Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe

Colectivo on Monroe Street in Madison, Wisconsin, is one of my favorite places to get coffee. When an employee made me a caffeine drink (I can’t remember what he made me!), it looked like this and I almost wept from the beauty of it:

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Ok, so YOU have received drinks like the endless times before—I haven’t! This was my first time!

While sitting-in-the-cafe-writing-Haiku (ewww?), I ate a delicious breakfast burrito:

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This is my son at Colectivo, who, in case you were wondering, could care less about my blog.

What I also like about this Colectivo is how it’s decorated. It’s cozy. There are all kinds of chairs, couches, tables and a fireplace. The glass walls slide open. It’s very pleasant. I know I like it because it reminds me of a loft I’d like to live in.

I am also, unfortunately, obsessed with the bathrooms. I love the design of the communal sinks and paper towel holder.

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Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Cafe
2530 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 630-8930

Naf Naf Grill in Madison, Wisconsin

I like going to restaurants. I walked by Naf Naf Grill on State Street in Madison, Wisconsin and decided to eat there. Naf Naf is called the “Chipotle of Middle Eastern food,” and I agree. The service was excellent and the food was fantastic. I’m on a diet so I won’t be able to go there often but I LOVED EVERY BITE of my falafel hummus bowl:

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They slather hummus on the bottom and sides of the bowl, then put five falafels on top. I choose purple cabbage salad, chopped salad, and pickles for garnishes and fire sauce for the finish. The pita bread was perfect. When you put all of these different tastes in your mouth, they are delectable!

Sjölind’s Chocolate House – Mount Horeb, Wisconsin #Sjolinds

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Going to Sjölind’s Chocolate House is such a treat!  

My mom bought some chocolate treats for myself, my husband and son.  I had been coveting their peanut butter cup, and mom bought it for me!  Look at that delectable morsel!  I ate it in two days, in case you were wondering.

Their caffeine drinks are excellent.  So are their sandwiches.  Our favorite is the muffaletta. Their quiche is amazing and so are their baked goods.

They have a huge collection of chocolate from around the world, and make chocolate treats themselves.  I’m buying their homemade malt balls next.

They make and bake much of the goodies sold at Sjölind’s.  Tracy Thompson, the master baker and chef of Sjölind’s can do no wrong!


Sjölinds Chocolate House 

219 East Main Street

Mount Horeb, WI 53572

(608) 437-0233

Freddy Valentine’s Public House in Spring Green, Wisconsin

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My husband and son discovered Freddy Valentine’s Public House (restaurant) while they were walking around in the lovely town of Spring Green, Wisconsin.  They had already eaten dinner somewhere else, but my son, mom and I came back a few days later to eat there.

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Freddy Valentine’s is in the 1915 Spring Green State Bank Building.  I love the building – it’s beautiful on the outside and inside.

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As you can learn by reading their website, the Neo-Classical Revival sculpture pieces on the front of the building look like marble, but they are really Terra Cotta.

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The owners David and Jeaneane Owen have done such an incredible job decorating the restaurant while preserving and honoring the bank’s history.  I personally love being in the restaurant because it reminds me of Manhattan.  Sophisticated and comfortable.

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I am not an architectural writer…but they repurposed many parts of the bank which adds charm.

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The windows are incredible.
Another dining area.
Another dining area.

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We ate in this lovely room.  We arrived before the restaurant filled up, and had the owner, David, all to ourselves!

I could see eating a leisurely meal at Freddy Valentine’s, drinking a lot of rich red wine or a martini, and passing out sleeping at the nearby House on the Rock Resort.

But what about the food?  We loved it all.

My mom was ready to eat her black bean burger but I made her stop so I could take a photo.
My mom was ready to eat her black bean burger but I made her stop so I could take a photo.
I ate the BBQ brisket sandwich. Scrumptious!
I ate the BBQ brisket sandwich.  Scrumptious!
My son ate every iota of the corned beef Reuben sandwich.
My son ate every iota of the corned beef Reuben sandwich.  Especially love the marbled rye bread.

Thank you for creating this restaurant, David and Jeaneane.  We will return many more times.


Freddie Valentine’s Public House

134 W Jefferson St

Spring Green, WI  53588

Phone: (608) 588-0220


Workin’ On A Big Chill – #TGIF

The other weekend I had a Big Chill Weekend…by myself.  I needed to get away from it all so I went to a hotel for a couple nights, using points.  I brought 27 magazines that had piled up at my house, looked through them,

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worked on my blogs, swam, and watched cable TV.  We don’t have cable TV and once again, from channel surfing through the cable channels, I am reminded and grateful that we DO NOT have cable!  I mostly watched The Food Network and HGTV.

Oh, I also ate but was very chillaxed about it.  I was craving TGI Fridays potato skins.  (When I was anticipating my weekend, eating the skins was a goal.  But other goals fell through the cracks.)  I hadn’t eaten at a TGI Fridays in 6 years.  Last time I ordered potato skins, I could order a half order (4 skins), but now they don’t have that option.  So I ate 4 at dinner and 4 the next day for lunch in my hotel room.  The potato skins totally remind me of my sister – eating them and drinking margaritas at TGI Fridays in Los Angeles.

