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Coliseum Bar

In a word: Workplace cafeteria without the work.

The specs: #0093
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Ultimate Madison Bar Tour, 77 Square, Ruppert Food Blog; official web site, Coliseum Bar on Urbanspoon

JM ate the cod sammy.
Nichole ate the spaghetti and meatballs and a beer.
We split an order of wings.
The bill was $30, or $15/person, plus tip (but we got 6 meals out of it).
JM gave Coliseum Bar a B-; Nichole gave Coliseum Bar a C (see our grading rubric).

Latest Coliseum Bar news and reviews

Coliseum Bar is the only restaurant for blocks, the nearest neighborhood being the houses nestled between Olin Park and Park St. It probably does a brisk business with patrons of the nearby Alliant Energy Center.

We were hoping for a more diverse menu than at a couple eariler bar experiences (JM envies the easy job of the sous chef at Brothers: "I open the freezer bags for the chef de cuisine") and in that were not disappointed. The menu has numerous sandwiches and some entrees.

The barkeep took our order and we sat down in the empty dining room. Nichole made her trip to the minimal salad bar, which provided a passable side salad but was not well-stocked enough to yield an entree. We waited a while for our wings, which were fried drummies plus BBQ sauce (BW3-style slathered wings have spoiled us) and arrived moments before our entrees.

JM's cod sammy came with an unexpected slice of tomato and leaf lettuce, yet the tartar was on the side. What seemed like a pound of fries garnished the plate. The sandwich was overall OK but unremarkable.  Bonus points for being consumable in under 5 minutes.

Nichole ate the cafeteria-grade spaghetti and meatballs for - we kid you not - her next three lunches. (JM squeezed a lunch out of the leftover wings and fries too.) It was served on a huge platter, accompanied by a mountain of steamed vegetables. The veggies would have been the high point of the meal except that they'd been dressed with imitation butter flavored topping. Sacrilege.

We can't testify to the bar's tavernly qualities, but if you're looking for a place with massive portions and aren't cursed with a picky palate, it's fine.


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We went to the Coliseum Bar last night. Had the Mckee Haystack Burger and Southern Comfort Marinated Steak Skewers. Loved Them!!! Troy was a great bartnder.

I didn't see spaghetti on the menu! Are you sure you were at the Coliseum on Olin?

Wings are decent--they come with a generous portion of blue cheese. Reuben is decent, but why is the dressing on the side and not on the sammie? Also, could use better rye bread.

My biggest complaint is the service. Sometimes it is good, other times not. I was there last Sunday to watch the Packer's game and ordered a beer and chili. The beer came and was far gone before the chili even showed up (how long does it take to ladle a bowl of chili?). Amazingly, when the bartender finally dropped off my chili, he didn't ask if I wanted another beer, which I did. I played a game to see how long it would take to have someone notice that my glass was empty. The answer was, forever. I finally had to flag down someone for another beer.

Also, I ordered the chili with onions and it came with cheese. I told the bartender about this problem and all he did was bring a container of onions. He should have taken the chili back and brought out what I ordered.

But, I probably would have been drunk by then!

You guys need to do a new review! We remodeled and changed up the menu two years ago!

I can vouch for the fact that the new Coliseum bar is indeed better than the old one. The food and the decor have both improved considerably. Anyone else have new news to report on Coliseum Bar?

The Coliseum is a good place to get a couple of drinks and watch the Badgers or Packers. It is not a good place to eat. Food is pretty bad, except for the Reuben. Chili is not chili--it is tomato juice with some ground been in it. Nachos are REALLY salty, and I like salty food--too much for me. Wings were really sour. Salads, although large, are rather pedestrian. Fries are VERY greasy.

Stick with the sports and drinks.

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