip up to Madison to do a presentation and I was so impressed-- the city is adorable! It was my first trip there (and to Wisconsin, in general... shame on me after living in Chicago for almost 5 years!) and since I arrived the evening before my meeting I decided to head downtown and check it out while I had some time.

I might be a little jaded after living in Chicago (one of the largest cities in the US) for so long since it is so spread out, but one of the things that I loved most about Madison is that everything is so close! the capitol building, the cute shops and restaurants, and the University of Wisconsin campus were all within walking distance of my downtown parking spot.

So, I walked around for a little bit and took in the sights and then I did something I have never done before: I went to a restaurant and I ate dinner alone.

Until now, most of my site visits have been day trips where I leave early in the morning and am home for dinner with Alex. This was my first over nighter (without any colleagues), so I was left to my own devices for dinner. Dining out alone is WAY outside my comfort zone, but my options were to either order in by myself (lame) or check out a new city and its local restaurants... something I normally love to do (albeit, not usually by myself). Coincidentally, I read an interview a week earlier with singer Sara Bareilles about being fearless. One of her mantras is don't be afraid to be alone and she faced down that fear by going out to eat by herself. She said it is uncomfortable, but peaceful and a great exercise in fearlessness. Have you ever done it? Not going to lie, it's weird. Hearing "Anne, party of 1, your table is ready" is definitely a little awkward.

Beer battered cheese curds with smoked paprika aioli
I had seen on the Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Ate that The Old Fashioned in downtown Madison is famous for their beer battered fried cheese curds, so that clinched it for me. When in Wisconsin, eat cheese and drink beer, right? And I did. Along with a beet and mixed green salad because that makes fried cheese healthy in my mind. The cheese curds were definitely worth the slight discomfort of dining alone at a busy downtown bar. The Old Fashioned serves them with your choice of dip-- I picked the smoked paprika aioli and it was delicious. I should also give a little shout out to the beer here: they serve over 100 craft and local beers here and they sell them for $3-$5/glass. Are you kidding me? Toto, we are not in Chicago anymore!
The Old Fashioned on Urbanspoon

As uncomfortable as it was at first, I'm so glad I braved dinner alone. I went out and did one of my favorite things-- sampled local food in a fun new city-- and I survived! I think I'll try it again on my next trip too.

What are your thoughts on dining out alone? A do or a don't?

1 comment:

  1. Nice sharing! Your information is very helpful for my next tour. I am planning to visit Texas State Capitol after completing my ]new york to cape cod bus.
    I think dining out together more enjoyable.


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