Get in my belly! More fish fry... and Thai... and burgers... and bikes...

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Well food fans, it's been another full week, so let's just jump right in and update you on the weekend's eating results.

Friday night: Hit Jordan's Big Ten Pub to check out their fish fry. There had been numerous write-ups about this place; some great, some good, some mediocre, so there was a bit of hesitation about trying it. Happy to report that the experience was fantastic! A very solid fish fry, complimented by two surprises: the cheese curds and the old fashioneds.

Background info first; they don't accept reservations, and there isn't a host or hostess to be found anywhere. It's strictly first come, first served, and normally that wouldn't be an issue. However, this past weekend Madison played host to The Great Taste of the Midwest, and as part of the festivities, Jordan's was one of the sites that was hosting a few of the microbreweries that were invited to attend the Great Taste event. So, that made for a rather packed establishment - finding a table proved challenging, but we were seated in a booth after about an hour or so.

We ordered the cheese curds, and I'm happy to report that these curds were excellent. Definitely top notch curds - obviously handmade; squeaky yet chewy, and perfectly battered. All of today's photos are from the iPhone, so apologies for the poor quality!


Jordan's has an impressive selection of Friday night fish entrees - there were three kinds of baked fish available, fried cod, fried perch, shrimp, and about a half-dozen sandwich options. I decided to be "good" and ordered the Cajun-grilled Walleye. It came with a salad, which was delish; I chose onion rings for my side. Check out this monster slab of Walleye:


The fish was great. Once again, it wasn't all you could eat, but it was tasty! The onion rings were excellent as well. Thankfully, my dining partners weren't afraid to order the good stuff - the fried cod was every bit as tasty and excellent as the walleye:


And, as mentioned - there were a few Old Fashioneds consumed, including this Old Fashioned Sour:


We learned something new on Friday night - the key to a good Old Fashioned Sour is two-fold... a good sour has seven shakes of bitters, and the fabricator must "muddle" the cherries and sugar prior to adding any liquids. Oh, and you use Squirt as the sour. So, I guess that's a "three-fold" key. Regardless, I'm not a fan of the Old Fashioned, but Jordan's Big Ten Old Fashioned were pretty amazing. I wouldn't hesitate to order one in the future.

Saturday featured bad weather in the morning - heavy rains - that ruined my iPod Shuffle... I tried to sneak out for a run during a brief sunny spot, only to get caught in a massive downpour 15-20 minutes later. Try as I might to protect my iPod, it fell victim to Mother Nature and died. ARGH.

And, as luck would have it, just after my iPod was wrecked by the weather, the sun came out and the weather was gorgeous. 90F and not a cloud in the sky. Go figure. Someone really hates me.

So it was over to the new Thai place to try some of their grub. Egg rolls, steamed dumplings, and chicken Pad Thai. All were excellent! No grease, good flavor, great service, and good value - win, win, win.

Here are the photos (egg rolls, dumplings, Pad Thai):




After downing some Thai food, it was time to hit the highway - picked-up some cheese and some coffee from Beres Brothers (their Highlander Grogg is unreal). Ran a few more errands and then headed over to Paul's Neighborhood Bar to watch the Brewers game. Paul's is near the apartment and is a pretty friendly place with good food, good service, and great prices. They also serve breakfast, which seemed odd - a bar that opens at 6:00am to serve breakfast? Wow. But, who am I to argue or question things...

Started the evening with some cheese curds and deep-fried mushrooms:



And wrapped it up with a cheese burger (add lettuce, tomato and onion) and cajun fries:



So good. There's nothing like good, greasy bar food. Unfortunately, that little event counted for an ungodly amount of calories, so on Sunday morning I hit the road on my new bike frame - yes, the local shop came through and warrantied my beloved Cervelo (although there was a fee for assembly).

I did just over 70 miles (burning 4500 calories), and then finished with a 5-mile run (burning 580 calories). So, by 11:00am on Sunday, I was back to "calorie neutral."

The new bike frame is wonderful - I was quick to love on the Seven, but the Cervelo is really an awesome bike. It's so fast - it accelerates and climbs like a friggin' race car - it really does. And, I believe Cervelo tweaked the ride quality a bit with the '09 version (my replacement frame is a 2009 model, rather than a 2008) - the ride was a bit more smooth than I remembered it, and that was a welcomed surprise. It wasn't nearly as velvety as the Seven, but it wasn't as bone-jarring as the '08 ride.

Upon closer examination of the new frame, it appears as though Cervelo changed the seatpost geometry and diameter, which may explain the smoother ride. Here's the newly reconditioned steed, in all of its glory:


And a close-up of the revised seat post structure - it tapers to a narrower diameter at the top (27.2mm vs 31.7mm) to improve ride quality and (I'm guessing here) improve aerodynamics slightly. The seat stays are still pencil thin - it's ridiculous that they can hold-up while being so thin.


While out on the bike, I stumbled across a farm that was selling fresh sweet corn - they had a picnic table set-up in the front yard, along with a bucket that you put your money into. A dozen ears of corn were $3.50... so, I picked-up a few ears, dropped a few bucks in the bucket and enjoyed some delicious sweet corn. To say that "in season" sweet corn is addictive is an understatement - this stuff is so sweet, so tender, and oh so good. I could very easily eat it every single night - add a very light sweep of butter, a pinch of Kosher salt, and a shake of pepper, and you've got an unbeatable treat.


So there you have it. Jordan's = Win. Ha Long Bay = Win. Paul's = Win. New bike frame = Win. Corn on the cob = Win. The only downside was losing the iPod to the rain... but, I guess you can't win them all. Catch you next week!

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