"Hey, Michelle, where do you want to eat?" "Somewhere with cheese."
That's a good representation of just about any food conversation I have. That's why I was pretty excited to go to a wedding in Wisconsin last fall. It was cold enough that I could easily hide the resulting food baby with a cardigan at the reception. The forecast was below freezing with a chance of gluttony.
I did a half marathon the morning of the wedding a whole three hours away because I refuse to behave like a normal person who gets up at a reasonable time on vacation. The midway point between the two spots was Eau Claire, so that's where I got a hotel and enjoyed my food extravaganza. There were so many pretty outdoor spots, like Carson and Phoenix parks, and there were some cool museums. I made sure to walk around all of those a lot to allow for more carb loading. Hey, I had a race the next day. I had to fill up! (If you don't have a race in the morning, your excuse can be that you need to warm up your stomach for your food marathon. Also totally appropriate.)
I did lunch at Egg Roll Plus. There were loads of tofu offerings there. I went with the tofu green curry. That included bamboo, mushrooms, and green bell peppers in a green chile curry soup served with white rice. It cost eight dollars. A 25% tip plus tax takes you to a bit over ten dollars. Those were ten dollars well spent. Tofu is unassuming and kind of bland in its natural state. But sometimes it emerges into some flashy and enticing offerings, like the girl with glasses who gets madeover in a teen movie. This was one of those times. 10/10, Would eat more, even 30 minutes before the race
Ten dollars' worth of scintillating tofu
After eating all of that food, it was clearly time to enjoy dessert. I went with ice cream, which is a totally reasonable choice when it's breezy and about 30 degrees outside. I got a double scoop at Ramone's for $4.25. You'll want to give them a tip because those tips go to local charities. They also look out for those with food sensitivities, striving to offer gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free options for all. They even have vegan choices, as well as no sugar added varieties. They obviously offer double the thoughtfulness with their double scoops. This gets another 10/10. If I do another race in the area, I'll request Ramone's at aid stations. Maybe they can make it in milkshake form so it goes down easier.
Was that enough food? Of course not. I needed some side stitches during my race in the morning. Duh. I got takeout from Taqueria La Poblanita for dinner. They had veggie enchiladas for $8.95. You can choose between flour and corn tortillas with red, green, white, or mole salsa. They also come with sour cream, rice, and beans. I was told they never use lard in their beans. I liked that. Beans are food, not animal friends. These enchiladas were extremely tasty. My favorite dish at home is veggie enchiladas from a local Mexican place, and these were almost as good. Don't tell my local enchiladas that I've strayed. What they don't know won't hurt them.
Have you ever seen such a sexy takeout picture?!
If you're headed to Eau Claire, you really need to stop by these three places. Get a double scoop for me. And whisper sweet nothings into those enchiladas' ears. For more on veggie travel in Eau Claire, check out my This Vegetarian Be Tripping Eau Claire video!