MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Saturday, October 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 62.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

What is your best dining experience in Madison? Worst?

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

What is your best dining experience in Madison? Worst?

Postby coldspot » Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:39 pm

Tried to find an old thread, but too many to sort through or they seemed outdated.
coldspot
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:50 am

Re: What is your best dining experience in Madison? Worst?

Postby fennel » Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:04 pm

coldspot wrote:Tried to find an old thread, but too many to sort through or they seemed outdated.

Mine was in Milwaukee. (Which I liberally interpret to be within the sphere of Madison.)
Sanford. They rock.
http://www.sanfordrestaurant.com/

Worst: Tutto Pasta.
Last edited by fennel on Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3194
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

Postby Veeder » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:48 pm

Best: Lombardinos

Worst: Tie - Pedro's or Pasquals (Hilldale).

Biggest disappointment - Nadias
Veeder
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:34 pm

Postby redrose » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:02 pm

worst: the crave
redrose
Senior Member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:51 pm

Postby donges » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:58 am

One of the best was Costa Rican Cafe.
And it was on a whim to stop in for lunch one day.
Been back quite often since.
donges
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2001 1:03 pm
Location: between the lines...

Postby keelio » Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:49 pm

Best: transcendant experiences at Lombardino's & L'etoile. Great times at Bunky's on Atwood, Bandung, Chautara, & Lao Laan Xan, great breakfasts at Manna Bakery ... alas, the sadly missed original Opera House on Pinckney, Taqueria Gila Monster, Ovens of Brittany, Little Village Cafe & Bob's Blue Plate.

Worse: Jolly Bob's for incredibly indifferent front of the house service and mediocre fare - though haven't been there in years thanks to a half dozen lousy experiences during the mid-late nineties.
keelio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 685
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2003 9:06 pm
Location: Cottage Grove

Postby Ducatista » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:18 pm

keelio wrote: Taqueria Gila Monster

Ugh. Everytime someone mentions that it's like a jagged knife through my heart.

On their last day, I was trapped at work by a big stinky deadline and couldn't make it up for the free food frenzy. My husband brought my last plate of Gila Monster food to my office... along with their salsa recipe scrawled on a scrap of paper. We've never made the salsa, since the ingredients are in pounds and gallons, but it's a fun souvenir.

I found their red cabbage slaw recipe online a while back. I do plan to try that one of these days.
Ducatista
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4343
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2004 12:31 pm
Location: 53703

Postby TheBookPolice » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:35 pm

Worst: Dardanelles.

Best: CocoLiquot, both times.

Most disappointing: Cafe Costa Rica.
TheBookPolice
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8395
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:09 pm
Location: The mystical Far East

Postby depinmad » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:49 pm

best: cafe porta alba (ah the joys of a perfect pizza pie)
worst: the esquire club (sub standard supper club fare and outrageously expensive)
most disappointing: smokey's (see the esquire club above)
depinmad
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:03 pm

keelio wrote:... alas, the sadly missed original Opera House on Pinckney, Taqueria Gila Monster, Ovens of Brittany, Little Village Cafe & Bob's Blue Plate.

Another I miss (and to me, the best of their genre in Madison) - Big Mama and Uncle Fat's. A half rack of their dry rub and half of the vinegar based. Rib heaven.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 20016
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Postby eriedasch » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:29 pm

depinmad wrote:worst: the esquire club (sub standard supper club fare and outrageously expensive)
most disappointing: smokey's (see the esquire club above)

I'm interested in what you ordered at both places.

I've been a fan of Esquire friday fish fry (around $10) and sunday chicken dinner ($8) - both consistantly good and rather inexpensive for what you get. Although if I were going out for a steak or other "fine" dining fare ($20-30), probably not the place I would go.
eriedasch
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2920
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2001 4:05 pm
Location: east side of Madison

Postby crevice beatle » Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:30 pm

donges wrote:One of the best was Costa Rican Cafe.
And it was on a whim to stop in for lunch one day.
Been back quite often since.



The Book Police wrote:Most disappointing: Cafe Costa Rica.



my best - cafe costa rica

my worst - cafe costa rica

I don't know what it is with this place - not sure if it hits its mark when "mangoe man" is cooking or perhaps when it is nearly empty --- these are the things i have noticed when i've thoroughly enjoyed it.
the service is extremely spotty. the beautiful (costa rican, i assume) woman who usually is serving loses her charm when she gets overtly lacksadaisel about serving you. I'm not sure if this is a product of the culture or not. On a trip i took to Costa Rica, I did notice that aside from the big cities like San Jose, the dining experience was a very slow drawn out process.
And again, the food itself seems to be excellent everytime mangoe man comes out and greets himself...but when i see no one, it never seems as good as it was the last time.
crevice beatle
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 345
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:40 am

Postby nutria » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:29 pm

Best: Magnus. The wife took me there the day I defended my dissertation. We had reservations at 7, but decided to go a little early, so we could have a drink or two at the bar, and chat with a friend who waits there. We get there, and because we were maybe 30 minutes early, our table isn't ready. "No problem," we say, since we had decided to come early, so this clearly isn't the restaurant's fault. Despite our assurances that all is fine, the maitre d' decides he is going to fix the "problem," and about fifteen minutes later (and earlier than our reserved time), he finds us in the bar, and tells us he has the best table in the house for us (small table for two in the front corner by the window). Once we get seated, the food is fantastic, and we have a nice 2.5 or 3 hour meal. Very kick ass.

Worst: Paisan's, and it isn't even close. I've been there twice, both times right after I moved here (about 7 years ago) when it was still in University Square. The first time I went there, I had some kind of pasta, I don't remember exactly what, but it was very underwhelming, and not offensively bad. But my coworkers all insist this place is amazing, so I try again about a month later. I ordered some kind of sandwich with salami, provolone, etc., thinking this would be difficult to mess up. When my plate comes out, it is filled with grease. Floating in this are two pieces of wonder bread (I suppose they wanted to serve it open-faced, in order to be fancy), which are in turn covered with something most closely resembling nacho cheese sauce, with some weird pellets of something floating in it. For fuck's sake. It was so bad that my first thought was, "It must be a joke. Maybe someone I know works here, and is fucking with me." Wrong. I know this because that day was the only time in my entire life I've sent food back to the kitchen. Still under the delusion that I was on Candid Camera, I told the waitress that I wasn't upset, but there was no way that I could eat this. Now, I thought, the ruse would be up. Wrong. The waitress just kind of shrugged, and took the slop away. And that was that.
nutria
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 598
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2004 9:53 am

Postby redrose » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:02 am

Dardanelles : worst
Agreed! I can't understand why that place is still there.
redrose
Senior Member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:51 pm

Postby redrose » Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:05 am

depinmad wrote:worst: the esquire club (sub standard supper club fare and outrageously expensive)
most disappointing: smokey's (see the esquire club above)


I urge you to try their corned beef and cabbage next st. patty's day. you'll be hooked. can't vouch for anything else on the menu.. but on that one day of the year I am a loyal fan!
redrose
Senior Member
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 7:51 pm

Next

Return to Restaurant News & Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar