At Brickhouse BBQ, ranked among Madison Magazine's Best New Restaurants of 2010, executive chef Tim Heinze smokes free-range meats and slathers homemade sauces on their fire-licked exteriors. His menu lists southern-style staples and appetizers such as crispy golden hush puppies, pan-fried catfish, and smoked St. Louis–style ribs, and sides such as cheddar grits, collard greens, and mac 'n' cheese partner up with entrees to do-si-do across palates. Bites are punctuated with 1 of 40 tap beers—which highlight microbreweries of the Midwest—or cocktails such as the Old Fashioned, an in-house infusion of Kentucky bourbon with muddled orange. Inside the restaurant’s two-level dining room, low-lit brick walls, exposed ceiling beams, and a mirage of silk tumbleweeds lend the eatery a chic, rustic vibe that's also showcased through its rooftop patio.
The story of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit stretches back to 1941, when the Dallas restaurant served only brisket, ham, beans, chips, and drinks. Now, though the menu might have changed—it now boasts sausages infused with spicy cheddar, pulled pork, and pork ribs—the underlying mission of authentic, pit-smoked meats remains the same. Additionally, the restaurant sweetens meals with complimentary ice cream.
My Buddies Bar is more than a place to grab a drink and some grub; it's also a gathering space. Here, gaggles of friends come together to click glasses of domestic brews, share pizzas or baskets of cheese curds, and dig into hearty barbecue and steaks. In addition to wraps and sandwiches, the cooks sizzle burgers, such as the Buddie burger—slathered in barbecue sauce and piled high with shredded beef and onion straws—and sear sesame tuna. Inside the split-level dining room, a higher counter perches above rows of booths and tables, where revelers can catch multiple games on five large-screen projectors. Pool tables host bouts of friendly competition, and live bands serenade audiences with covers of the Golden Girls theme song.
Daring and conservatively-palated patrons alike will find enticing eats on a menu that is both eclectic and classically minded. Discover the joy of deep fried pickles ($3.99) before setting your teeth upon a BLT on marble rye ($8.99) or a Southwestern three bean burger ($8.50), served with pico de gallo, guacamole and chipotle sour cream on a ciabatta bun. Dinnertime diners will delight with the Pasta Talula ($14.99), which combines linguine, asiago cheese and herbs relying on select mushroom buoys to stay afloat in a bath of white wine cream sauce. Blackened grill lines create gullet-ready graphs for pre-meal tic-tac-toe on an 8oz honey glazed bone-in pork chop ($15.99), grilled to your preference and served with honey balsamic glaze and mildly spicy mango salsa over a bed of dirty rice. Chicken fingers ($5.95) and mac and cheese ($4.95) are available for generous children treating their parents to a night out. Late-morning Sunday visitors can feast upon classics such steak and eggs ($13.99) with a 6oz grilled steak, two eggs and homefries; or three fluffy buttermilk flapjacks ($6.99) served with bacon or sausage. Recommended wine pairings are provided for pasta and entrée dishes and the bar provides a bountiful selection of mixed drinks, local beers and seasonal microbrews for stimulating thirst satiation.
Jolly Bob’s serves an array of tongue-tickling and flavor-packed Jamaican and Caribbean dishes. BBQ jerk pork, known for its sweet, slow-roasted personality and rudely inaccurate name, supplements its sweet demeanor with banana-guava ketchup ($14.50). Diners with a flair for romance can play matchmaker by picking a pairing for the fresh-fried tortillas—either the guacamole ($6), salsa cruda ($4), or grilled-pineapple salsa ($5). Savory conch fritters arrive unshelled and flanked by a bodyguard duo of key-lime mustard and Bob’s own scotch-bonnet remoulade ($8.50). For those who prefer to dine on greener pastures, the veggie curry provides a bedding of jasmine rice to display the coordinated sheet set of rich and spicy stew ($14.50).
A University of Wisconsin institution, freshly renovated Wando’s tantalizes taste buds with a menu of meaty burgers and savory sandwiches. In between bites, draft beers, cocktails, and the watering hole's signature fishbowls wet whistles, and PBR table-toppers make refilling glasses as convenient as hiding behind the keg. The sports-centric bar solidifies its allegiance to the University of Wisconsin with red-and-white décor and by showering UW students with free bacon and unlimited oxygen on Tuesday nights.
Lucky’s satisfies appetites for pub fare and sports with a lunch and dinner menu and 50 televisions broadcasting all major sports packages from above a dark wood bar. Patrons can commence flavor explorations with six wings, which cooks toss with a choice of buffalo, barbecue, or garlic-parmesan sauce ($6.99), before strapping one to each shoulder to attract newly single griffins ($6.99). For the Wild West burger, grillmasters herd a beef patty and strips of applewood-smoked bacon onto a fresh kaiser roll smothered with barbeque sauce, grilled onions, and cheddar cheese ($6.99). As parents masticate on the sauerkraut-filled Regent Street reuben ($7.49), pint-sized palates can step up to bat with the minor leaguer’s menu and punt a slider hamburger into a side of fries or applesauce ($2.95).