This restaurant is in our neighborhood but we rarely go there. We stopped going even occasionally when they billed us for sharing an entree. But we read they had a new chef, so we went for a special occasion. My companion encouraged me to try their $16 lamb chop entree with vegetables. The lamb was delicious, but predictably, a tiny portion. I chose their corn chowder, and it was fine. The vegetables were 3 tiny roasted, blackened, peppers, a few thin slices of rather tastless grilled zucchini, and a lot of small unpeeled, tasteless potatoes. I dont think we will be back soon. Service was fine, in itself. My companion had a chicken pannini and had no complaint. We both shared the French fries.
The decor is very pleasant.
We live nearby and have eaten often at Abuelos. We never thought you were supposed to ask what kind of oil they use. We knew it wasnt slimming food. But online, they had some $5 discount coupons, so we went often. Recently, we saw a documentary film about genetically modified foods. It featured a restaurant owner saying it was only when customers started asking him about GM foods that he went out and educated himself. So, in this case, we asked first what kind of oil was used. It was butter, we were told, mixed with margarine. The spinach and cheese side dish tasted strongly of butter, and we dont eat much butter, for our cardiovascular health. Then we talked to the manager, who told us olive oil is much more expensive, but we could ask for it, in the future. The vegetarian fajitas are cooked in butter and margarine, too. We're very sorry we didnt ask on our first trip, but we never ask that, at restaurants. We assume they use an inexpensive vegetable oil, which, we realize, may not be the healthiest type either. It could have palm oil, for example. Soy and corn oils are now usually GM. We've read a book or two on this subject and want to avoid it, tho we know you'd almost have to eat at home exclusively to do so, and eat organic. We will say Abuelos has beautiful murals, a lovely ambience, decor, service, and tasty food. The manager did spend plenty of time with me and seemed to care about keeping our business. Costco is nearby and they give 10% discounts to members.
Favorite Dish: Beef enchiladas and papas con queso.
Great little family run Thai/Lao food restaurant. Small neighborhood place that is somewhat affordable. Great little place to escape on a cold winter day. The spicy soups will warm you up on a cold day.
Favorite Dish: Any of the lomein noodle dishes are great! Recommend the tea and sweatened coffee also. No dish more that 12 dollars.
I used to really like this restaurant and I've eaten there several times over 5 years. It isnt especially economical compared to other places we go more regularly. Last time we were there, we had a crab sandwich. It was bland.
We shared it. They charged us for that. They had no whole grain bread on hand. Shipment wasnt received, the waitress said. The lentil soup was ok, but quite salty. I dont understand why so many restaurants arent cooperating with the new trend of healthy eating, whole grains. This isnt anything elitist. It's been on Oprah for a long time, and the popular Dr Oz books, as well as best selling author Dr Andrew Weil also stress it's importance. There is no reason, anymore, to eat any grain that isnt "whole", on a pizza crust, bread, or whatever. Unless, of course, you yearn for a tender, delicious croissant.
Food, no doubt, is great at any BW3. But, service is another matter.
This place was atrocious in their treatment. I went in at 10:15pm on Easter Sunday-2008, the place was 90% empty with one table occupied and half a dozen people at the bar. I went and sat at the bar - a full five minutes passed and all the bartending girl was interested in doing was chatting with other people, not even making eye contact or saying anything to me. I was literally frustrated by the lack of attention and walked out. I have never been to a worse place in my life.
Favorite Dish: Boneless wings with my favorite sauces and potato wedges.
The food was tasty, LOTS of vegetarian options. The decor is nice. Staff quite friendly. The restaurant seems very popular. It was very busy. My only qualm is that it is very small with the tables close together. It's a place for a quick meal and then you're out. Cash only (in Jan 2008).
Great atmosphere, relaxing music, friendly staff. Servings were of a good size. Nice menu, good variety. The kabobs were delicious. Beers from the region were available. This restaurant has received much praise as evident from the newspaper clippings and awards displayed on the wall. Recommended.
With locations both downtown and in Fitchburg, the Cafe Continental is making its mark on Madison. In my opinion the mark is a black eye. I've supported and frequented this spot because of big menu with a wide range of options. But I will not be going back and and strongly discourage you from going there as well, regardless of how enticed you are by the menu. My last visit was ruined by a 90 mintue wait for our food. The owner, not a manager but the owner, made no effort to apologize or to compesate us. When we approached him he was rude and arrogant. Madison is swimming with excellent dining choices that appreciate our business. The continental cafe is not worthy of our patronage.
The is absolutely the best breakfast spot Madison has to offer. In fact, I would challenge it to any breakfast place in the states! It is a small, counter service spot with brightly painted walls. It is often crowded but the kitchen if efficient and keeps up with the pace remarkably well. That being said, this is not the place to go lookikng for a quiet spot to set up with lap top and drink coffee for hours. The 2 owners value local farming and ingedients. The menu is always changing featuring the seasonsal produce. They are open M-sat 7am -2pm. Lunches are also wonderful. Sandwhiches are served on great breads. The salads are loaded with toppings and topped with awesome vinaigrettes. I encourage you to visit their website to check out the menus. Although driving around the capitol square can be confusing, this place will definitely be worth your efforts!
