Slow Food UW Cafe Lunch – 10/23

DSC00674As soon as I heard Melly Mel was involved with this week’s Slow Food UW Cafe, I knew it was a meal not to be missed. I made my first visit to Melly Mel’s restaurant this past summer, and it was a transformative experience—the chicken and waffles were otherworldly, and Melly Mel is unlike any person I’ve ever met before. She’s truly one of a kind.

The Cafe menu included beef and vegetable lasagna and a few sides: green bean casserole, coleslaw, and cheesy grits. I ordered the vegetable lasagna and the cheesy grits. In hindsight, the combination was a bad choice—too cheesy and one dimensional. On their own, they were great—the vegetable lasagna with kale and squash was creamy and rich, and the grits were the ultimate comfort food, punctuated with pieces of sundried tomatoes, providing a nice flavor punch. But I found myself with food envy as I gazed at the meals of my dining mates, wishing I had ordered the meat lasagna and coleslaw.DSC00678

Melly Mel herself was in the kitchen working with the UW Slow Food crew. At one point she came out to introduce herself to diners and talk about the meal and her restaurant. I’m so glad Slow Food UW collaborated with Melly Mel for this week’s Cafe lunch. I hope as many people as possible can meet her and taste the incredible soul food dishes she lovingly prepares. She’s a Madison treasure.

If you missed the Cafe lunch, go visit her restaurant. You won’t be disappointed. DSC00677

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