What is your best dining experience in Madison? Worst?

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
depinmad
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Postby depinmad » Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:38 pm

sorry to freak you out with the phrase immediate area, you agorophobic piece of shit.

in any case, as anyone who wants to research can see, my non contributions to the eats forum are far more informative and accurate than any of your contributions.

TAsunder
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Postby TAsunder » Tue Jul 22, 2008 5:01 pm

depinmad wrote:sorry to freak you out with the phrase immediate area, you agorophobic piece of shit.


Glad we cleared that up. To all concerned, "immediate area" does in fact mean anywhere in Madison.

I did the research. You like mediocre Italian food such as Paisan's, Tutto Pasta, and Porta Bella. I'm frankly rather surprised Benvenutos didn't make your list.

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Postby Bob Cobb » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:02 pm

TAsunder wrote:
depinmad wrote:sorry to freak you out with the phrase immediate area, you agorophobic piece of shit.


Glad we cleared that up. To all concerned, "immediate area" does in fact mean anywhere in Madison.

I did the research. You like mediocre Italian food such as Paisan's, Tutto Pasta, and Porta Bella. I'm frankly rather surprised Benvenutos didn't make your list.


Is there a more smug prick on these boards than this TAsunder person? A puddle of smarm has accumulated under my monitor. Intolerable.

Ducatista
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Postby Ducatista » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:02 pm

Bob Cobb wrote:Intolerable.

Hey, that's the word the See 'n Say plays when you ask it what a Smug Prick says.

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Re: Best and worst restaurants in Madison

Postby Ducatista » Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:06 pm

Alauda wrote:The best is definitely Madisons Downtown. The staff is fantastic, and the entrees are ambrosial. We were a party of four picky eaters, and all were completely satisfied by the food and the service.

Please say you're being sincere. Because that's fucking awesome. Ambrosial, even.

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Best and Worst Restaurants

Postby Yoshi » Fri Jul 25, 2008 8:26 am

Best in Madison-Muramoto and Sardine-Always good every time.

Worst meal I have ever had in Madison-Dardanelles during restaurant week in January. It was too bad to describe. I see they are participating again, buyer beware!

Zloduska
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Postby Zloduska » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:01 pm

chleppr wrote:Worst: El Corral. In two words...speak English. Staff couldn't even tell us that they do carry Sierra Mist. Awful experience.


If you want authentic Mexican food and seek out a place that serves it, maybe you should learn some Spanish and not be so arrogant about it. I don't get pissed off when I go to a Japanese or other Asian restaurant and the server hardly speaks English since I'm on their turf, I appreciate immigrants coming here opening ethnic resaturants, and it makes for a more authentic experience! If they are nice and attentive, making an effort to communicate and the food is good, who cares.

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Postby Zloduska » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:29 pm

OK, so probably my WORST and fairly recent dining experience in Madison: RP's Fork and Spoon Cafe.

This place sells pasta to area stores, and they have a little Italian/psuedo-gourmet grocery area set up in the restaurant. They also have a few designated gluten-free frozen pastas available. In fact, on their menu, it states that they can substitute regular pasta for the GF variety at no extra charge (unlike Bunky's Cafe, which is excellent but seriously overpriced.) As I have celiac disease and therefore can't have regular pasta or most things in restaurants, I was greatly excited to eat there. However, the menu did not list which of the sauces were actually gluten-free, so when I went up to the counter to order, naturally I asked. The girl at the counter had no clue, so she turns around to the staff in the open kitchen and asks a busy-looking guy who must have been the cook which of the sauces are GF. He seems annoyed and shrugs his shoulders and replies, "The Clam sauce?". I'm vegetarian and that sounds gross, so I asked which of the many seemingly vegertarian and GF sauces listed on the menu would be safe.

So I was up there for about 15 min holding up the line, and this asshole cook with a bad attitude would not tell me which sauce I could eat, and no one would make an effort to find out, even though the menu makes it a point to ADVERTISE that special GF pasta is available, but apparently that is only for customers who just like it plain with butter, and how dare I actually ask to have a sauce I can eat with it! I eventually settled on the marinara, exasperated, and took a seat. Apparently the surly cook was also a server, because he comes out with the salad plates and THROWS them on the table in front of us without so much as sa word or glance, and then the same for the entrees. Still have no idea if the food was safe or not, as I probably got sick afterwards.

To top it off, my boyfriend still decided he wanted to buy some of the frozen pasta and grocery items, so he goes to the counter with a separate register on the other side, that no one is staffing. The girl from the other counter eventually says she will be right with him, and then for the next 15 minutes she decides to do everything else BUT help my boyfriend check out with this perisible items, flitting in and out of the kitchen, gabbing with customers, taking orders... then finally comes over to check him out, when he was just about to leave, meanwhile I was waiting in the car.

I -HATE- that place and will never go back.

