For the 40,000th time, I experienced a truth I've experienced in literally every part of this country: when residents tell you "there's nothing good to eat here", that means boring people have gone to the boring eateries in the usual boring parts of town...and been bored.
I had exactly 2 hours to chowhound Beloit, and I found delicious and intriguing food everywhere. You just need, as always, to get the hell off the main drag, away from the Applebees and Atlantic Bread Companys. Yes, all that bad food is bad. So don't eat the bad food! Look for the GOOD food! Go a little out of your way, cruise streets you don't usually go down, and stop disregarding places that seem less comfort-zone-friendly than Applebee's and Altantic Bread Company!! Duh!!!
Rudy's La Parrilla (aka Rudy's Firepit) 2683 Prairie Ave Beloit, (608) 368-1975 is an extraordinary place where staff and customers are extremely friendly, and food's made with love and skill. Gorditas were made fresh, as were the sopes. Meats were a delight (try the asada and the cabeza). Fantasitc horchata. Everyone speaks perfect English. Downside of everything made from scratch is you may have to wait. In the meantime, try one of their frozen margaritas, which are made with great care. More info at http://www.gazetteextra.com/diningout... (great quote from web site: "we still have smoking available")
Mi Tienda Santa Rosa (aka Mi Tienda Guanajuato) great Mexican grocer with wonderful chicharrones de harina (essentially mock pork rinds, made from wheat flour). Little restaurant in back looks great, and they sell beautiful pre-packed tamales. The guacamole near the register looked killer. Very good pan dulce. A treasure. I didn't get the address, but it's just up the block from this next place:
Halal 1617 park ave beloit 608-364-4941. was closed. no idea what this is (I suspect Pakistani or Bangladeshi). I get a good vibe
Salvador's 907 East Bayliss Ave
Rudy's (above) no longer makes breakfast, but they say this place, also Mexican, isn't bad. I didn't get to try it. but I love rudy's even more for recommending a competitor rather than sending me to Blandsville for breakfast!
If I had more than two hours, I'm quite sure I'd have found a dozen more great leads.