Restaurant review: Bluephie’s/Madison, Wisconsin

Okay, let me be clear about one thing. I’ve never written a restaurant review in my life, and I don’t want this to be a place where you will find snarky and snobby food critiques. But I will tell you about places I eat at the way that your friend, family member or neighbor would.

So last weekend, my wife and I got a babysitter and went to one of the restaurants we’ve been meaning to try since moving to Madison almost two years ago–Bluephie’s on Monroe Street on Madison’s near west side. The place is known for it’s extremely funky and unique menu–but it’s not pretentious. The menu is very much like interesting takes on everyday food.

Chef JimAnd as we sat down, my eyes automatically slid down to the grilled cheese section–and I couldn’t not order what I saw–a grilled cheese with pulled pork, mac & cheese, and caramelized onions. And I mean, all of those things IN the sandwich. But first we ordered drinks, and I had a Lake Louie Cream Ale–a Wisconsin brew that is just outstanding, and smooth and creamy as its name suggests. We ordered the tater tots as an appetizer, and we didn’t mind one bit that all of our food came at the same time. The grilled cheese was…..I won’t mince words here….ridiculous. And I mean that in every good sense of the word. It was one of the five best grilled cheese sandwiches of my life. The pork was tender and delicious, the cheese was oozing, and the mac and cheese and onions were subtle but added to the flavor. Damn. The tater tots, which are giant balls of shredded potatoes, mixed with cheese, were phenomenal and served with a chipotle mayo. I also had the spinach peanut curry soup–which had lots of flavor without being too heavy on the curry.

Chef JimMy wife had the Chickpea Chop sandwich, which was chickpeas, roasted peppers, artichokes and feta cheese with a lemon aioli. I didn’t try it but she loved it. Then for dessert we had a piece of red velvet cake that was the size of a bowling ball. Well, maybe not that big. Maybe the size of a football. But we had a few bites, then ate the rest for breakfast the next day. Ah, nothing like a happy belly.

The service was also excellent. Our server was informative, efficient and not annoying. That last part is always a plus.

Anyway, if you live in Madison and haven’t tried Bluephie’s, go check it out. And if you’re planning to visit, Bluephie’s is a must for something unique and very much Madison.


Fried chicken

I’m thinking of doing fried chicken week at Mikey’s Kitchen sometime soon. I also still want to do bacon week. But before any of that, I wanted to talk about how perfect this meal of fried chicken, fries, cole slaw and a roll was at Hubbard Avenue Diner here in Middleton (a suburb of Madison). Fried chicken sounds easy, but while I’ve never actually tried to make it (that will change soon too), I almost have to order it when I see it on a menu. And I did just that recently for lunch on a Saturday at Hubbard–and they have it on special Thursday and Saturday.

This chicken was so perfectly crispy and moist, the fries were also perfectly crispy on the outside and soft inside, and the cole slaw was creamy and more importantly, had no onions in it. The roll was kind of eh, but I can let that slide.

If you live in Madison, chances are you have eaten at Hubbard Ave. Diner (note: they have not offered me a free meal or anything to post this–it’s truly on my own), and it’s almost always exceptional. They have great burgers, sandwiches and mac & cheese as well as killer breakfast items. Two other favorite items of mine there are pie (many different kinds, which they are known for) and quite possibly the best bloody mary I have ever tasted.

But now that my mouth is watering after seeing that pic of fried chicken again, I realize that today is Thursday and Hubbard Ave. Diner is 15-20 minutes away. See ya!


Related Posts