On my days off I usually plan out my errands and other things I need to get done but this last Tuesday I had a couple things to do and places to stop but nothing was planned. So when I drove past a cafe on the way to the bank that I had never seen I decided to stop. The Prairie Cafe and Bakery sits in the corner of an office building in a new subdivision on the north side of Middleton. According to their website they’ve been open since 2000 and is called “the meeting place” for people in Middleton Hills (the subdivision).
The building is very industrial which doesn’t usually lend itself well to good hometown cafes but once I walked in and saw the local art on the walls and a group of women cross stitching I had more faith in the meal I was about to get. There was a little pause in my ordering process because they only take cash or check (not posted anywhere that I saw but thankfully my bank was a block away and it was nice out!). So after my ATM walk I ordered their tuna sandwich with black bean and corn salad, and a raspberry iced tea. For being noon on a Tuesday the place was packed with groups of people, people grabbing to-go orders, and people who had created little mobile offices with laptops, headphones, and stacks of stuff. I was definitely expecting something quieter but atmosphere would be great for reading or chatting with friends.
My raspberry iced tea was the perfect combination of freshly brewed iced tea and raspberry flavor! The tuna sandwich was an interesting variation on a normal tuna sandwich with it’s lemon vinaigrette, bell peppers, olives, and chunks of potatoes and eggs. I could have done without the chunks of potatoes and eggs but the lemon vinaigrette was so fresh and light that it made up for the heavy additions to the tuna mixture. The baguette was a little too crusty to eat tuna salad with (I usually prefer a softer bread for tuna because the crustier the bread the more mess you make while you eat it) but the sandwich as a whole was delightful! The black bean, corn salad was good but I couldn’t help and wonder if it came from a container. The dressing was flavorful but oily, too liberally applied and almost too mixed together which made me think the dressing came from a can. Either way, it was a good compliment to my lemony tuna sandwich.
Bottom line: The tuna was an interesting and delightful variation and I look forward to going back for breakfast (I really hope their corned beef hash is homemade!) and to trying their ultimate grilled cheese! The atmosphere was great with the local charm complimenting the industrial feel of the building very well! Don’t forget your cash or to try their freshly brewed teas!