With a menu loaded with pizzas and calzones, cheesy breadsticks, and flavorful wings, Gumby's ovens satisfy voracious cravings into the wee hours of the morning. The pizza makers start each day by making mounds of dough by hand, which they decorate with more than 15 inventive toppings, such as alfredo sauce, chicken tenders, and feta cheese, to create specialty pizzas and personalized pies. The same hand-tossed dough serves as a foundation for their famous Pokey Stix, which are smothered in garlic butter, Italian spices, and heaps of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, then cut into strips exactly the length of Abraham Lincoln's foot. To complement the bubbling pizzas, buffalo and boneless wings can be tossed in tangy barbecue, honey mustard, sriracha, or one of four other sauces.
The menu at Pancake Cafe is impressive—almost as impressive as their nine straight awards for Best Breakfast in Madison Magazine’s Best of Madison. For breakfast, the staff serves home-style meals such as oven-baked omelets or house-made biscuits and gravy. The eatery’s namesake comes in unexpected varieties, including an award-winning apple pancake that’s baked for 20 minutes with fresh fruit, baker’s sugar, and Sinkiang cinnamon glaze. Pancake Cafe also whips up gluten-free versions and an old-fashioned potato pancake capped with applesauce or sour cream. They even squeeze fresh orange juice by wringing out a traffic cone as aggressively as possible. At lunch, servers put the waffles down for a nap and begin presenting plates of white-albacore tuna melts, Angus burgers, and Chicago-style italian beef sandwiches.
Dahmen's has all the hallmarks of a classic American pizza parlor: spaces filled with dark, varnished wood, low, warm lights, and piping hot pies covered in cheese, Italian sausage, and pepperoni, sided with icy glasses of draft beer. Kids play games and snack on mini corndogs while their parents cheer on their favorite teams on the array of televisions hanging overhead. Daily lunch buffets include pasta, salad, breadsticks, and pizza, while Friday-night fish frys promise all-you-can-eat dinners of beer-battered cod. In addition to Italian treats of margherita pizzas and meatball subs, Dahmen's dishes out traditional dishes of pure Americana, such as burgers, cheese curds, and deep-fried baseballs.
S2pizzabar's wood-burning oven bakes delicious pizzas inspired by traditional Wisconsin ingredients. Sourdough crusts carry locally-sourced butterkäse and fontiago cheeses, Italian sausage, shallots, or freshly-made ricotta. Pizzas can then pair up with Wisconsin craft beers from breweries such as Stevens Point Brewery and Gray's Brewing Company.
Live music is king at The Brink Lounge. The audiophile-geared bar hosts diverse acts every night from Tuesday through Saturday. Any number of bands might stop by to enchant audiences with their stylings, from national acts to small local bands. Their sound can vary, too, with past musicians regaling audiences with jazz, rock, folk, or soul-flavored stylings.
Visitors to The Brink Lounge don’t just sit back and listen to the music, either. Periodically, the bar puts on swing-dance nights and tango or salsa nights that encourage visitors to leap from their chairs, grab a partner, and cut a rug with their regulation-sharp tap shoes.
Patrons can also visit the bar for its liquid entertainment, which includes an extensive list of creative martinis and more than 100 internationally sourced wines. Bartenders shake and stir cosmos, lemon drops, and a coffee lover's martini, which blends espresso vodka, Frangelico, and cream. Drinks in hand, bar-goers can gather around a regular table or sink into cushy chairs and couches to soak in the music and the paintings hung on the walls. Between sips, groups can split plates of handmade pizzas or dive into bowls of spinach-artichoke dip and aged-cheddar fondue.
With its intimate, family-friendly atmosphere and a menu of classic Italian comfort foods, Angelo's delights diners with its delectable variety of pastas and pizzas festooned with hand-stirred sauces. Inch into a hot tub of spinach-and-artichoke dip made with Angelo's own alfredo sauce ($7.99), or slice up a heap of mozzarella- and sausage-laden spaghetti pie ($10.99), a favorite despite its notable lack of crust, fruit compote, or a la mode option. Keep track of the approaching weekend with the Friday-night fish fry (market price varies, $11.99+), or honor the Surge-fueled pizza parties of yore with a renowned white pizza (regular $14.99, large $18.99), a raucous assemblage of alfredo sauce, artichokes, onions, mushrooms, black olives, Italian sausage, parmesan, and youthful idealism. Pasta entrees come with soup or salad, pizza crusts can be made gluten-free, and spaghetti is available in classic or whole-wheat varieties. The long oval bar is fully stocked and opens every Sunday at 3:00 p.m. or earlier for Packers games, so grab a Groupon and check the listings to see when to head to Angelo's for traditional Roman foodsport.