New to Middleton: Handmade noodles at Taigu
The Backstory: Hong Gao has lived in Middleton for most of the last 19 years, where her husband spent his days at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. They’re proud of their kids—one is starting at UW–Madison; the other is finishing up medical school. Instead of slowing down, Gao opened Taigu and helped her brothers move from China to run the new family business.
The Vibe: Taigu is a small place, tucked behind Barriques and right across the street from the town post office. It feels cozy, but the food is absolutely the star.
The Menu: There are traditional Chinese dishes alongside American-Chinese items. Everything is handmade. Gao’s brothers make each sauce from scratch for each order, and it’s worth the wait. “The dishes are simple and healthier,” Gao says.
The Must-Try: Taigu’s name comes from Gao’s hometown county within the Shanxi province in northern China. Since Shanxi is famous for its handmade flour noodles, you’ve got to start there. Pick the homemade stir-fried noodles with vegetables and add your favorite protein. Order the spicy scallion knife-cut noodles or try the stir-fried squid over steamed Chinese broccoli.
The Bottom Line: Taigu is as authentic as its owners. Gao says her food is “just like homecooking” as if you were seated at her own dinner table. She has done a brilliant job turning dishes rooted nearly 7,000 miles away into something that still seems perfectly Wisconsin.
7610 Elmwood Ave, Middleton, 831-3458