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Update 6/2/09: Lovshack is closed. The name on the building permit in the window is Fat Sandwich LLC.

Yo mamaIn a word: If two need a crated 'zone on the side of State Street, then drop 15 bucks at the Lovshack.

The specs: #0337
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Badger Herald, Daily Cardinal, Shiv/Shill/Shine, Cap Times, QSC; World's Biggest Calzone video on YouTube; photos at Pixelated Imagination; official web site.

JM ate the Backdoor BBQ with cheese sauce and a fountain drink.
Nichole ate the Cajun Zon on firewater dough with bleu cheese sauce and a fountain drink.
The bill was $14, or $7/person.
JM gave Lovshack a B-; Nichole gave Lovshack a B (see our grading rubric).

Latest Lovshack news and reviews

Walking into Lovshack is like walking into a frat guy's apartment, right down to the PJ-clad coed in the kitchen. All that's missing is the Blatz sign and the buddy who "spilled his beer" down the front of his pants. Full of single-entendre jokes, Lovshack joins Hooters and Bennett's Meadowood as a place JM was uncomfortable being seen. Not that anyone came in. At least D.P. Dough had coasties.

One napkin, two shipping cartons.The dining area was actually pretty clean. Our calzones came out in absurdly wasteful, Amazon.com-sized boxes, a fact not lost on other observant bloggers.

CalzoneJM's Backdoor BBQ consisted of bacon, ground beef, onions, barbecue sauce, and cheddar that resembled nothing so much as a pita sandwich. His side of nacho cheez was cold (as in, straight from the fridge) which was kind of nasty. The meat was cafeteria grade and he thought the crust was not that good.

CalzoneNichole's Cajun Zon of chicken, crawfish, onion, jalapeños, and ricotta actually exceeded her expectations. Opening the packing crate brought forth a nice aroma. The calzone itself was generously topped and held together well. It appears that what makes "firewater" dough special is a dusting of garlic, chili powder, and black pepper, the texture of which can best be compared to floor sweepings in the very best sense of the term. It did add some flavor to a crust that Nichole found superior to DP Dough's.

On a subsequent visit, Nichole tried the "Oh God Yes Yes!" - a chocolate chip calzone - on firewater dough, a culinary experiment that bears no repeating. (She was a titch lightheaded after donating blood, and somehow thought this 'zone would work like Mexican hot chocolate - or something.) It is worth noting that the counter staff-cum-cook was very tolerant of this weirdness.

Coke and Pepsi

$1 mini root beer floatYou know what, though? Lovshack has some things going for it, mostly in the beverage department. Seventy-five cents for bottomless soda can be a plus. Add a 25¢ side of ice cream (a real, tiny scoop of decent vanilla) and you have an adorable $1 root beer float, plus all the soda you can stomach from a 32-ounce styrofoam cup.

Lovshack is the only place we've been with both Coke and Pepsi fountains, and JM, a veteran syr'ple jerk, was glad he could finally mix Mountain Dew and Sprite. They even provide PG-13 named recipes:

Soda mixology

Nichole's wrung way too much fun out of the menu. Cooking Lovshack style with the help of supercook.com, Wikipedia and Gourmet Magazine elicited the following combination ideas:

  • Burning Sensation: sausage, ricotta and jalapeños
  • Sieben Minuten in Himmel und Erde: apples, potatoes, sausage
  • Any Room for Me in Those Tagines?: chicken, olives, apples, walnuts
  • WSHT in Cincinnati: beef, cinnamon, beans, cheddar, onions on firewater dough
  • Schoolgirl By Day and Stripper By Night: breaded chicken, pineapple, green pepper
  • The Brazilian: black beans, bacon, burger, ham, sausage on firewater dough
  • Lips Like Sugar: chocolate chips and ricotta (shown below)

Chocolate chip and ricotta calzone

Finally, Lovshack is slightly cheaper (if less filling) than DP Dough. While it's not a place to take the kiddies on Thursday night after choir practice, or to take visiting UW parents, there probably is something to be said for slumming it every once in a while with thoroughly juvenile, yet strangely accessible cuisine.  But you may feel you need a shower when you're done.


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So waitaminnit...are those your ideas at the end, or theirs?

My favorite thing about the absurdly wasteful boxes is that they give you those monsters, then charge you 75 cents for a cup for water. I didn't care about the frat-guy dimension, and the food was okay, but that alone will keep me from going back there again.

Them's ours. For better or worse.

Had high hopes for this place, but was disappointed. I went last winter -- can't even remember what I ordered now, but it was kind of bland, seemed under-filled, and the dough/crust seemed kind of overdone. I won't be back...just nothing all that great here for me. I'd rather spend my stuffed-dough money at Teddywedgers.

Ditto everything that Michael said, especially the comment about the underfilled calzone. And I don't expect ANY crunch when I have a calzone but at the Lovshack the crunch was in every bite of the overcooked, dry pouch.

What a bunch of whining pussies, I thought Madison was hip. Loved the cool casual atmosphere and was sure not to worry about kids and family, this is a place for us.

The food was good and the price was fair. The goof's who work there remind me of ........oh college kid's like that goof down the hall or in the apartment upstairs.

Hey if Mommy and Daddy gave me a credit card I'd be a spoiled little fuck too.


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