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Brothers Three

In a word: Dare we say the best burger in Madison?

The specs: #0136
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Madison Packard, Daily Dadio, Madison Fish Fry; Brothers Three Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Latest Brothers Three news and reviews at del.icio.us

Latest Brothers Three news and reviews

JM ate the cod dinner with a lemonade.
Nichole ate a cheeseburger and french fries with a Coke.
The bill was $16, or $8/person, plus tip.
JM gave Brothers Three a B+; Nichole gave Brothers Three an A- (see our grading rubric).

This new addition to the Eats list is no newcomer to the Madison scene. Housed in a former gas station on Fair Oaks, Brothers Three seems well-established, with lots of regulars, but felt warmer than the average neighborhood bar to us outsiders. Say what you will, but pre-smoking ban, it might not have been so comfortable or even downright oppressive.

For what it's worth, the jukebox is almost exclusively country, but when we went folks were watching WIAA Division I football on the two TVs above the bar.

Don't tell the crowds, but Nichole's pretty sure Brothers Three serves the best cheeseburger in Madison. She got hers with fried onions and tomato.

  • Bun: butter-toasted white, perfect size and density
  • Meat: ragged-edged, generous patty, medium rare & very flavorful
  • Cheese: cheddar, melted all the way through and sharp flavor still discernible
  • Extras: a perfect slice of fried *red* onion that didn't add too much grease, and a ripe, juicy tomato slice. Ketchup and two kinds of mustard were available on the table. A 9 out of 10.

JM's fish fry was not at the top of his fish fry list, but it was okay. The fish lacked subtlety and the tartar sauce was just about useless (it tasted like week-old sour-cream-and-chives potato chip oil). The fries were good, but not enough to dampen JM's jealousy of Nichole's good burger.

Brothers Three also serves breakfast. If raisin toast is on the menu, this place will be the first addition to Nichole's faves list that also features video poker (er, entertainment machines).


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If you think the cheeseburger is good try the bacon cheeseburger, they also have bluegill on the menu at times. The old fashiond's are great too.

This is apparently a known haunt for Department of Corrections employees on a leisurely lunch away from McDonald's and Taco Bell. I made my first trip under those auspices, and it was quite good.

The bacon cheeseburger was dizzyingly tall once the lettuce, fried onion, two slices of tomato, pickles, cheese, and three strips of bacon were added on. It was actually too tall to eat without making a hideous mess of myself, and even trying to be polite I still managed to burn through multiple napkins.

That said, it was delicious. The reuben looked gruesomely tasty, too. And zero swivel factor in the place.

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