Smokin' Cantina

In a word: Somebody stop me!

The specs: #01055  
Details at Facebook

Latest Smokin' Cantina news and reviews

JM ate the pulled pork sandwich.
Nichole ate the tacos (one Korean BBQ, one pork).
The bill was $, or $/person, plus tip.
JM gave Smokin' Cantina a B+; Nichole gave Smokin' Cantina a B (see our grading rubric).

Smokin' Cantina

JM had to find this cart at one of the trio of Willy Street street festivals.  Parking was not convenient and rushing the food across town was even a little less so.  That said, dinner survived the flight just fine and was tasty, if a little messy for street food.  Nichole's tacos were standard but good for the degree in which she found them.  JM's pulled pork was also standard, but the add-on mustard BBQ sauce was excellent.  We'd like to find them somewheres a little more convenient to our mouths.  If you can, you should.

Smitty's Study Pub

View from 8th floor of FlunoIn a word: Madison's lost restaurant.

The specs: #01054  
601 University Ave., 53715
Details at Yelp, official web site

Latest Smitty's Study Pub news and reviews

JM ate the grilled chicken sandwich with a soup and a soda.
Nichole ate the orzo with a salad and a soda.
We split the charcuterie & cheese plate (half off for Happy Hour).
The bill was $36.50, or $18ish/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole both gave Smitty's Study Pub an A- (see our grading rubric).

We'd like to say Smitty's Study Pub is one of Madison's gems, or even one of Madison's hidden gems, instead of what it is now: A mythic gem that no one has heard of.

Smitty's is in the Fluno Center, one of UW's most nondescript buildings. When you walk in, it becomes evident that this is some sort of hotel deal (for visiting guests of the UW, you see) but there are signs (out front, in the lobby, on the restaurant week website) that Smitty's exists on the top floor. You should follow these signs.

Smitty's has one of the best views in Madison. You can, from its windows, see both lakes, without even switching seats.  While the urban jungle of Madison is the view's most common feature, there's even some fun people watching avails. And as for the food - in short, don't expect a 'conference center' food experience.

Charcuterie and cheese

For example, we started with a charcuterie plate that was ample as it was delicious. Prosciutto, cheese curds, goat cheese, craisins, pita, nuts, liver pate and crackers rounded what could have been a full meal on its own.  It was nicely thought through, a decidedly Sconnie board with an out-of-towner sensibility. It really worked.

SaladBeer cheese soup

Nichole followed that with a salad and orzo.  Both were light and fresh and perfect for a summer evening. The orzo was fully loaded with a light, creamy sauce, peppers, peas and tomatoes. And the tomatoes on the salad were pretty amazing too! JM had a soup starter of beer cheese soup that was tasty in a stick-to-the-ribs way. It would perfect to sup over a snow-covered Madison illuminated by streetlights.  His chicken sandwich was a nice chicken breast not processed other than being grilled and wallpapered with cheese.  The dressing was a bit odd as it didn't really fit the sandwich, but would have been perfect for fries.

OrzoChicken sandwich

It's very quiet up there, and we're sure people would love you to find this hidden chapel of food on the top of the Fluno. Don't leave this one to the MBAs and out-of-town profs, just put on a nice shirt and go eat some good food.

NEWS

Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More about it here. Read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook, or read an excerpt on Carson Gulley and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


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