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tipsy cow

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?

tipsy cow

Postby ericj » Fri May 20, 2011 9:16 am

had dinner at the "new" tipsy cow on the corner of king and main. this used to be the king and maNE gastropub but has changed formats. it's same owners but with a new decor and more straightforward and traditonal pub food (burgers, wings, curds etc.). we had a good sampling of different items and everything was surprisingly good. the fried items all feature a spotted cow batter that was light and tasty. burgers were large and messy but very good and can be ordered a la in-n-out as a 1x1 2x2 3x3 and so on. all in all i thought it was good enough to go back. that block is notorious for restaurant turnover but i think if tipsy cow keeps the food tasty and prices reasonable they might have a chance.

i will miss the $1.50 tacos at king and mane they were definitely the best thing it had going. i noticed that la mestiza a few doors down has also closed so no more tacos on main st :(
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby Taco » Fri May 20, 2011 9:22 am

ericj wrote:... no more tacos on main st :(


I wouldn't say that, my friend. Viva La Revolución!
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby Gulfguy » Thu May 26, 2011 2:58 pm

The Tipsy concept brilliantly stands out from the competition by adopting the look and name of a franchise ice cream parlor, including painted black and white cows (thank you "Spotted Cow") sure to capture the attention of foreign tourists, and a moniker which screams 'we know nothing about taverns: come on in for a sing-along'. This should ensure the location stays deserted enough to continue to give Scott Walker a refuge to visit without being asked to leave.
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby uneditedtruth » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:12 am

hope it is better than the awful previous incarnation: "king and mane"
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby Petro » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:32 pm

I'll be honest. I read news of this place opening and just figured that it'd be another restaurant that filled that space that I'd never visit. It'd come and go and I'd never darken it's doorstep.

I wound up visiting on Friday for the pre-beerfest Furthermore/New Holland/Dark Horse party.

I'll be revisiting this place.

I'm more tolerant of extremely crowded conditions than most people, but this place was ridiculously packed. It was an hour wait for a table when my group arrived and standing room felt a bit like some sort of college competition involving a phonebooth. Even with that being said, the staff seemed upbeat and good spirited - even when our hostess had to fight through the crowd to lead us to our table.

The menu was festooned with the names of local sources of meat - Black Earth Meats, Knoches, Nueske's bacon and probably at least one more that I'm forgetting.

We were preparing for a big night of beer consumption, so junk food was the order of the day. Our first round of food for our five-top was an order of the house-made hand-battered onion rings, chili cheese fries and a dozen wings. The onion rings were the best I'd had since Alchemy stopped serving them - miniature donut shaped, richly battered and dripping with enough grease to nearly ensure later gastrointestinal emergency. They also tasted fantastic. The chili cheese fries were similarly fantastic, with a beef-heavy black-bean chili and a white cheese sauce topping their excellent battered fries.

The wings were quite passable, but seemed less amazing in light of the other dishes around them - they were decently sized hunks of chicken in a glaze that was definitely based on Frank's Red Hot in a nod to Buffalo's original creation.

The real standout was the burger that I chose as my entree, though - their house burger was huge, loosely-packed and made with quality (and tasty meat) and topped with fried onions, Nueske's bacon and tasty cheese. It was one of the better burgers that I've had in town, and just talking about it here makes me want it again.

If I really had to reach for a complaint, it'd be that the HVAC just couldn't keep up with the massive crowd in attendance on Friday. Open doors, fans placed around the venue and ceiling fans on high couldn't do much to help the heat - it was downright sweltering inside. If there's a line to get in, you should probably skip this place.

Otherwise, it's quite awesome.
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby LindsayNicole » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:57 pm

Went for dinner a week and a half ago and I was a bit disappointed -- I love Lombardino's, and I liked King & Mane OK, so I was hoping for something good.

The air reeked of truffle oil, not in a good way. The music was amusingly '80s-centric, the Monty Python Holy Grail "mural" on the chalkboard funny, though I'm not sure why it's there. (Maybe the tossed cow at the end is the point?)

Fries were good (we tried chili-cheese and truffle). Portions were huge and a la carte. I'd rather have a quarter of the portion with my sandwich than have to buy the big basket.

My husband's chicken sandwich was fine, though the bun was falling apart a bit. My chili was decent, full of beans and warm spices. My green salad was a little over-dressed, but the dressing tasted fine. The burgers looked delicious, but with just the grease from the fries my stomach was protesting.

My primary complaint was not that the food wasn't good, but more that it completely lacked imagination. Even the pickles tasted like something I could whip up at home in half an hour. I think I've been spoiled by places nearby like Graze, Natt Spil, the Old Fashioned and even the Great Dane, where the food is better, more inventive and -- this is key -- not something I could make at home in as much time or less.

I can see how this restaurant might appeal to my in-laws visiting from Edgar; there's nothing on the menu to freak them out. But ham and cheese? Bo-ring.
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby swoon_queen » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:23 pm

I've only been once but I was pleasantly surprised. We sat outside (I would've been irked by an overwhelming truffle aroma inside too, Lindsay!) so I can't speak to the ambiance. What I do want to say is that our server was fantastic, and our food surprisingly delicious. I thought I'd chime in here and say that when we were musing about which fries to get (my bf wanted the bleu cheese and bacon; I wanted the truffle) our server suggested we try a half order of each, solving the 'overwhelming portion' problem. He had a chicken sandwich which wasn't fancy but was tasty nonetheless. I had a burger which was perhaps the best I've had in Madison.

Walked away thinking that perhaps Tipsy Cow had beaten the curse of establishments at this location. King & Mane was a place I tried to like- went 3-4 times and never enjoyed it. Tipsy Cow is a place that has both me and my bf craving its fantastic bleu cheese and bacon fries and burgers so much so that we will definitely return. I have to take issue with this:

My primary complaint was not that the food wasn't good, but more that it completely lacked imagination. Even the pickles tasted like something I could whip up at home in half an hour. I think I've been spoiled by places nearby like Graze, Natt Spil, the Old Fashioned and even the Great Dane, where the food is better, more inventive and -- this is key -- not something I could make at home in as much time or less.


I agree that Graze & Natt Spil have more creativity and variety to offer, and that Old Fashioned is consistently good, but I've had many a burger at the Dane, and none came close to the one I savored at Tipsy Cow. And as far as imagination? for a pub grub place, the selection's admirable. Part of what turned me off about the whole gastro-cantina aspect of K&M was a bit too much imagination. It's good to have a decent reliable burger/fries/beer option downtown that uses local ingredients. I also want to point out that the prices at TC were extremely reasonable (especially in comparison to Graze, or even the Dane). We were stuffed, plus we each had a beer and the bill was under $25.
Last edited by swoon_queen on Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby LindsayNicole » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:31 pm

It's good to have a decent reliable burger/fries/beer option downtown that uses local ingredient(s).


Well, OK, but ... isn't that the Great Dane? And Old Fashioned?

I just can't see what would bring me back, unless I was just going to sit outside with friends and have a drink. I'm glad the burger is good, but I don't see why we *need* more good burgers downtown. I can't think of a place that I go regularly where the burger ISN'T good, so Tipsy Cow would need something else going for it (like PBR tacos!) to get me to come back.

That said, I was into the soundtrack. It was like the Big '80s Weekend up in there. Billy Joel. The Eurythmics. Big fun.
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Re: tipsy cow

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Aug 15, 2011 3:36 pm

LindsayNicole wrote:I can't think of a place that I go regularly where the burger ISN'T good, so Tipsy Cow would need something else going for it (like PBR tacos!) to get me to come back.

Sister!
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