Outpost Bar and Grill

In a word: Grovers rejoice; a decent bar!

The specs: #01001   
227 S. Main St., Cottage Grove, 53527
Details at Yelp, Facebook

Latest Outpost Bar and Grill news and reviews

JM ate the Haystack Burger with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the Reuben.
The bill was $17, or $8.5/person, plus tip.
JM gave Outpost Bar and Grill an A-; Nichole gave Outpost Bar and Grill a B (see our grading rubric).

We've eaten in Cottage Grove a lot recently, just because of the way the old Isthmus and the alphabet conspired to make trips there frequent. This was both a blessing and a curse for Outpost Bar and Grill. Our general disposition toward Cottage Grove was waxing due to Olde Town Coffee Shop, but Outpost would now be held to a higher standard as well, because we could always go to Olde Town Coffee Shop (unless it was dinner time, which it was).

The good news is that Outpost is a pretty standard Sconnie bar with an nicer than average menu. Outpost is in an historic building that used to be a hotel and became the Outpost in 1997. 

Nichole got a Reuben on grilled rye that was amply buttered with a good ratio of kraut, dressing and corned beef. It was very good and none too dry. 

Reuben

JM had good luck with his Haystack Burger, which was cooked to a beautiful medium rare with a pink drips mixed in with the clear ones. The fried onion straws were also perfectly done, though a tangy barbecue sauce may have sealed the deal. The thick-cut fries were also enjoyed by all with ample table sauces.

Burger

If you are in a Cottage Grove rotation, Outpost seems like it would be picked to click especially given the uneven outcomes of Cottage Grove bars. Be sure to check out the pictures on the walls, too - we appreciated them, since for some reason we have become local history buffs.

First 1000: Closed Restaurants

In Memoriam

A Tribute to the Fallen

Backing Tracks from the Free Music Archive:
Pavane pour une infante défunte (Ravel) by Lee Rosevere
Curtains are Always Drawn by Kai Engel

Bonus book bit: Babcock Hall, & an event

Hey! Saturday afternoon, 5/7/2016, come to a reading from Madison Food: a History of Capital Cuisine - 2pm at Spring Green Community Library, 230 E. Monroe St., Spring Green. Now, a bonus post.

Lots of words didn't fit into Madison Food. Here are some more of our favorites that we didn't want to be missed. Our writeup of our A to Z visit to Babcock Hall Dairy Store was posted back in 2005.

No discussion of the UW-Agricultural program would be complete without mentioning Babcock Hall. Babcock Hall is the home of the University’s dairy plant. For a school as focused on life sciences as this one, it is not hard to imagine such a thing. Of course, what has has happened there since 1951 is amazing.

Let’s start with that name: Who was Babcock? Stephen Moulton Babcock was a chemist who came to the University in 1887. The market for wheat, Wisconsin's former cash crop, had cratered, and the state was looking to increase its milk and butter production as a needed boost to the economy. Pasteurization for milk was still a new idea in the mid-1880's, at which time there were few methods of preserving dairy products. So getting Wisconsin's fresh dairy products safely to the rest of the country looked like an impossible task. Babcock helped change all that.

His first discovery was that it was possible to determine the butterfat content of milk merely by dissolving it in sulfuric acid. (It is not recommended that one drink a glass of milk that has received this treatment.) The result of this process is that everything but the butterfat dissolves. Through a simple laboratory preparation, the fat content could be determined. As a result of this test, the quality of a batch of milk could be easily assessed, and therefore producers could be paid more fairly. Shipping would also be simplified, and most importantly, the standardized milk could be efficiently converted into longer-lasting dairy products such as butter and cheese.

Babcock Hall itself was built in the early 1950s as a modern update to UW’s dairy program. Part of this was a continuation of the school’s program of selling products to locals in an effort to test new methods of flavoring and production. While butter and milk are commonplace, the real secret of the University's dairy program is the ice cream. While consistent favorites dominate, there are a multitude of short-term and experimental flavors that tickle the taste buds while teaching a new generation how to craft quiescent dessert for both large and small scale operations. Babcock Hall dairy products are proudly sold at several Madison grocery stores and no summer trip to campus (whether for SOAR, the student orientation program, or just on a road trip) is complete with stopping in for a scoop.

The location itself was kept small in order to not compete with local dairy interests and has been updated and renovated multiple times over its 60 years. In 2001, John and Donna Hansen gave the university $350,000 to redecorate the space back into its classic "dairy bar" look.

Madison continues to be blessed with many fine types of frozen dessert. There’s everything from the decadent Chocolate Shoppe to the delicious creamy farm-fresh flavors of Sassy Cow, from the housemade gelato at Java Cat to the miles of smiles from Culver’s and Michael’s Custard. Yet no frozen treat joint quite says “Madison” like Babcock.

Source: Laursen, Bethany. “Standing in Line, Standing in a Legacy: An Environmental History of the Babcock Hall Dairy Store.” Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring 2004.

NEWS

Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More updates here, and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


SEARCH EATING IN MADISON A TO Z

BROWSE EATING IN MADISON A TO Z
OUR FAVORITES
LOCAL FOOD HEADLINES
More: All | Extra hot


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
{pardon our dust as we remove ads
from hijacked del.icio.us feeds}
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design