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Mother Fool's Coffeehouse

Mother Fool'sIn a word: Like a Madison coffee shop, only more so.

The specs: #0391
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp; official web site; Twitter soup feed; Mother Fool's Coffee House on Urbanspoon

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JM ate a muffin and a chocolate chip cookie.
Nichole ate the mushroom barley soup, a 6-grain roll, a cappuccino, an iced coffee and a chocolate truffle. (She was on a roll.)
The bill was $14, or $7/person.
JM gave Mother Fool's Coffeehouse a B; Nichole gave Mother Fool's Coffeehouse an A (see our grading rubric).

Mother Fool's is a comfortable Willy Street institution with deep roots in the neighborhood and the community. Whether you're there to hear an area musician or just sit and knit with friends, Mother Fool's captures and distills the vibe of the 'hood.

While there wasn't much there to tempt JM's tastes, Nichole wasn't opposed to a sample of the vegan mushroom barley soup. It was thick, slightly peppery, and full of carrots, celery, and big pieces of portobello and button mushrooms. It didn't quite have the satisfying umami flavor that folks who eat animals come to expect. The accompanying 6-grain roll tasted... well, healthy is the best euphemism, and that's coming from Nichole, who actually kind of likes Ryvita for the taste. The roll was nutty, sturdy, and lightly sweet, and probably packed a day's worth of fiber.


Of the other bakery items, which are brought in (locally?) from Eastside Ovens in Milwaukee, JM figured the chocolate chip cookie was good enough. It was light yellow, more of a sugar cookie than the traditional, chewy chocolate chip vehicle, and was crunchy with big crystals of sugar to add texture. The muffin, like the roll, was hefty and sort of blah. It was not much in terms of being nutty or sweet, but it was good and filling nonetheless.

As for the coffee, you won't find a better cappuccino, and you don't even have to ask for tight foam. Likewise the cold-pressed iced coffee really is the best in the land, and lives up to the hype you may have seen on flyers around campus and downtown. Dessert was a green tea truffle from Terrasource, Josie Pradella's fabulous who-can-tell-they're-vegan chocolates (further evidence of Madison's rich chocolatier scene).

All this adds up to a great coffee house experience for those who like the coffee house experience. For those who don't, it comes just a little shy of the ideal.


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Funny you mention chocolates...

I had a skim latte here once. I have to say it was probably the best one I've had. I have to admit I've drank somewhere less than 30 in my life, but it was still delicious.

Great neighborhood cafe. Not exactly an eatery but they have some soup and bread to tide you over, as illustrated above. Definitely worth coming to for studying and some great coffee.

I don't know from coffee, but TerraSource .... try the sea berry (a local oddball fruit grown at Carandale Farm in Oregon). It is O.M.G. amazing!

They make a fabulous chai too!

"In a word: Like a Madison coffee shop, only more so."

This perfectly captures the essence of Mother Fools and had me laughing for a full minute. I keep cracking up. I really love Mother Fools though. Its less than a block from where I live and I love walking past just to see what new mural/graffiti they have on the side. Last one was a cartoon Scott Walker being strangled by a train-snake-type-thing. Awesome.

Calvin, thanks for your recent comments, and welcome! In case you haven't seen it yet, the Madison Street Art blog catches a lot of good stuff around town, including those murals.

I have always thought to myself, as I drive by this place "When the revolution begins, it will probably begin with a discussion in that coffee shop."

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