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Lakeside St. Coffee House

Lakeside St. Coffee HouseIn a word: For coffee shop food, there are few places better.

The specs: #0771  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; official web site, Lakeside Street Coffee House on Urbanspoon

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Brooke ate the spicy peanut tofu sandwich special with a pumpkin steamer.
JM ate the turkey-bacon-brick sandwich with a Sprecher root beer.
Nichole ate the Reuben.
The bill was about $12/person, plus tip.
JM gave Lakeside St. Coffee House a B+; Nichole gave Lakeside St. Coffee House an A- (see our grading rubric).

3 typesSix weeks after we went to Washington Hotel Coffee Room, their name (but not ownership or theme) changed, so we went back. It turns out that the Washington Hotel in Door County, where the coffee house used to get its bakery, is being sold. According to the staff we asked, it was a good time for a change that would help anchor them to the neighborhood. They've chosen many excellent local suppliers, too - Sassy Cow, Clasen's, Madison Sourdough, Porchlight Products, True Coffee, and YumButter among them.

Spicy peanut tofu sandwichBrooke's sandwich special was a spread of mashed firm tofu, YumButter Asian Jazz, and shredded vegetables. She noted that the tofu and PB combo had a good texture - the tofu cut the stickiness of the peanut butter and added volume. The sesame seeds on the crust of Clasen's multigrain bread went well with the tofu.

Turkey bacon brickJM's turkey-bacon-brick cheese sammie on Madison Sourdough white bread was very filling and fulfilling, but he still feels it's a little too pricey. The sandwich was well-assembled, though, and made a good cold sandwich choice for when he wouldn't want that grilled cheese from last time.

ReubenThe Reuben here is unconventional but pretty great, mostly because of the Porchlight slaw* in lieu of kraut. They didn't have rye bread, so multigrain stood in. The corned beef slices were thin, homgeneous and somewhat rubbery, but the Swiss cheese and Russian dressing were good.

The thing about the Porchlight slaw is that it includes not just vinegared red cabbage and carrots, but whole cloves of pickled garlic that were not only crunchy and mild but somehow kept their garlic integrity. There were three cloves on the sandwich, and Nichole offered them to her companions, but lucky for her they demurred.

The chips are standard; the green salad is a better value. It's fresh and lightly dressed, with real flaked Parmesan. The more intensely flavored sandwiches might overpower a salad, however.

We didn't get much in the way of beverages this time, though Brooke enjoyed a pumpkin steamer that was "like a big marshmallow." JM appreciated the many non-coffee options.

We'll be back. Again.

*Correction: the "slaw" described was actually Porchlight's curtido, hence all the flavor.

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LOVE the spicy peanut tofu sandwich! It really is a great coffee house... Thanks for the reminder!

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