Barnaby’s Cafe

May 26, 2016 § Leave a comment

A modern corner bistro with floor to ceiling windows, with a view of Market Square Park. It’s a lively, sit anywhere atmosphere. The staff is welcoming, friendly, and attentive. Casual attire, great lunch spot. 

Hickory BBQ Burger
A beautiful handmade patty, topped with two seared slices of ham, cheddar cheese, diced red onion and BBQ sauce. The bun maintained integrity to the last bite, a sure indication of quality. A heaping pile of french cut fries filled the plate, with a ramekin of BBQ sauce.

801 Congress St • Houston, TX
Website

The Spot

August 1, 2015 § Leave a comment

Cozy and just right on the commercial middle of Johnson St. It’s a small local joint, with big booths that scream “comfort”. The staff is friendly and personable. This is an easy place to go for an impulsive night out, or a regular go-to Spot.

Grilled Salmon
Delicious sweet bourbon glazed salmon, cooked to perfection.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Whatever you do, stay for dessert and order anything off the menu.

827 E Johnson St • Madison, WI
Website

Oliver’s Public House

January 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Upscale casual, this new farm-to-table restaurant is a refreshing addition to dining on the near-West side of Madison. It is everything you want farm-to-table to be: creative, casual atmosphere, craft cocktails, an accessible menu that makes you drool. The wait staff is friendly and well informed. The atmosphere is lively but not too loud. I’m definitely bringing people here.

House on the Rock cocktail
Scotch whiskey, lemon juice, honey, ginger syrup, Bittercube bolivar bitters. This is a full flavored blend of citrus and sweet with a kick. The rest of the cocktail menu is just as inventive.

Shrimp and Scallops as an entree
The most perfectly cooked scallops that I’ve had in years. This dish is orgasmically good. Someone at the table must order this.

2540 University Ave • Madison, WI
Website

One Barrel Brewing Company

July 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Becoming Madison’s first Nanobrewery, brewing one barrel at a time, One Barrel opened with a packed house Friday, July 6th.  The 100 degree weather didn’t stop the craft brew fans from crowding the bar and keeping the three bartenders chain-pouring pints.  The menu says they’ll always have The Commuter Session beer and #2 Strong Ale on tap.  They also have nine “Guest Taps”, featuring beers from around Wisconsin. It’s a promising start to a great idea. 

Strong Ale #2
The darkest beer they had today- a full-flavored, murky brown glass of deliciousness.  The complex, layered taste makes this one a winner, and keep in mind the 10% ABV.  My curiosity is peaked.  I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.

2001 Atwood Ave • Madison, WI • 53704
Hours: Tues. & Wed. 4pm-11pm • Thurs. & Fri. 4pm-1am • Saturday 11am-1am • Sunday 11am-11pm

Website

Mickies Dairy Bar

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tucked in at the foot of Monroe St, most tourists skip over Mickies Dairy Bar, but the locals know better. Mickies is all character from the peeling exterior, to the original diner tables and booths, and the aging soda fountain bar, filled with University types. It’s a seat yourself place, and you have to be assertive since space is limited. The menu is hand written on giant boards above the kitchen window. All the condiments, cream, syrup, butter, jelly are in bowls on the table. If you want something it’s probably there. The wait staff is all business and no nonsense. They are fast, efficient, and you’d better be ready when they show up. They are serving a packed house from open to close, and dawdling is frowned upon. It’s one of the best breakfast places in Madison, hands down.

The Scrambler
A layer of hash browns, a layer of your choice of filling, eggs and cheese. It’s enough to feed an army. You have a choice of toast and gravy (unnecessary in my opinion). It’s an intimidating plate full of food. I usually cut it down the middle and take half home. It’s fantastic.

Cash only, please.

1511 Monroe St • Madison, WI • 53711
Hours: Tues-Sat 6am-2:30pm, Sun 7am-2pm

608-256-9476

Destihl Restaurant and Brew Works

June 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Nice looking, brushed steel and dark wood restaurant with easy access to the freeway.  From Interstate 74, take the Neil St exit and head south.  There’s a meter parking lot across the street.  The atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing, a modern business lunch place without the need for a suit jacket.  Brew barrels line the entry, and the steel vats gleam behind clear glass walls.  A chic glass-tiled host station greets you and a rough stone wall ushers you to the restaurant floor.  

Bison Burger
Completely delicious, lean bison surrounded by fresh lettuce, tomato and a thick bun.  It was perfect, not dry!  What I love about bison is that it doesn’t have the fat taste of beef, and this burger was no exception.  It comes with fries, but I opted for a side salad with the house dressing- a garlic vinaigrette.  It was a satisfying combination and well portioned.

My one complaint is the service.  There is one server who takes the order, one who brings the food without direction, and many who wander the restaurant without the initiative to look to see what customers might need. We were not checked upon, water was not refilled and no dessert or check offered well after our plates were clean.  The restaurant was not full, and I felt neglected.  It’s unfortunate for such a fine establishment to be hamstrung by this fault. The food is excellent and I would come back if the experience was better.

301 N. Neil Street • Champaign,IL • 61820
Hours: Monday – Thursday 11am to 10pm • Friday – Saturday 11am to 12am • Sunday 10am to 9pm

Website

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

In the beautifully reclaimed Freight House, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque is arguably the best bbq in Kansas City.  A lot of people can fit into the expansive dining room with vaulted ceilings and raw wood beams.  Jack Stack’s has glossy wood tables and cloth napkins, not your typical paper towel roll on the table bbq joint.  The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable, even during the busiest times. If there’s a wait for a table, try snagging a seat in the bar area. The lighting is primarily candle light, so bring a penlight if needed. I loved this place so much, I came back for seconds the next evening.

Lamb Ribs
A mouth-watering slab of fall-off-the-bone lamb ribs slathered in sweet and tangy sauce. The ribs come with a choice of sides. The coleslaw and grilled vegetable kabob are definite favorites.

Mom’s Carrot Cake
Warm, luscious square of spiced carroty goodness covered in melting cream cheese icing. If you have room for dessert, it’s big enough to share.

101 W 22 St • Kansas City, MO • 64108
Hours: Sun 11am-9pm • Mon-Thur 11am-10pm • Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm

Website

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