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Market Street Diner

In a word:  More Food Fight upscale diner food if you want it.

The specs: #0370
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Mad City Eats; official web site; Market Street Diner on Urbanspoon

JM ate the chicken pot pie with applesauce, a root beer, and a piece of cheesecake.
Nichole ate the orchard grilled cheese sandwich with applesauce, a cup of tomato basil soup, a slice of peanut butter pie a la mode, and a cup of decaf.
Nino ate the Swiss burger with fries, a root beer, a piece of cheesecake and a cup of decaf.
The bill was $70, or $23.33/person, plus tip.
JM, Nichole and Nino all gave Market Street Diner an A- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Market Street Diner news and reviews

So we figure Food Fight should know that its best restaurant isn't Fresco, which does some neat stuff but doesn't always get the best ingredients, and frequently isn't worth the added cost. It's not Bluephies, which has seen an increasing gap between self-perception and reality in the foofs-per-dollar ratio. Market Street, like Hubbard and Monty's, come closest to what Food Fight's best at, in our opinions. Maybe because they stick to their roots.

We'd both been to Market Street before, including a trip for Mother's Day after a detour at Beans 'n' Cream. That time, everything from the bacon and eggs, biscuits and gravy, and French toast to the mushroom Swiss burger and shepherd's pie was fresh and well-done.

Root beer and treacherous bendy strawOn this "official" visit, JM and Nino were eager to order the Sprecher root beer on tap, which comes with dangerously knotted bendy straws. Listen to the waitress when she tells you how to untie it or you'll drip copiously.

(As an aside, our waitress was bar none the most ebullient and opinionated server we think we've ever had. She made plenty of great recommendations and everything she tipped us off to seemed to be her favorite or her roommate's favorite. Her friendly approach fit the homey Market Street vibe very well.)

Swiss burgerNino said the Swiss burger was perfectly fine, and not ridiculously big. Though he asked for no condiments, preferring to apply A1 himself, his burger came with pickles. Luckily pickles come in more discrete units than ketchup and were easy to remove.

Tomato basil soupThe tomato basil soup was sweet and rich, with maybe a shot of sherry or the like to give it an edge. It went well with the grilled cheese.

Orchard grilled cheeseThe endearing orchard grilled cheddar sandwich seemed to grin back at us. While nice in theory, in practice the thin slices of cool Granny Smith apple overwhelmed the cheese and prevented the sandwich from achieving optimal gooeyness. The cheese wheat bread was superb, light and yet strong enough to support its cargo. The applesauce was better than our waitress's mom's homemade applesauce. If that's the case, we envy our waitress, because this stuff was good, tart and sweet with big tender chunks of apple.

Chicken pot pieJM's chicken pot pie was gone before we could get a second look at it. He opined that there were too many red potatoes in it, but the crust was flaky and the gravy was delicious. Unfortunately, it didn't quite hold together as well as he would have hoped. But tasty, it was.

Peanut butter pie and Chocolate ZanzibarYou just can't leave a Food Fight diner without dessert. The problem is deciding. Nichole and Nino made an average of 1.5 trips to the pie case before settling on their sweets. With more than two dozen pies, cakes and cookies on offer, plus eight kinds of Chocolate Shoppe ice cream, the permutations are staggering.

Nichole's choice, the peanut butter pie, was absolutely artery-cloggingly rich. She polished off her Zanzibar Chocolate scoop and took most of the pie home, where later she found that at room temperature it was even better than it had been fresh from the pie case. The peanut butter mousse was more tender and easier to taste when warm, and the whipped cream didn't suffer at all.

Watch out, cheesecake

Nino said the New York style cheesecake was good enough to eat even though he was full. Nothing wrong with that. JM concurred, though he was less full. Sated, our gallbladders screaming for mercy, we pushed back our chairs and headed out into the heady evening with the mighty roar of midget cars in the distance reminding us that summer, too, was at an end.

Comments

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Huh, never knew this place was from FoodFight. I live in Marshall, so this is a far easier drive than getting to Monte's when I'm in the mood for some quality diner nosh.

I've been here twice, both times I found what I ordered to be extremely bland. Maybe I just wasn't getting the right things...

Again, so sorry we completely and utterly ditched you! The BBQ sandwich is amazing. Too bad the new chef ditched the home-made potato chips. They were killer.

Went back recently to find that they have scaled down their menu and eliminated my favorite sandwich--the Sheldon. It's a vegetarian version of the Reuben that is no longer available because apparently they don't buy tofu anymore. I guess there are not enough people in the Sun Prairie area that enjoy non-meat entrees from time to time. Thank goodness I can still get the Sheldon at Monte's.

Market Street seems to focus more on "traditional" diner foods than either Hubbard or Monty's do - although there's a fair amount of overlap between the three menus. But expect fewer vegetarian and ethnic-inspired items and more traditional items, especially of the carnivorous persuasion, at Market. Although that's not to say there's nothing for vegetarians - just not as much. Carl's Cakes is on the premises - a nice bonus.

They have an AYCE brunch buffet on the weekends - not sure how long this has been going on. There are some traditional breakfast items (e.g., scrambled eggs, pancakes, French toast) along with 2 or 3 pasta choices, tea-size sandwiches, and a really nice assortment of bakery items (including small pieces of cake from Carl's!). All-in-all, we thought it was a nice buffet. I think it was $10.95 per person.

Buttermilk biscuits.... I usually hate them, here I ate the entire brick-sized (and weighted) thing. I'd return just for one of those with a coffee.

I've come to the conclusion that this place is pretty meh. It's a fine place to go for something simple like a burger or a reuben, and Carl's Cakes are wonderful, but the regular meal-type entree things are pretty blah. I could do a better job at home for a fraction of the cost. So long, Market Street...

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