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For Spinko.

The very nice waiter told me they started using better bacon and cheese.

I also ordered a wedge salad which consists of blue cheese dressing, iceberg lettuce, bacon and tomatoes.  It was excellent!

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Here comes the weekend
Sure could use some relaxation to shake these blues
Hand me my sun shades
I’m checkin’ out of here
I’m workin’ on a big chill
Lord I’m workin’ on a big chill

Workin’ On A Big Chill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Vince Gilbert/Benefit Music/Vinny Mae Music, WINDSWEPT HOLDINGS LLC

Graze Cheese Bacon Burger #GrazeMadison

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Last Friday I had the pleasure of going to one of my Madison favorite restaurants, Graze, with my good friend Sherrie.  I loved the tasty meat burger and because of the English muffin bun, it was easy to eat.  I like how they presented the mayonnaise, mustard and catsup in the tiny bowl.  The fries and aioli mayonnaise were excellent too!

Graze reminds me of restaurants in Los Angeles and New York because it is contemporary and trendy and is like eating in a big city.

Happy March 1st!  Spring is on the way!


1 S. Pinckney St

Madison, WI  53703
608 – 251 – 5000

The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.

Graze Restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin #GrazeMadison

graze_8501 ch blogGraze Restaurant has seasonal menus with locally grown foods by small-scale farmers “who are treated as our most honored partners.”

Graze is a restaurant that never serves a bad meal.  I can bring people there from out of town and know that they will be pleased.

I went there for lunch the other day.  This turkey sandwich and cup of creamed cauliflower soup cost only $7.00!

That is an excellent price!

And the restaurant is in a cool building and its decor reminds me of Soho, New York.  So I am very happy to go there at any time.

Another thing I would like to say is I’m glad they no longer have white cloth napkins because they shed on my black clothes.  Now they have dark blue napkins that don’t shed at all!


1 S. Pinckney St
Madison, WI  53703
608 – 251 – 5000

The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.

Jordandal Cookhouse

I read about the Jordandal Cookhouse in a local newspaper.  I didn’t even know it existed.  It got good reviews.  I went there for lunch on my birthday.  It’s in the same strip mall where we get our Chinese food.  Jordandal’s is a take out place.  I ordered a Muffuletta sandwich.

When I came home, I cut the sandwich in half.  But before I cut it in half or took a bite, I took a photo of it for you.

When I took that first bite…..OMG!!!!!!!!!!!  An amazing harmonious combination of flavors exploding in my mouth. 

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All of the meat is raised at  Jordandal’s farm.  Everything else is locally procured.  The sandwich consisted of ham, farmer’s cheese, Italian bratwurst, pickled vegetable mayo, and olive salad on a hoagie.  The hoagie was incredible.

I’m not done yet….here is a close up!

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I hope you go there soon.


Jordandal Cookhouse

600 W. Verona Ave

Verona, WI 



The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.

Tipsy Cow in Madison, Wisconsin #tipsycow

Tipsy Cow has some of the best hamburgers in Madison, Wisconsin.  YUM!!!  I came here with my friend Jo.  It’s near the Capitol building.

Entrance to the Tipsy Cow
Entrance to the Tipsy Cow

Here is the inside:

The chalk board has all kinds of humorous stuff on it.
The chalk board has all kinds of humorous stuff on it.

Here is the burger I ordered.

I only used a little bit of the mayo. I didn't use the whole thing!!!
I only used a little bit of the mayo. I didn’t use the whole thing!!!

And here are the delicious onion rings that come with their own sauce!

It is really hard for me to look at this photo without wanting to devour these!
It is really hard for me to look at this photo without wanting to devour these!

Tipsy Cow
102 King St
Madison, WI  53703


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.  

Flowers in La Brioche

flowers french restaurant_7428 ch blogLa Brioche is a French bakery/cafe in Madison, Wisconsin.  I liked the flowers and wallpaper and took a photo.  They have good food.  When I crave French pastries and strong coffee drinks, and when I’m in the area, I come here.  Last time I was there I guess I was super hungry because I forgot to take photos of the food!

La Brioche
2862 University Ave.
Madison, WI


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content.  

Michael’s Frozen Custard – Verona, Wisconsin CLOSED

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Michael’s has great food.  I was craving a hot dog when I stopped by last summer.  I don’t want you to think that I go out to eat every day and eat these kinds of foods every day!  But when I crave it, then I gotta have it.


Michael’s Frozen Custard
407 W Verona Ave
Verona WI 53593


The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content. 

Lady Dawn’s Sports Bar in Blanchardville, Wisconsin #ladydawns

A friend of mine turned me on to Lady Dawn’s Sports Bar in Blanchardville, Wisconsin.  They used to serve breakfast, but I think it was too much for the owner to deal with, so now they serve lunch and dinner and drinks.  You will have to call them to see if they are still serving lunch. Well, you should just call them in general to see what is up with them.  You don’t want to drive all the way there and find out that things have changed.  They don’t have their own website.

