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Caffe 608

In a word: More than just Junior Mints.

The specs: #0286
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; TDPF commentary; review by Linda Falkenstein; official web site.

Latest Caffe 608 news and reviews

Chris ate the turkey and bacon sandwich and a strawberry yogurt parfait.
JM ate the ham sandwich with a lemonade.
Natalie ate the roast vegetable panino.
Nichole ate the chicken rice soup.
We split a small bag of popcorn.
The bill was about $45, or $11.25/person.
We all gave Caffe 608 a B+ (see our grading rubric).

OK.  This is going to get confusing, so stay with us.  We went to Sundance Cinemas Madison in an effort to review its dining options.  The Daily Page only listed Bar Bistro 608 and then gave the hours for both the bistro and the caffe.  This led us to believe that Isthmus considered both of these restaurants really the same and, since we were meeting friends for lunch, we ate at Caffe 608 as a part of the Bar Bistro 608/Caffe 608 experience that Isthmus had listed.  Since that time, the Daily Page has split the Caffe into its own entry, meaning:

  1. during the next make-up we will have to go back to Bar Bistro 608,
  2. this review will be limited in scope to Caffe 608, and
  3. Caffe 608's review is alphabetized where Bar Bistro 608's review would be (i.e. before and not after Brasserie V). 

If you can follow all of that, you'll probably understand why we're tearing our hair out over here.  And don't get us started on Con Safos.

Grilled vegetable paninoAnyway. Back to the food.

The grilled vegetable panino that Natalie chose was the star of the table. It had a generous portion of veggies, with real, ripe tomatoes - a true rarity in the restaurant sandwich world. The cheese that glued the whole thing together was pretty bland, however. The presentation, with an orange half, grapes, pickle and all, was much appreciated.

Turkey bacon sandwichChris' turkey bacon sandwich and strawberry yogurt parfait came from the readymade deli case at the head of the caffe counter. They hadn't suffered from waiting, as far as he could tell.

The sandwich was average for its kind. But the parfait was basically a tasty bucket of strawberries with some yogurt and granola layered in. It might have been able to stand alone as a lunch, too. Chris did wonder why the ostensible ad-freedom of Sundance 608 didn't extend to the caffe's plastic cups, which were emblazoned with "Coca-Cola" on all sides.

Ham and bacon sandwichJM thought the sandwich filling he got would have been a good deal at $6, but he's not sure what to call it at $8. From what we could gather on the web site for Harris Natural Meat & Fiber (in or around Markesan, WI, as far as we could tell) the ham just might have come from some fairly local, tasty pigs.

Again with the chips, too - not being a fan, he got by with more Miss Vicky's. On the other hand, the grapes were a really nice touch (even if they went for 25¢ each, according to Chris' accounting). The lemonade over crushed ice was just plain refreshing, and leaned pleasantly to the sour side.

Chicken rice soupThe chicken and wild rice soup was another beautifully presented plate that, this time, made the $6 price tag worth it. The soup was flanked by 4 big pieces of crunchy toast, plus butter, Saltines, another slice of red ripe tomato, half an orange, and the ubiquitous grapes. The soup was very rich and creamy, with lots of white meat chicken (stringy, not chunky - very posh) and somewhat less rice than usual. It's a soup Nichole would gladly order again. The Peet's coffee, however, was not all that.

After a quick stop in the gift shop to visit JM's game, Cineplexity, we headed back into the bright sunlight, squinting as if we'd just seen a film, indistinguishable from the other 608 patrons.    


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Did Chris happen to notice that "plastic" cup is not plastic at all. It is biodegradable. Made from PLA. Sundance is a green operation and composts on a grand scale. Poly lactate cups distributed by Coke are an important part of this operation. Your straw & sandwich box were compostable too! We learn something new everyday!

If you need to, say, get to a movie on time, do not try to get a quick bite at the rooftop terrace. The service is sloooooow.

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