Favorite Dish: Breakfast sandwhich with nueskes bacon; Scramblers with crab, corn and asparagus; Omlette with roasted tomatos, artichokes and asiago cheese. Rueben made with home made corned beer; Cheesebruger has this awesome sauce on it; Grilled chicken salad with amazing light champagne vinaigrette.
Casual Bar type setting. View of the state capital. Service has traditionally been good. Food selection is stick to your bones old fashioned comfort foods. Not what you should be eating everyday. But it's a great place for hearty meals that are well prepared with very high quality ingredients.
Favorite Dish: Spinach Salad with bacon dressing---greens are just wilted; proper amount of dressing used so that the salad was not drowning. Cheese plates from local cheesemakers boast WI pride in their number one known product.
Real nice little, eclectic, restaurant. Started by a couple guys from SF. Open for lunch and breakfast. Has good sandwiches, soups, and things like that. For brekkie the usual fare, try the French toast. It’s usual food, but the combinations of foods they put together are what make this stand out from any other restaurant. Gets very crowded on ‘Farmers Market Saturdays’.
The owners have now opened up a more upscale restaurant called 'Sardine'. It's located 3 blocks east of the Capitol where Williamson St starts. So if you like Marigold, you'll probably like Sardine.
Favorite Dish: French toast for breakfast is very good.
Okay, so I'm partial to awesome breakfast and this place fits the bill. After a night out on the town this is a great place to show up at 2pm and get some great food! :) Breakfast is served all day along with lunch and dinner options. The restaurant appears to be an old fashioned diner, with a sit down counter, tables, booths, outdoor seating, and the ever important bakery display case! The staff is young and fun, the customers are from every walk of life.
The food ranges from traditional to ecclectic (bacon and eggs to a Mediterranean eggs benedict)... all are really good and filling to boot. I've heard the pie is to die for (although I haven't indulged yet). Stop by for a fun atmosphere and great food.
Favorite Dish: Any of the breakfasts
This restaurant has the perfect atmosphere for the eclectic crowd that gathers in Madison. It's a small local restaurant that is always packed. If you go on a Friday or Saturday night expect a wait, but don't get discouraged... just grab a drink from the bar and do some great people watching. There is a bar (serving every kind of drink imaginable), a slew of round tables, a closet with board games, and a tight-knit friendly atmosphere. There is an extremely small stage in which I am told local bands play (although I've never been there during a show).
The food is very eclectic and boasts unique menu items (some standards with a crazy twist as well). The menu is fairly small, but everyone should be able to find something here. They have appetizer plates (chips, guacamole, salsa, and pickled vegetables... yum, etc). Unique sandwiches and some great soup. The only downside is that on a busy night the service is fairly slow, but hopefully you're enjoying the atmosphere and conversation so much that it's not that noticeable!
Favorite Dish: Love the Mexican appetizer plate (didn't think I liked pickled veggies, but it turns out I do)... great homemade guacamole. The Asian soup (can't remember the name of it) is to die for (and that's coming from someone who isn't a huge tofu fan!) The sandwiches are all excellent and I love the twists that they incorporate.
This is a unique place in Madison!! We did not know about Le Chardonnay, but apparently the place has been kept secret by it’s fans for the past 4 years: you can barely see the restaurant’s sign from outside.
The ambiance was so authentic, it felt like visiting one of the cosy restaurants in Marseille or Nice, France. Walls were decorated with Marble impressions, Large Mosaics and beautiful woodwork.
Food was quiet distinguishable from other restaurants in the City, and very resonably priced. The menu included Tradional French dishes we have not seen in other French restaurants such as the Beef Bourginion and Merguez patties. Service was outstanding despite that the place was so busy that night.
We also heard the restaurant features All-you-can-eat Mussles on Tuesdays, but we haven't been there yet. There is also a Martini night on Saturdays: Only $4 each!! You can’t beat that!
Favorite Dish: Bouillabaisse: unique blend of Mediterranean spices and frech seafood. It's the like the Bouillabaisse I had in Marseille, but with an extra twist! (it's a bit spicy, but not too hot)
A local bar serves Saturday and sunday brunch at a very reasonable price. It's not fancy, not all-u-cant variety but tasty and inexpensive. They have the usual omelettes, bacon, eggs benedict, sandwiches, grilled cheese and burgers for kids.
Mimosas are a specialty, and here it's orange juice, champagne, tequila and vodka--watch out. Only $4 for these, and $3 for Bloody Marys.
The Shamrock is a gay bar, but all are welcome here. Don't worry, if you're straight nothing will happen to you. This is a good choice if you're downtown on the capital square, not crowded and inexpensive. Say hi to Brian behind the counter.
Favorite Dish: Fried 'taters are tasty, rye bread toast was very good, and of course the Mimosas.