"V" is for Vendetta
This summer we went to three restaurants that started on fire.* The "curse" of our affection seems to be more active now. We just hope that y'all get out there to enjoy your own favorites while they're here, because we do not really have a vendetta.
So... look at this chart (and its methodology). Madison ranks #11 on total dollars spent eating out per household and #2, behind only Atlanta, in percentage of food dollars spent eating out vs. spent on groceries.
Let's think about that: Madison has generally good access to meat, fruit, vegetables, grains, and dairy and one of the largest farmers markets in the country. Yet rather than cooking at home,** it seems the average Madisonian is more inclined to go out. (Milwaukee, too, skews towards restaurant eating, though it differs from Madison in many factors related to food and money.)
Are groceries cheaper than average here? Are farmers market purchases and CSAs included in "groceries," and even if so, are they significant - and ditto prepped food from grocery stores? Does beer have anything to do with it?
What do you think when you see how much of our community's food money is spent eating out? What does it say about the supply side - what venues succeed and fail? What about the demand side - does Madison get what wants, or does it get what it needs?
Anyway, we liked the Vs a lot. They got the highest 1st pass score ever (take that, Q). Nichole gave none of them lower than a B+ and only Victor Allen's got anything like a low score. Our favorite Vs were Village Green and Vintage, both dinners.
*Underground, Umami and Caracas Empanadas (our next post); not to mention the westside JJ Fish and Chicken and Taqueria Marimar, also sites of recent fires; or the closure of beloved Bea's Bonnet, the clock that's probably ticking for Rossi's, and Dry Bean (long story).
**Speaking of home cooking, MACSAC's recipe contest is taking submissions until October 31, 2011. Send in a recipe and whether or not it's chosen for publication you get a discount on the resulting cookbook. Win-win!