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J.J.'s Top of the Swamp

Update 7/3/13: is closed.

Update 4/20/12: J.J.'s Top of the Swamp is not closed; just for sale (see comment).

In a word: A decent burger to go with your pack of second-hand.

The specs: #0268
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Madison Fish Fry; J J's Top of The Swamp on Urbanspoon

Latest J.J.'s Top of the Swamp news and reviews

JM ate the bacon cheese burger with fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the French onion soup, BBQ sandwich with chips, and a lemonade.
We split an order of mozzarella sticks.
The bill was $25, or $12.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave J.J.'s Top of the Swamp a B; Nichole gave J.J.'s Top of the Swamp a C+ (see our grading rubric).

J.J.'s Top of the Swamp is, in fact, at the south end of the Cherokee Marsh.  We can only speculate why it's not J.J.'s Marsh Bottom.

JJ's Top of the Swamp

It's got a pretty high swivel-factor, and since it's outside the city of Madison, smoking is back in the picture. The kitschy touches were the organic kind that accumulate over time, not the TGI Friday's kind that exude from the walls of chain bars. There was a glowing Virgin Mary above the coat rack, though she wasn't plugged in at the time.

The eats were just slightly above-average bar food. JM enjoyed his meal more than Nichole did, due in no small part to the outstanding lemonade. Poured right from the mixer bottle (the kind designed to be cut by liquor), it was strong, sweet and sour, and refreshing.

French onion soupNichole's French onion soup arrived hot, topped with croutons. The solids in the beef broth had clumped up a bit (just to the eye, not the tongue) and she had to fish out the tough end of an onion, but the flavor was OK.

Mozzarella sticksThe mozzarella sticks disappeared within moments of their arrival. Good to know this bar standard was done well with hot, fresh oil.


Bacon burgerThough J.J.'s offers burgers like the "Hank" and the "Killer," JM opted for a standard: the bacon cheeseburger.  The bun:meat ratio skewed bready, and veggies would have cost extra; still, it was fine. The fries were coated and served hot, but weren't compelling enough to finish.

BBQ sandwichThe J.J.'s special BBQ sandwich had a bun that was toasted and buttered to perfection.  It even held up under a mountain of shredded pork. The meat itself was gloppy, very sweet, and sticky, but lacked a smoky body to ground it. The basket came with kettle chips.

As much as JM can't stand smoky, swively bars, this one was pretty good. Nichole probably wouldn't make a special trip.


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Need directions from Green Bay Wis. Comeing in for a birthday party on saturday.

Try the Friday Fish Fry- Baked or broiled, the fish is to die for, the batter almost has a hint of cinnamon to it, and the cheesy potatoes are (almost) better then my Mom's homemade ones-sorry Mom! The service is great and my boyfriend and I go there at least twice a month to savor the goodness!

Please update your information as J.J's Top of the Swamp is NOT closed!!!!! We are just trying to sell the business and will remain open until we do.

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