October 14, 2012

Mustard Museum, Villa Dolce & Bloom Bake Shop {Middleton}

Yesterday, I spent a rainy Saturday hanging out in Middleton with my best friend Tracy.  I lived in Madison for 22 years, from kindergarten through grad school, so I always enjoy visiting the area.

In fact, Chris and I lived just a few blocks away from Parmenter Street, which is where Tracy and I spent most of our time yesterday.  Within a block, you can visit the Mustard Museum, have lunch at Villa Dolce, and enjoy a crazy good cupcake for dessert at Bloom Bake Shop.

The Mustard Museum is half museum/half gift shop, with a tasting bar that gives you the opportunity to sample almost every mustard they sell.  I thought it was a fun place to visit and would recommend it, if you're in the area. 

The election signs were hilarious.  When Chris saw my photo, he told me that's the only type of election sign he'd put in our yard :)
I really like mustard, but the only item I purchased at the Mustard Museum was a Wisconsin cookie cutter.  Another non-mustard purchase that tempted me was Mr. Bacon vs. Monsieur Tofu.  The back of the package says "You're going down soy boy!  Not this time you greasy punk!" 

After visiting the Mustard Museum, we headed across the street to Villa Dolce, which is an Italian cafe that opened after I moved to England.  Since moving back to Wisconsin, it's one of my favorite places to have lunch with friends and family in Madison.

For lunch, I chose Italian mac & cheese, and Tracy had their strawberry chicken wrap.  I've been to Villa Dolce many times and have never had a bad meal.

I especially like going there for lunch because you order at the counter and can choose your own table (there's standard waiter service for dinner).

The portions aren't huge, which I appreciate from any restaurant as Americans don't need to get any bigger than we already are, but it's even better when there's a tasty bakery next door. 
Villa Dolce has great gelato, which also would have been nice for dessert, but Bloom Bake Shop has amazing cupcakes.  I chose classic vanilla and Tracy chose cinnamon roll, which is only available on Saturdays.

I also purchased a "Where The Locavores Go" coupon book at Bloom.  For $10, you get coupons for farms, restaurants and retail.  The coupons expire May 31, 2013, so if you're interested I'd buy one soon!

REAP Food Group produced the booklet, which is based in Madison, so the coupons are for Madison-area places, but I like that because it gives me an excuse to go to Madison more often.
After lunch, we headed to Frugal Muse, which is our favorite used bookstore in Madison.  A couple years ago, they opened in a much bigger space on the west side, but despite being in a strip mall next to Old Navy, it's still a great bookstore!
In addition to four books, I also purchased five postcards that I'm going to frame.  I'm hoping it will make a nice addition to our kitchen, but it could end up looking totally stupid :)

At one point, I had a stack of cookbooks I was considering (mostly from the $2 clearance section), but I ended up only buying one.  Fresh from the Farmers' Market is similar to other seasonal eating books I have, but the recipes looked great, so I bought it anyway.

I also picked up three Wisconsin travel guides, with one being specific to Madison.  I've lived in Wisconsin for a long time now, but there are still many things I haven't done here yet and flipping through these books I was also reminded of places in Wisconsin I want to visit again.



  1. Sounds like you had an AWESOME foodie weekend! That mac and cheese looks absolutely swoon-worthy!

  2. Sounds like a great trip! You know, ages ago, I saw a series of art posters with food and always said that I was always going to get "kitchen art" someday when I had a kitchen with wall space. When I got a kitchen with the space I couldn't find anything I liked as well. So I am totally supportive of your framed postcards!

  3. Hi Karis, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! My husband would LOVE that mustard place. We may have to visit that next time we're in the area.

    The MKE facebook group is brand new; I'm glad you joined! That's cool that you've already been meeting up with food bloggers! I look forward to meeting more area bloggers through the group.

  4. OMG. That Mac and Cheese is speaking to me...saying eat me! It reminds me of Maxie's mac and cheese, which is awesome BTW.

  5. What a fun day! I love day trips to places you don't get to daily :) Who knew we had a mustard museum in Wisconsin?!? Thanks for sharing, I'll have to check it out soon!