|Vol. 13 No. 19
SEPTEMBER 17, 2018
by Jonathan Gramling
by Heidi M. Pascual
Columns & Features
|Giving back to the community you came
|The LPA Explores the Identity of LatinX
Professionals with Yo Soy.
by Jamala Rogers
Last Saturday, I attended the Mexican Fest at the Madison Labor Temple to take photos before I headed over to the
Willy Street Fair to hawk some raffle tickets for the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center. I was hungry and so I took a
stroll along the food vendors’ row checking out what people were offering that warm fall afternoon. I looked for
vendors with whom I have had some dealings like El Pastor or Mercado Marimar, which are staples on S. Park
Not seeing anyone I was familiar with, I took a chance — not really a big one — and ordered steak tacos from a
vendor who looked like they knew what they were doing. But really, how would I know. They served my tacos up
on corn tortillas garnished with onions and cilantro. And of course there were the homemade sauces available to
squirt on top of the tacos.
I went and sat down at a table on the fringe of the big tent where the entertainment was performing and just my
luck, it was the sultry Chica Cumbia performing with her flag waving accompanists. And I feasted on my steak
tacos. I swore that they were the best tacos that I ever tasted, although I have made that proclamation before.
Perhaps it was more of a gauge on how hungry I was, but they did hit the spot and I was so glad that I didn’t wait
to hit the Willy Street Fair to have a late lunch.
And it is probably symbolic of how South Madison has changed over the years that one can get authentic Mexican
cuisine almost anytime day or night. When I first moved to South Madison in 1979, there was a Dunkin Donuts at
the top of the hill on S. Park Street, which gave way to a Taco Bell that stayed there for decades.
But South Madison evolved over the years and especially since the mid 1990s, the Latino population in the greater
South Madison area has exploded. And the “fake” Mexican food in the form of Taco Bell just couldn’t compete
against the real thing and eventually Taco Bell closed its S. Park Street location. --READ MORE