But they have a fabulous Lady Dawn’s hoodie sweatshirt that is worth every dollar.  Whenever I wear my Lady Dawn’s hoodie in the local grocery store, people stare at me; probably not for good reasons!

On Sundays they are known for their Bloody Mary Bar.

You go up to the bar and pay $5.00 for a tall glass that has a generous amount of vodka in it.

Then you go to the Bloody Mary Bar and create your Bloody Mary.

lady dawns_5393 blogAfter you have your glass of vodka (or hopefully they will let you use gin), you can use many kinds of tomato juice mixers.  In this photo, you can see the many choices you have to deck out your Bloody Mary: lemon, horseradish, celery, jumbo shrimp, olives, green beans, hot peppers, and beef sticks.

lady dawns_5392 blogCubes of cheese, pearl onions, pickles – well, you can make a complete balanced meal out of your Bloody Mary!

lady dawns_5390 blogThen you put hot sauce in it, salt and pepper, peanuts, and everything else you see on this counter.  There is even Ibuprofen for after you are finished drinking it.

Here is the masterpiece:

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Have fun but don’t drive drunk.  I don’t want anything to happen to you.

Tell them that Critic Housewife sent you.

Lady Dawn’s Sports Bar
307 S Main St
Blanchardville, WI 53516
(608) 523-4211

The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content. 

Stalzy’s Delicatessen in Madison, Wisconsin #stalzysdeli

I’m glad I don’t live near Stalzy’s Deli because I would go there every day and gain a bunch of weight.  I read about it this weekend in The Ithsmus (have not memorized how to spell this newspaper’s name yet but after five years of living here I know how to pronounce it).  The article was “What is Madison’s #1 Reuben?”

What is Madison’s #1 Reuben?  I didn’t even know there WAS such a thing! 

My son and I LOVE pastrami sandwiches.  The best ones are in New York at Katz’s Delicatessen and other places in Manhattan.

I read through the article and the writer said the best Reuben in Madison was at Stalzy’s.

So, lucky for me and my son – my husband wanted to go there and we went there for lunch before visiting the Chazen Museum of Art.

I split The Rachel sandwich with my son.  “Your choice of pastrami or turkey pastrami, swiss, creamy slaw, Russian dressing on rye.”  The meat is cured there, and the bread is also made there.  Here is my half of my pastrami sandwich before I chomped into it:

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I wish them many, many years of success!  I will be contributing to it!

Stalzy’s Deli

2701 Atwood Ave

Madison, WI  53704



The content of this post was not generated to make money.  I am not being paid for this content. 

Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin #edgewaterhotel

A friend of mine, Linda, invited me to The Pier Bar & Cafe at The Edgewater Hotel for lunch.  I also went back again a couple weeks later with my mom Clementine to take some additional photos.

Even though I have lived in the Madison, Wisconsin area for over four years, I had never even set foot in the hotel, so I was excited to see what it was all about.  It is in the most spectacular location and has the coolest logo, don’t cha think?  It’s the only lake-front hotel in Madison.

And I would like to say from the get-go that I had a great time at The Pier.  Good food and service. 

But I forgot to take photos of the food.

What was shocking was the interior of The Edgewater.  I thought it would be all Mid-Century design and just super cool everywhere but the interior was more…1980’s or 70’s?  I’m not sure.

I was shocked at the interior!  What an insult to the building, location, and City of Madison!

But in the August 3, 2012 issue of the local paper, The Isthmus, I read that The Edgewater Hotel is going to be redeveloped!  Whopee!  It will be a $98 million project.  The developer is Bob Dunn.

Yeah Bob Dunn!

When they renovate, they need to reuse the two chandeliers that are in the lobby.  Here is a close-up of one of them:

Here is my mom in the lobby:

See how the decor is?  Yikes!

Ok, so on to the cafe at The Pier!

This is what it looked like where we sat:

Where am I?  In Monte Carlo?  Nope.  In Madison, Wisconsin at the The Pier Restaurant!  It was fantastic to sit out by the water.

Linda said their planter box treatments were lovely, and I agreed:

And while we were waiting for lunch, we saw this cuteness:

Inside The Edgewater Hotel is the Admiralty Restaurant and The Cove Lounge.

The Cove Lounge

Here are a couple of the wonderful views from The Cove Lounge:

I think this is also part of The Cove Lounge – lots of glossies of celebrities who have come there:

It’s fun to look at all the photos.  Nicely framed.

Of course I had to go to the bathroom and here is how I saw it:

The Edgewater logo must continue to be used after the renovation!  Who will the interior designer be?

It will be the coolest of cool places to go when the redevelopment is finished! 

Madison deserves a super cool, trendy, modern hotel on Lake Mendota!

The Edgewater Hotel

666 Wisconsin Avenue  

Madison, WI 53703