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Copper Top Restaurant

In a word: Lives up to its expectations, whatever they may be.

The specs: #0097
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Cap Times, 77Square; Copper Top Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Between us, we tried eight lunch dishes. Details below.
The bill was about $74 for 10 diners.
Nichole and JM gave Copper Top an A-; Sams gave it a B+; JoEllen, SM, and Steve gave it a B; Chuck gave it a B-; (yet another) John and Kelly gave it a C+ and Lorraine gave it a C. The average was a B- (see our grading rubric).

Copper Top from Whitney Way under the beltline

We have it on good authority that the same family runs American Family Table, Bavaria Family Restaurant, Copper Top, and Prime Table. If you're looking for good, honest, fresh and cheap food, here it is, refreshingly un-Madisonified.

Immediate seating. Don't let all the cars fool you

JM's honey dijon chicken sandwich excelled. The great bacon and tender chicken helped. It came with the right number of fries. The tomato soup was just OK. The service was good and prompt given the size of the horde we were with.

Nichole got a small Greek salad but wants to come back for breakfast to try the raisin toast. The big menu, real plants, and weird winged chairs were Copper Top's distinctive qualities. Had she weighted her grade for geography, she would have given Copper Top a B+. But this part of town could use more inexpensive, family-style restaurants, so she's happy to recommend it.

Sams wrote of his supreme chicken sandwich and chicken dumpling soup, "mmmm...good. Nothing spectacular on any level, but good. Actually, a nice, decent spot that I will likely return to in future."

JoEllen got gyros and agreed to an upcharge for salad instead of fries. She wrote that it was "very good, served with plenty of cucumber sauce. French fries were very good as well. Pita tasted very fresh. Salad was very fresh with a good mixture of greens. I really like that they bring the special board right to the table."

SM enjoyed his Greek salad as well, noting the good presentation, extra dressing, and superior pita bread.

Steve got the chicken dumpling soup, calling it OK but nothing to write home about. The patty melt was better than most, with really good fries. Everything was fresh and hot, except the Mountain Dew, which was yummy and refreshing.

Chuck, who knows from good liver, said this baby beef liver was perfect (for liver). He praised the fries as well, though wished there were more. He noted that although the wait for our food was commendably short, the waiter seemed flustered by the size of our group. Overall, "Not too exciting, though."

John, too, praised the service but wrote this was the "first time I've ever had a Greek salad with carrots in it!" The Italian dressing was a (less than pleasant) surprise, too.

Kelly thought her turkey club was more like a BLT due to the sparseness of the  turkey. The chicken dumpling soup was good, while the diet Pepsi tasted a little "off" but was tolerable.

Lorraine, despite giving the least enthusiastic grade, had mostly good comments as well. The noodles in the mostaccioli were too mushy and the romaine in the salad overly wet. On the other hand, the food was hot, the pasta sauce had a good flavor, the waiter was very nice, and the toast on the side was a nice touch.

We all left full and relatively happy, except that all save one of us were returning to the office (replete with Lunch Coma). But all good things come to an end, so to was JM's 28th year.  He was glad to share the experience with his office friends and his wife and thanks them for their tolerance.   

Comments

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This place is sort of a guilty pleasure (in that I'd never admit to my foodie friends that I like going here once in awhile!). It's so non-Madison - it reminds of the small-town family restaurants I went to as a kid, complete with the revolving pie case near the front door.

The only thing we've ever had here are the Friday night fish fries, which although aren't in the same league as Quivey's, are pretty good - and where else could you get all-you-can-eat fish, a salad or soup, a side of potatoes, a vegetable, a glass of wine, and a bowl of ice cream for 10 bucks???

Definitely a place worth trying out, especially if you are looking for a place that has some community feeling in the big city. What a lot of people don't know about this place to is that the dinner is also amazing and the place is a lot less crowded at night.

P.S. You can find coupons for here in the bucky book that makes your meal go from very reasonably priced to possibly even cheap.

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