"Z" is for Zero to go
We're going to take a break from posting for a while. We're still mulling over what to do next. We do need to keep eating and there are lots of places we haven't been to, so there's that... but we'll have to see how it feels not to have to feed the blog 2-3 times per week.
Z was the best letter we went to, bolstered by the very nice Zuzu Cafe. Zuzu was also JM's 300th A or A-. He now has 300 reasons to not eat a Whopper Jr. add cheese.
Eating in Madison A to Z has written over a quarter of a million words about Madison restaurants (261,802) with an average post length (not counting In a Word and specs) of 336 words. (For comparison, our posts on Crave, Michelangelo's, Murphy's Tavern & Taco Shop are exactly 336.)
The longest post we wrote was Underground Kitchen with 1,404 words. Following that were 43 North (1122), The Icon (1111), Starbucks (1038) and L'Etoile (1015). The restaurant with the shortest write-up was Bennett's Meadowood (just 28 words). This was followed by Hunky-Dory Cafe (38), Cocina Real (40), The Bean and Cafe Zoma (43 each).
The shortest "In a word" was just three characters long: the departed Cleveland's Diner ("Go."). The longest was 193 characters: "Where can a young couple, who are having an evening out, not too much money, and they want to have a decent meal, you know, a decent kebab and a nice bit of donut, where can they go and get it?" for People's Bakery & Lebanese Cuisine.
The longest letter in its first pass was C (thanks a lot, alphabet) with 53 places, followed by S, M, B (hooray!) and P. The shortest was X (0), followed by Z, Y, U and Q. We went to 496 places on first pass lists and 283 on make-up lists.
The most we ever went to in any month was 18 in November of 2011. Both January and February of 2012 had only 1 each. We went to about 8.3 places a month for 94 months. If you add up restaurant visits across years, the Mays were the months we ate out the most (77 total) and the Julys the least (47), despite March and April having one fewer instance.
There were 36 double As, ten of which are closed. Longest gap between Double As: 88 restaurants between New Glarus Hotel in February 2009 and The Bank in January 2010. Shortest: Santa Fe Trailer followed only two later by Undergroud Kitchen in May 2011. Morels, restaurant #390, was the precise halfway point.
Finally, JM ate 66 ham and cheese sandwiches and drank 332 lemonades (42%) along the way (not counting generic fountain sodas that have been/included lemonade, or the pitcher that has a permanent place in our fridge).
Speaking of stats: are there any places whose names start with A that we haven't visited that we should? This is our attempt at a little crowdsourcing, so please check our list and tell us what is missing.
We know that with the recent short letters and all of the looking back, this has been like the long Midwestern goodbye. We just want to make sure that we really show gratitude for reaching this point, self-imposed as it may be.
Thanks to Jonathan Broad for sparking our interest in blogging, to the UW School of Library and Information Studies for providing our first platform, to Isthmus for maintaining the List, to the people who ate with us (and put up with us) and the restaurants that put up with us (and fed us), but most of all to our readers. Writing on the internet is such a crazy and novel thing; we could've done this without an audience and yet we wouldn't want to think of it.