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JM ate the pulled pork with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the cheeseburger with chips.
The bill was $25, or $12ish/person, plus tip.
JM gave Rookies a B+; Nichole gave Rookies a B- (see our grading rubric).
Rookies is a cross-promotional partner with the Shoe Box, as evidenced by the signage at both things. It lies just past Mazo, in what can only be described as Sconnie country. You probably know the sort of place: Jell-O shots after Badger wins, and an unironic PBR challenge.
Due to its connection with the Shoe Box, the sports memorabilia and paraphernalia matches that at Pooley's and the downtown Nitty for breadth and depth. Every inch of space is covered with signed photographs, kitsch, or televisions. (If there are fewer than 30 TVs in Rookies, we'd be surprised). We happened to go during that needlessly close Badger game against Rutgers, and got to see the whole OT from our table. Of course, the place was packed to the gills. We had to wait, which was fine since there was free serve-yourself popcorn and a squeeze bottle of melted serve-yourself butter. Delicious.
Once we did get a seat, we got to peruse a solid menu of choices: burgers and sandwiches, natch, but also: pizza, salads, Swedish meatballs on special, ribs, pasta. We settled for a burger for her and a pulled pork for him, especially since it came with a variety of sauces. The pork was good, though there was probably enough for two sandwiches and the middle had some cool spots (not dangerous, just a little unwell). As for the sauce array, there were two bottles of various BBQ-adjacent Mustard Girl (a fine mustard), a bottle of the runniest vinegariest sauce, and a nice French's implementation of Carolina BBQ - the latter two of which JM used freely.
Nichole's burger was about the epitome of doneness in rural burgers. The brioche bun was soft, the patty was a delightful medium to medium rare and the cheese was in just the right vein. The chips and fries that came with these were nothing too spectacular, as our notes barely mention them at all.
Sportsball completed, the crowd emptied out within 15 minutes, and the place was less than half full by the time we left. We'd stop by again for a burger or popcorn if it were on our way.