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

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

Iowa River Power Restaurant

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

On the banks of the Iowa River, this repurposed power house makes a unique and relaxing eatery.  The main dining area is floor to cathedral ceiling windows overlooking the Iowa River.  Machinery from the building’s former days hang overhead and decorate the walls.  The staff is pleasant, friendly, and speedy.  Dress is casual, the prices are very reasonable, and the portions are perfect.  Make sure to get a table by the window for river viewing and take a stroll afterwards to the bridge over the dam for excellent photo ops and a little bit of history. 

Flannigans’ Reuben
This is a fantastic reuben sandwich. There is an option of corned beef or turkey, I chose the corned beef.  The swiss cheese is a nice addition to the full flavors of the sandwich on marbled rye. I was very happy with my selection.  If I’m ever passing through Iowa City again, I’m definitely going back.

501 1st Ave • Coralville, IA • 52241
Hours: Dinner Monday – Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. • Friday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Saturday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. • Lunch in the Lounge • Monday – Friday 11 AM – 2 PM • Sunday Brunch 10 – 1:30 , Dinner 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Website

Juan’s Flying Burrito

February 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Fun, funky local tex-mex.  With two locations, Juan’s Flying Burrito is a great lunch spot.  Don’t expect peppy servers covered in flair.  This is real the New Orleans, not Bourbon St.  From the booths and cafe tables to the tall bar stools, the interior is covered in rustic artsy decor, almost as colorful as the ink on the staff.  Painted tequila bottles are the shades for the pendant lights over the bar.  Inside, outside, this is a great place to relax, eat, drink and enjoy the afternoon with friends. 

Flying Burrito
Grilled steak, gulf shrimp, and chicken with cheddar and jack cheese, black beans, yellow rice, salsa, sour cream and guacamole rolled in a grilled tortilla. Yum.

4724 S Carolton • New Orleans, LA • 70119
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 11am-10pm • Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm

Menu

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