C HattonI was an undergraduate at UW from 2001-2005 and have not had much of a chance to come back since. A lot has changed; they tore down my dorm, expanded library mall, and have built a ton of new residential high-rises, but in general the atmosphere, and culture of Madison has remained constant. We are still a laid back, friendly place that's ideal for grabbing a beer with friends.

When I arrived on campus I was excited by all the "new" restaurants to try, the new bars, and the new Union South. It's been markedly exciting getting reacquainted with the city. Some new restaurant and bar highlights include:

Brickhouse BBQ: 408 W Gorham St. Two stories of beer, BBQ and a tough-to-beat home-style atmosphere. Great staff and the pulled pork and green beans are amazing. This place definitely deserves to be on your game day bucket list.

HopCat: 222 W. Gorham St. Great eats and a super cool atmosphere. This bar/eatery that started in Grand Rapids, Michigan brings its unique culture to Madison for all to enjoy. Definitely a student favorite!

Short Stack Eatery: 301 W Johnson S. One of our recent favorites here at the CBPM, the Short Stack Eatery offers a killer brunch menu and some great breakfast selections. Despite being a new addition to the Madison restaurant scene, Short Stack should definitely be on your list next time you’re in town.

Unfortunately, the newest thing in Madison is also currently the worst. The Memorial Union Terrace has been under construction since September first. We missed out on some good months of sitting by the lake, but I'm pleased to have a renovated terrace waiting for me when I get back from my internship this summer. In the mean time, we can all enjoy the recently constructed new Union South! With indoor rock climbing and bowling, awesome food, a hotel and café, in addition to a great music venue (the Sett), Union South is having no trouble keeping students warm through Winter.

With all Madison has to offer, I feel like a fool for not having come back sooner. On Wisconsin!