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Pug Mahone's

Update: Pug Mahone's is closed.

In a word: Easy to like, hard to get to.

The specs: #0499  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Isthmus, Yelp, listing at Eat Drink Madison.

JM ate a chicken sandwich and a lemonade.
Kyle ate the Reuben and two Hopaliciouses.
Nichole ate the chili dog and a Winter Skal.
We split some fries (thanks, Kyle!).
The bill was about $34, or $11.33/person, plus tip.
JM and Kyle gave Pug Mahone's a B+; Nichole gave Pug Mahone's a B (see our grading rubric).

Latest Pug Mahone's news and reviews

Pug Mahone'sPug Mahone's is pretty much your standard Wisconsin corner bar. The swivel factor was significant but the bartender was nice. The atmosphere was kind of goofy, but the same as what Kyle experienced on a previous visit. Two pool tables occupied most of the main floor.

We split some fries, which might have had some kind of fennel or caraway seed on them, but we weren't sure. Otherwise they were unimpressive, and would have been better slathered in cheese or chili or both.

Kyle tried the Reuben, which also lays claim to the "best Rueben in town" title. (We wondered what bar doesn't.) If only the cheese had been even a little better example of Swiss it would have earned an A, and was in fact the best Reuben he'd had in his admittedly brief Reuben-eating career. The marble rye held up all right to what was a very gooey sandwich. The beef was good quality and the meat-to-kraut-to-dressing ratio was only slightly tilted to the dressing end.

The chili part of the dog was very beefy, with chunks of non-ground meat, maybe something brisket-y, in a mild tomato sauce. Chili is available every day, and on single-digit nights we bet it moves. The hot dog itself was huge. It's the kind of sandwich you don't set down once you've picked it up.

JM's chicken sandwich was warm and tasty, and beyond that he's afraid he doesn't remember much about it. The combination of good conversation and hyper-local web-hybrid interactive-style TV ads that did everything but invite us by name to enjoy Pug Mahone's signature drink was a wee bit distracting.

Pug Mahone's is little and has a lot of attitude -- not unlike a pug.


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The "best Reuben so far" title didn't even last two weeks. That said, Pug Mahone's still makes a pretty solid Reuben.

And I'd just like to say, I took a lot of heat from a small handful of grumpy yahoos for writing up Pug Mahone's without having tried any of their "real" food. But A) I love that piece, and B) kiss my apps.

I don't get the "hard to get to" part. It's in the headline, but nothing in the body of the piece.

The lack of a parking lot in near east down on the campus side = lots of walking.

Pugs didn't renew their liquor license and is now closed. It sort of makes me happy.

The comments to this entry are closed.


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