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JT Whitney's

Update: JT Whitney's is closed.

In a word: Something like a Madison tradition.

The specs: #0284
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; Madison Originals profile ; reviews at Culinary Adventures in Madison, Yelp, WiSJ and Cap Times; official web site.

JM ate the steakhouse burger with a root beer.
John ate the chicken salad with a root beer.
Nichole ate the honey mustard chicken sandwich with a cup of barley soup.
Rose ate the brats and uglies.
We also had the s'mores.
The bill was $52, or $13/person, plus tip (thanks Bucky Book, Mom & Dad!)
JM and Nichole gave JT Whitney's a B (see our grading rubric).

Latest JT Whitney's news and reviews

JT Whitney's is an asset to the Westgate area. The place is a little shabby but relaxed and comfortable, with a wide, wood-paneled dining room that evokes a basement rumpus room. Though we were seated around a corner, we were not once forgotten about by our able and friendly server.

John and JM both liked the homemade root beer, a rare treat and a reason to forgive them for serving Pepsi. We passed on the beer offerings this time, but JT Whitney's does have a sampler of the brews they craft on the premises, which had been enjoyed by us on a prior trip.

Beef barley soupThe beef barley soup that started off Nichole's meal starred, surprisingly pleasantly, corned beef. (It's Nichole's opinion that if you're using corned beef for anything other than St. Pat's day boiled dinner, you better know what the heck you're doing.) Carrots and tender pearl barley filled out the soup.

Her honey-mustard chicken sandwich was just OK. Very sweet, it might have been better with the bacon that Nichole asked them to hold in a fit of delusion (who turns down bacon?!)

Bacon burgerJM's steakhouse burger (also with bacon) had multiple personalities. The bites with pickle were awesome. The bites without pickle were too plain. The cole slaw was not his favorite, being more like a bowl of mayo garnished with some cabbage. (Nichole admonished him for not appreciating celery seed, but that didn't sway his opinion.)

SaladJohn's salad was chock full of good ingredients, including avocado and chicken in addition to the usual shredded carrots, cukes, and tomatoes. Unfortunately, the spicy dressing was far too hot-hot-hot for him, so he had to pass on much of the salad. Fortunately between onion rings and s'mores it was not an unfilling meal.

Brats and ugliesRose's brats, although supposedly a special blend, seemed rather ordinary but good.  Perhaps, she thought, in Wisconsin we have too many choices and get picky.  The "uglies" or specialty potatoes were a great change from french fries or the garlic mashed which seemed to be a popular offering these days.

S'moresThe s'mores were just plain fun. The raw materials came in a wooden bowl that has frankly seen better days, but that added to the homey charm. This was the only way to enjoy s'mores in 'squito days like these were, too.

JT Whitney's may not be winning many best of Madison awards anytime soon (with beer competition from Capital and Ale Asylum and food rivalry from Great Dane), but it is hard to imagine Madison without it.

Comments

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One need never be forgiven for serving Pepsi.

Coke, on the other hand ...

The Fish Fry at JT Whitney's is, in my humble opinion, the best in Madison. :)

It seems like the quality of their food has gone down hill the past year or so. I'm not sure if they have new food suppliers or what, but something's different.

Badger Tracker, you just might be my polar opposite. :)

Nichole --

Nah, not your polar opposite ... our experiences at Abuelo's were nearly identical, as a starting point ...

I'm a purist who doesn't like a lot of crap in my mashed potatoes, but last time we were there, the uglies just sounded soooo good. Ordering them was a gamble that definitely paid off - JT Whitney's is the first restaurant where I have EVER finished my mashed potatoes. My husband (who probably left the longest comment ever, on the Claddagh review) practically had to roll me out of there with a dolly, but I just couldn't help myself.

I can definitely endorse their raspberry ribs and fried pickles. Love the smores too - and they give you enough sterno to set the marshmellows on fire (the best!).

I enjoyed their beer-battered fries. However, I won't be eating there again. They deduct money from their employees' paychecks for child support and don't forward it to the state:

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/pi/36147089.html

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