Gus's Diner

Gus's DinerIn a word: Gus-tatory middlingness.

The specs: #00894   
630 N. Westmount Dr., Sun Prairie 53590
Details at Yelp, Gus's Diner on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook

Latest Gus's Diner news and reviews at

JM ate the BBQ burger with clam chowder, fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the Monte Cristo with fries, cottage cheese and a decaf.
Rose ate the senior butterfly shrimp with baked potato, side salad and a decaf.
The bill was $32, or $11ish person, plus tip.
JM gave Gus's Diner a C+; Nichole and Rose gave Gus's Diner a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Gus's Diner is a shiny oasis out by Token Creek. It's got the simluated nostalgia of a Blue Plate, the fare of a Coppertop, and the salad bar of a spot dwelling somewheres between Wendy's and an old school supper club. The service was more than awesome. Also, the tableside juke boxes recall nothing less than a Happy Days version of the 50s.

Clam chowderStarters came out immediately, with the entrees hot on their heels. A side salad was made up of the standard greens, with plenty of dressing. Clam chowder was fine, and cottage cheese was too.

Shrimp basket

Rose opted for the butterfly shrimp with baked potato.  The six shrimp tasted good, but she said "there wasn't much to them."

BBQ Bacon Burger

JM got the BBQ burger, which had very little discernible BBQ. The onion straws seemed to be mostly breading, and didn't impart much onion flavor next to the hearty but presumably pre-patted patty and thick bun. A veritable side of lettuce appeared with a sad small tomato slice.

Monte Cristo

Nichole's knee-jerk reaction was to get the Monte Cristo. It was heavy, with thick slices of ham and turkey. Crinkle fries were floppy but fine.

The menu was huge, as it is wont to be at such places, and as we left we concluded that we'd come back if it was suggested, and that the desserts - particularly the soda fountain - are probably Gus's Diner's strong suit. We were too stuffed, though, so we'll have to leave that experience for another time or to another's teeth.

Edible Book Festival 2014 call for entries

Hey, out there in Madison-food land!

We know that many of our readers love to 1) eat and 2) read! So, UW Memorial Library and UW-Madison General Library System want to see how well you can combine the two.

Next Thursday is the Edible Book Festival at Memorial Library. They are looking for even more entries to make this year's festival the grandest of all. (See also: 2012 and 2013 reports for inspiration.)

Fahrenheit 451Here's what to do:

  1. Think of your favorite book or else a book that could make a clever edible design.
  2. Make sure that the project can be ready by April 10.
  3. Fill out the online entry form by April 7. (NOTE: the additional information)
  4. Get to work! Make that idea a reality using foods. Fruit, cake, pie, icing and vegetables have all made great materials in the past, but maybe you can use meats or crackers or anything you can eat.
  5. Deliver your entry to Memorial Library by 11 AM on the day of the judging (don't worry, they'll get you the details).
  6. Win a fabulous award in any of these five categories: Most Creative Use of Ingredients, Best Visual Presentation, Funniest/Punniest, Best Literary Mash-Up and, of course, People's Choice. Enjoy a delicious reception, too!

That's right! You have the right stuff and you can make your dreams come true. Or, at least, you can make a diorama about literature out of food.

Good luck!

Great Scott's Pizza

In a word: Decent, Horeb-able food.

The specs: #00893   
1213 Springdale St., Mount Horeb 53572
Details at Yelp, Great Scott's Pizza on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook, Twitter

JM and Nichole ate the honey mustard chicken pizza with a couple sodas.
The bill was $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Great Scott's Pizza a B (see our grading rubric).

Great Scott's, a little nook on the near side of Mount Horeb, provides good pizza and great service. It has an 80's look (think: random triangle logo), though it was founded in 2006. It's mostly delivery and carryout, but there are three booths along the window, which we availed ourselves of on a snowy February night.

They've got lots of specialty 'zas, plus salads, toasted subs, baked penne (cavatini, with chicken and Alfredo, or classic, with red sauce), chicken wings and chicken bites, and Chocolate Shoppe by the pint.

It being Mount Horeb, we thought something with America's favorite yellow condiment was apropos. So we went for the honey mustard chicken on a thin crust. The theme was thin, with wafers of Canadian bacon and narrw strips of chicken breast. The toppings went all the way to the edge, and there was lots of gooey cheese. Oddly enough this was the second consecutive pizza we'd had with honey as an ingredient. Here the mustard was very sweet and almost, but not quite, all honey-flavored.

Honey mustard chicken pizza

They really stand behind their product, with a satisfaction guarantee, a competitor trade-in deal, and an assertion on the menu that their large pizzas, at 16", are 30% bigger than chain stores' large. On a square inch basis, this is true if the large is 14". The math tickled our fancy. Plus it brought to Nichole's mind her complicated formulas for buying pizza for large groups (start at 50 sq. in. per adult and go from there). The other day when someone bought pizza for a group and actually thought to ask the folks at the pizza place how much to get, she was reminded that asking an expert is also a perfectly valid form of information seeking behavior.

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