Oh, and on the opposite end of the spectrum is Inka Heritage. The waiter there was so sweet, he went back and researched exactly what I could and could not eat, saved me from choosing a cheese sauce that had crackers hidden in there, and I had a wonderful, interesting vegetarian and gluten-free meal. And was super attentive despite being busy; he got a fat tip of course.

Other favorites are the hibachi at Takara downtown (great for celebrating birthdays with friends, the chefs are a fun bunch) and Edo on Park St., a great place to go on a date for sushi in a private tea room.
Last edited by Zloduska on Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby TheBookPolice » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:37 pm

Fork and Spoon staff have a chilly demeanor, I agree. It's unfortunate that you got the worst of it. Since I can't speak to the gluten-free options, my appraisal won't do much for you. But for what it's worth, the pasta Modena with sausage is one of my favorite dishes in Madison.

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Postby sitnspin » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:41 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Fork and Spoon staff have a chilly demeanor, I agree.

I agree, as well. What is up with that?! Can't they find nicer counter help?

chleppr
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Postby chleppr » Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:03 pm

Zloduska wrote:
chleppr wrote:Worst: El Corral. In two words...speak English. Staff couldn't even tell us that they do carry Sierra Mist. Awful experience.


If you want authentic Mexican food and seek out a place that serves it, maybe you should learn some Spanish and not be so arrogant about it. I don't get pissed off when I go to a Japanese or other Asian restaurant and the server hardly speaks English since I'm on their turf, I appreciate immigrants coming here opening ethnic resaturants, and it makes for a more authentic experience! If they are nice and attentive, making an effort to communicate and the food is good, who cares.


Quite an assumption on your part to say that I don't speak Spanish. BTW...El Corral is not Mexican, it is South American.

I'm sorry you misinterpreted my frustration as arrogance. I believe that we all look for authenticity in an ethnic restaurant. However, when a server has NO knowledge of the menu, it is much more than a language barrier. I have traveled all over the world and have never met with such a block in communication. Maybe you should get your facts straight before making insults.

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Postby towanda » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:04 pm

Another bad dining experience in Madison: Takara at Odana and Whitney Way.

The last time we went there, we had a very long wait for our Vegetarian Delights. We were each missing one of the components of the dish. Instead of bringing us the missing rolls separately, they removed both our plates and didn't return them for 15 minutes.

Then the asparagus in my companion's tempura roll was so woody it couldn't even be cut with a knife, much less chewed. When my companion asked the waiter for a replacement, he argued with her about whether she could chew it or not and told us that's the way asparagus is eaten. Finally my companion got the waiter to replace the tempura roll. Instead of just bringing out a new one, the waiter made off with her entire plate, so I stopped eating as well so that we could finish together when hers came back.

Twenty-five minutes later, her plate was returned with a new tempura roll. When asked why it had taken so long, we were told that the kitchen was very busy. WTF?? When a customer sends a dish back, their order should go to the head of the line in the kitchen instead of waiting for all the diners who arrived later to be served first. At no time were we visited by a manager to see how our meal was going or what the problem was. When her food finally came back, we finished eating and then asked for the bill.

We were disappointed to see that the bill contained no discount for the wait or for messing up our orders so badly. We asked our argumentative waiter if we could speak to the manager. He refused, but said he would speak to her on our behalf. The waiter returned and said he could not reduce the bill but could offer us free ice cream. We refused the ice cream, paid the bill, and left no tip.

When we got outside the door to the sidewalk to go back to the car, one of the waitstaff -- a female one, not our rude waiter -- chased us outside to the sidewalk to tell us that we had not left a tip in an attempt to embarrass us into giving one. Instead, we loudly explained why we were so dissatisfied that we had not tipped. At least two couples who were on their way in turned around and left when they saw/heard us. We did not give he woman who chased us a tip and we have not been back to either Takara location since. When we get really hungry for veggie sushi, now we drive all the way over to Takumi.

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Postby Veeder » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:31 pm

When did this post turn into a forum for allergy/service whiners? The best and the worst, name them with a short reason why if you must. No one wants to hear another allergy story.

towanda
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Postby towanda » Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:45 pm

Service can make or break a dining experience. One of the reasons people go out to eat is so they can be served and not deal with cooking at home. If you don't want to discuss service, go start a thread about the best/worst fast food and self-service joints around town.

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Postby Wanda » Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:29 pm

towanda wrote:. If you don't want to discuss service, go start a thread about the best/worst fast food and self-service joints around town.


Oh don't even get me started on service at "fast" food joints. Just the other day I walked up to the counter at the McDonald's at west-town and did I get attention? NO! I had to stand there for at least seven minutes while Tiffany and Jared stood there with their backs to me while they discussed who was cuter, Kyle the assistant manager manning the drive-thru window or Juan the guy who was moping the spilled grease in front of the fryer. I advised Jared to go for Kyle because no straight guys are named Kyle and being an assistant manger he probably has more money and I advised Tiffany to pursue Juan because Puerto Rican guys are huge and swirl babies are so cute.


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