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Acquiring Calories (and Burning a few) in Madison, WI

· Wisconsin,Food,United States

There's always a ton of different things to do in Madison, the state's capital is full of activities, festivals, and eateries. I spent a few days in and around the area, catching up with friends and trying to fit in as many of my old favorite activities while trying a few new recommendations.

Frisbee Golf or Frolfing is a great way to spend time outdoors during the nice weather. There are a few fun courses at parks around Madison. We went to the one at Elver Park. This one is a hilly course. You start buy working your way up a giant incline, then across the top, before back down again. At the top are some woods which make for a challenge. It's a great course, but the weekend crowds there can be massive. Wait times for holes can be about 10 minutes if you get 2-3 groups in front of you. Better to do during the week if possible.

Laser tag is amazing for me. I love the game and always have. Even though now that means I'm a twenty something running around shooting at 8-year-old birthday party goers. But heck some of those kids can pretty bratty, which just fuels the desire to shoot laser beams at them even more. For $20.25 you can play 3 games at Ultrazone the only place still alive in Madison. We ended up winning most of our games, and I always ranked in the top 3, some angry children made the comment "They won because they're old...." as they sulked away. It's good to be top dog.

Food seems to always be a big topic for this blog, and so it made up a lot of my stops in Madison. Lunch on the day of laser tag was at the Old Fashioned restaurant and bar on the capital square. They're known for the Old Fashioned cocktail a staple bar drink in Wisconsin, and they're deep fried cheese curds. This was actually my first time trying this place, I got the Mac and Cheese, it was pretty tasty, though I found it to be a tad dry. I've had a major Mexican hankering this past year, so for dinner, we tried another new venue for me called Cilantro, located on the west side of town. I tried a Mango Cilantro Margarita, it had a little splash of chili powder on top as well, which made a nice sweet and spicy combination. For dinner, I had some chicken enchiladas that had a chili and chocolate sauce on them. After dinner, we wandered off into a pub crawl, and so there was some late night snacking involved. One stop was called Fried and Fabulous, a food cart that appears downtown at night, and you guessed it, deep fries things. I got the deep fried cheesecake and thought I was going to die of happiness. They have all kinds of specials too like peanut butter cups and cookies and cream chocolate bars, that change nightly. The final late night stop was Ian's Pizza one of my absolute favorite places for pizza ever. They have some crazy and inventive flavors. Walk in and order by the slice, they're famous for their Mac and Cheese, but other great flavors include BBQ Steak and Fries, Portabello Mushroom, Chicken Penne, as well as monthly flavors. When I was home they had flavors like Drunken Ravioli and Chicken Pot Pie.

Of course staying late into the night we stopped at a few of the downtown areas bars. A cheap staple to starting the night is the power hour at Nitty Gritty starting at 10 to about 11 (whenever they play the song Final Countdown) you can buy rail mixers for just $1.25. They also have an impressive menu of shots (themed specifically for birthdays.) Vintage is one of my favorite places, they have a old school diner meets new age bar mix vibe, which makes sense since they serve breakfast as well as helping the bar crowd. They brew a large number of their own beers as well. If you're looking for some Karaoke, check out Karaoke Kid for some Sake Bombs and $1 round at singing your heart out, they have plenty of newer pop songs, but the crowd that gathers there is more the Journey/Billy Idol type.