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Kipp's Down Home Cookin'

Update 5/23/09: Kipp's is closed.

In a word: Great chicken and specialties.

The specs: #0298
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews: mac & cheese at Isthmus, Yelp, WiSJ, 77 Square, Kipp's Down Home Cookin' on Urbanspoon and mention on TDPF; page at outside.in; official web site; MySpace page (including original song, Kipp's Anthem).

JM ate the Mississippi BBQ sandwich with mac & cheese and a root beer.
Kristine ate the southern fried chicken breast sandwich with a Coke.
Kyle ate the rib tips with sweet potato fries and mac & cheese and a Coke.
Nichole ate the Texas chicken chili with a cornbread muffin.
The bill was about $30, or $7.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Kipp's an A-; Kristine and Kyle gave Kipp's a B (see our grading rubric).

Latest Kipp's Down Home Cookin' news and reviews

Something about Kipp's food and atmosphere really fits well with cold winter nights. This little store across from Camp Randall has a tiny dining room, its walls covered with reviews and football souvenirs, most associated with injured Detroit Lion and former star Badger Brian Calhoun. The menu takes up the entire wall above the order-up window, and is chockablock with so many homestyle offerings that we were truly thankful to have some dining companions. It was also a good time to celebrate "Fringe Foods," Kyle's new feature at The Daily Page. (The first column's on menudo at Antojitos el Toril - check it out.)

Back at Kipp's, let's start with the ribtips, Kyle's choice. Look at them glisten:

Ribtips and sweet potato fries

The BBQ sauce was great (and for sale by the jar). There was a little more gristle than you might want, which rendered plasticware useless, but fingers worked fine. The sweet potato fries were a little soggy and heavy, but distinctly sweet potato-y.

JM and Kyle agreed that the mac and cheese was absolutely great. There was not a dense or dry bite in the dish. JM called it the best since Jada's, and though that wasn't that long ago, we're sure it'll hold the title for a long time.  It also reheats quite well, so get a lot.

Mac and cheese and chili

JM's sandwich was pretty damn huge. (That's an 8" plate it's sitting on in the photo.) Sadly, he found the BBQ chicken kind of bland. The bun would have been much better toasted.  The doughiness of the bun made him a little leery since he'd eaten a few too many calories.

Nichole couldn't decide between Texas chicken chili and San Carlos chicken stew, so she asked Kym behind the counter what she'd recommend. Kym said it depends on if you're a tomato person or a gravy person. Nichole opted for tomatoes and got the chili, though the stew has been raved about elsewhere on the internet. The chili turned out to be great. A rich sauce held big chunks of tender whitemeat chicken, kidney beans, tomatoes and pieces of celery that reminded Nichole of her mom's chili, only better. (Sorry, Mom.)

Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of Kristine's southern fried chicken breast sandwich, partly because it was the last item out of the kitchen in the same way that Iowa was the last state to report its electoral results in 2004. Despite that she found it pretty good, with a tasty bun. Some of the lettuce was past its prime and a little brown. The mashed potatoes came with the skin in, a homestyle touch.

We took it for granted that the chicken is good, which may or may not be OK to assume. But the last time we had the chicken, it was awesome, and given the sticktoitiveness of Kipp's we're pretty sure it's still a good bet. So we say to you people of Madison: eat and knock off the vandalism!


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That looks delicious.
And I'm a big fan of knowing about another area restaurant with sweet potato fries (we also enjoyed them at Grey's Tied House last night for the Packer game)!

Your food porn is getting porn-ier, Nichole. Keep it up!

Thanks for reminding me to stop into Kipp's again sometime. Yum.

The lunch special of two catfish fillets with two sides and a cornbread for $9 is an incredibly large and tasty portion. Good stuff. I agree about the mac and cheese. The mashed potatoes and gravy are good too.

According to "The Daily Page" they are closing TODAY!!! :-(

I guess I should have said the link was on The Daily Page, obviously the article was on 77square. HOWEVER it appears the owner will be starting a different restaurant in the near future.


Much closer to my house but let's hope that they bring back at least a few of their excellent dishes at the new location, especially many of the sides.

Doug's is still around for your soul food pleasure. Come on, Madison! Let's not lose another.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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