"We’d always heard about that mythically quirky place called Madison, a free-spirited land with far fewer chain stores and BlackBerry addicts than Washington," enthuses Emily Wax. Man, living in Washington, D.C. really lowers your standards of authenticity.
Influenced by the 2011 documentary “Wisconsin Supper Clubs: An Old-Fashioned Experience,” Wax goes to the restaurant called Old Fashioned, which is fairly new, and not one of the funky old places I think of as "supper clubs." She eats some fried cheese curds and says she has no idea how to tell whether cheese curds are especially good. (Answer: They squeak. Except they don't squeak if they're fried.)
She drinks the cocktail called an Old Fashioned, and then on another day she has another Old Fashioned and proclaims "How Madison!" On another day, "my husband and I headed for a romantic dinner at the sexy, dimly lit Tornado Steakhouse," which supposedly "has a wonderful menu."
And so did she achieve it, that sense of authenticity infusing the city, of delight with mythical quirkiness all around her, of free-spirited energy rushing through everything alive? Myself, I'm over-indulging in deep-fried prose tonight and wondering if I need to see a surgeon to get my neural pathways reconnected. I'm losing it somehow, as I gaze out on the treetops of Madison.