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Luckenbooth Restaurant

Further update, 12/8/2014: Luckenbooth is closed.
Update: Luckenbooth has moved to Black Earth.

In a word: Stands in an Arena by itself.

Luckenbooth RestaurantThe specs: #0338
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, 77 Square; official web site; Luckenbooth Cafe on Urbanspoon

JM ate the French toast, sausage biscuits and gravy with an apple juice.
Nichole ate 2 eggs easy with Lorne sausage, soda bread, and a coffee.
We split a piece of raspberry swirl pie.
The bill was $19, or $9.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Luckenbooth Restaurant an A-; Nichole gave Luckenbooth Restaurant an A (see our grading rubric).

Latest Luckenbooth news and reviews

If you're going west on Hwy 14 and you pass the fiberglass mouse outside Arena Cheese, you've missed Luckenbooth Restaurant, "the best little restaurant tucked behind a gas station." While it is a bit of a drive (at least $5 in gas), Luckenbooth would be a fine stop on a trip to American Players Theatre or the Shoe Box, for example.

Quiet, cozy, and full of good baking aromas, the restaurant is decorated in bright yellows and blues, with holiday lights on trellises, fresh flowers on the tables, and an art show in progress.

This sleepy Saturday morning seemed the perfect time to start with dessert. The pies on offer included caramel apple, butterscotch, coconut creme, and raspberry swirl. Our ever-indulgent server helped us decide by describing each in detail, which is how we ended up with this gorgeous slice of raspberry swirl.

Raspberry cream pie

The pie was as good as it looked. An extraordinarily delicate graham cracker crust held up a layer of not-too-sweet whipped, sugared cream cheese, and then a similar layer whipped with raspberries, all topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. It went well with decent cup of coffee (Nichole passed on the special "cappuccino," guessing by the flavors offered - flavors? - that it might be of the canned powder variety.)

Biscuits and gravyBreakfast arrived hot on the heels of pie.  JM's standard biscuits and gravy order was decent without including anything heroically biscuity. The flavor of the sausage base was merely adequate. But the French toast was the star of the show. The rich and deep flavor held its own against toppings (butter & syrup) and never surrendered.

2 eggs, choice of meat and toastWho knew 2 eggs, choice of meat and toast would be such a feast? When she saw the buttered and grilled soda bread, Nichole was thrilled that she'd managed to order raisin toast without even trying. The bread was biscuitlike as soda bread should be, but included caraway seeds and raisins, an interesting combination.

The Lorne sausage patties, made of seasoned pork and beef, had character as well. According to our server, the restaurant has the local Piggly Wiggly make their Lorne and Cumberland (link) sausages from traditional Scottish recipes. Which we can totally believe, since we heard at least one lilting Scots accent coming from the kitchen.

This kind of breakfast can be found within the confines of Madison proper and Dane County generally, but if you're close don't pass Luckenbooth by.


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My boyfriend lives near this restaurant. I love their pies. I think I have tried most of their flavors. They don't have all varieties on all days. They also have really good soup and homemade veggie burgers.

Please everyone try this place! I want them to stay in business. There aren't that many places to eat in the area and this one is really good!

Homemade veggie burgers and great pies?! Consider me sold!

Is this place relatively new? The summers I was at APT I could have sworn that was a Mexican restaurant tucked back there.

I think they said it's been open about a year. There used to be a Mexican place in that spot. That was before I was dating my boyfriend so I wasn't in that area often.

That would explain the "Bienvenidos" above the door!

The Luckenbooth's last day will by July 31. I will miss their pies. I had the best black raspberry pie on Saturday.

Arg! That's terrible news. JM purposely gave them the A- to avoid the Curse.

My other regular restaurant is Maharani. You will be eating there soon. Please don't curse that one, too! My favorite is the Navarattan Korma and cheese Naan. Maybe you should order something else....

Word has it Luckenbooth will be reopening in Mazo in October.

I just got an email about the rebirth of the Luckenbooth. You beat me to posting it. It's going to be even closer to my boyfriend's house. I guess I am not going to lose that 10 lbs I gained from eating pie...

More words have it, via email from Yvonne, that the Mazo plan didn't work out.

The continuing soap opera of my favorite place to eat pie. I just got this email:

Luckenbooth Has A New Home:

1204 Mills Street, Black Earth

The next two weeks will be spent painting and getting the cafe up and ready. If you are in the neighborhood please stop in and say hello. We don't have a definitive opening date yet, but we'll let you know know as soon as we know.

We are glad to hear Yvonne & Cliff have a new place, and hope this landlord will do the building maintenance that their last did not. Traveling the extra distance to Black Earth is worth it. I'm drooling already for Cliff's cooking. See you there soon.

They are open! My boyfriend, my dad and I ate there for breakfast on November 1. There were quite a few people there. The dining room as two parts. There are booths,tables and a couch. They even have their old dining room set there.

The food was excellent as always. Unfortunately, the sourdough starter was still growing so no sourdough bread. I will have to go back for dinner to get some pie.

BTW, I am not being paid by Luckenbooth. I just love the restaurant so I try to give it free publicity.

Hurrah! Good news all around.

Any chance you will do another review of it, since it is in a completely different location???

Curious if the pies are still excellent. :-)

The pie is still good!

Thanks. Any suggestions as to which one(s) are best???

I went there this summer along with several other co-workers from APT and all around our meals were enjoyed. The fried chicken is by far the best I've had in a while: incredibly moist without being greasy, with a crunchy yet lightly sweet coating. The sides were nothing to brag about, though they carried the nostalgia of better cafeteria experiences. The others enjoyed their burgers. We all left far too full for dessert and under $60 for five people, including tax and tip.

The ambiance is still quirky, though it it seems like their still trying to find their identity since relocating.

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