Sunday, July 5, 2015

Wisconsin (Vegan) Cheese (Cake) Heads

One of the worst things about living in a college town is getting to know people and then they graduate/find jobs and leave. It happens over and over again and never gets easier, but there is also a new influx of people and now we have friends all over the country (and in other countries) to visit. I just wish we were better about keeping in touch and traveling. We did get up to Wisconsin in March of this year.

Even after many hours in the car, they love each other.

Josie and Dema also know we are about to eat at a new to us veg restaurant.
We were able to check out The Green Owl Cafe in Madison, WI. My sister and her husband brought back Green Owl t-shirts a few years ago. When we wear the shirts people understandably assume we've been there and they comment how good it is, but sadly we had really never been. Well, we are posers no more. We can finally wear our Green Owl t-shirts with pride.
Josie eating Green Owl Nachos at The Green Owl Cafe
Dema about to devour his vegan cheesecake with some kind of berry sauce.
I don't remember what we ate between the nachos and cheesecake because I didn't get photographic evidence, but it was good. The cheesecake was the highlight of the meal and would become the theme of our trip.

If you have never been to Wisconsin, I highly recommend it. I think the last time I was in WI was when I was a teenager and went up for a Pink Floyd concert with my friend, Eric. I talked my brother into driving us (my bro is 8.5 years older than me and I totally idolized him) since he's the one who introduced me to Pink Floyd, long before I understood the music. Anyway, I remember much more of this most recent trip and I have to admit the state is very scenic. It was also lovely to see our friends, Erin and Brian, and their sweet girls. We were supposed to surprise Brian for his birthday, but he was alerted to vegans coming to town when his lovely thoughtful wife, Erin, was caught cooking BBQ jackfruit. I somehow have no pictures of us eating said jackfruit, drinking waaaayyyy too much alcohol (I accidentally poured myself a wine glass of whiskey and proceeded to drink it instead of admitting my silly mistake, which was, in itself, an even bigger mistake), their beautiful house, the great kids (growing up way too fast), the birthday boy, their new Wisconsin friends (including an actual successful functioning grown-up who was homeschooled until meeting well-adjusted interesting happy adult homeschoolers!), or anything else of interest. Too busy having fun.

Our visit ended way too soon and we were back on the road to a Chicagoland gymnastics meet for Dema. On our way to the Windy City 'burbs, we stopped near Milwaukee, WI at Cafe Manna in Brookfield, WI. I am so glad we did! We were a mess from sitting in the car for hours (how does sitting make one feel so dirty?) and I felt like we were under dressed for this more upscale veg restaurant, but the staff was so nice I was immediately put at ease. The food was sooooo good and not something I could easily make at home. If we lived in the area, it would be a perfect date night destination for Rob and me or special occasion restaurant for the kids. They even had more vegan (raw and gluten free too) cheesecake!
Josie gave the restaurant two thumbs up and the cheesecake is almost as big as her smile of anticipation.

I'll post about the gymnastics meets some other time. We can't wait to get up to see Brian, Erin and family again and maybe have more cheesecake too.

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