Monday, December 10, 2007

East Side Club - Madison, WI

The deal: Pre-pay for your meal as you enter the East Side Club's dining room. Once inside, waitresses will take your drink order (non-alcoholic drinks are included in the price - you have to order boozy drinks at the adjacent bar). After that, you can hit the three buffet lines for your food.

The food: The main buffet included fried cod and perch, baked cod and crunchy baked scrod. You can also get unusual fare like spinach & goat cheese lasagna and minestrone. The fish either had good flavor but wasn't crunchy enough or, in the case of the scrod, the crunchiness was the only good thing about it. The sides were better - either perfectly salty french fries or baked red potatoes with parmesan cheese.

The salad bar has a surprisingly good selection of vegetables, including cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. The dessert bar isn't much - just some cookies (sugar, butterscotch, chocolate chip) and pudding, but at least they were really good cookies.

A note of caution - like many places in Wisconsin, our bartender thinks that "Captain & diet" is synonymous with "rum & coke". It's not.

The flavor: While the food at the East Side Club is nothing special, it's still worth a trip for the atmosphere alone. Set on the shore of beautiful Lake Monona, stepping into the dining room is like stepping back in time. You'll eat your dinner on card tables and folding chairs that are probably still warm from the latest game of Euchre or Sheepshead. The waitresses are salty, middle-aged Wisconsin women who are just as likely to hug you as to scold you for not dressing warmly enough. It's a slice of small town Wisconsin in the middle of crazy Madison. Awesome!

Second opinions
Eating in Madison A to Z
Madison Fish Fry

No comments: