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Jovian Taphaus

Update 6/9/10: Jovian is closed.

In a word: A little great, a little OK.

The specs: #0521  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Madison Dining Online, Jovian Taphaus on UrbanspoonIsthmus, 77 Square, Yelp, EatDrinkMadison; official web site, Facebook.

JM ate the Porky's sandwich with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the Taphaus burger with 2 Washington Apples.
We split the Oreo ice cream dessert.
The bill was $35, or $17.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave Jovian Taphaus a B+; Nichole gave Jovian Taphaus an A- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Jovian Taphaus news and reviews

If Cloud 9 was a 9, Jovian Taphaus is more like a 90. We found a lot to like, but wouldn't necessarily say we felt at home enough to come back. It's kind of like a grand-aunt's parlor there. Everything seems lovely and proper but you just know there's a mummified cat or something else untoward going on behind the scenes. But that's neither here nor there.

Jovian Taphaus boasts a large selection of beers befitting its name, as well as nightly drink specials which Nichole did in fact take advantage of. The Washington Apples were tart and cidery, for example. JM's beverage of choice was out of commission due to some fountain line issues (lemonade that tastes like tonic water?), but to our server's credit, he preemptively acknowledged and fixed the problem tout suite.

Garden saladTaphaus burger

As for the eats, the salad was fine, if a tiny bit wilted. The burger per Kate's burger rating guide:

  • Bun: thin, buttered, and quickly sogged out (probably the rare beef's fault).
  • Meat: rare as ordered; very thick patty, lightly flame-broiled.
  • Bun/meat ratio: a more substantial bun might have been good.
  • Cheese: very good peppery Jack.
  • Misc.: fresh leaf lettuce, two slices of tomato, and aggressive purple onions. About a 7 of 10 overall.

Porky's sandwichJM's pulled BBQ pork sandwich with cranberry sauce sounded good in theory but JM was hoping for something more tangy and zingy, not as smoky, as what he got. The accompanying fries were exceedingly buttery, in a good way.

The winner of the night, cementing Jovian Taphaus as a decent dessert-and-drinks place, was the mint Oreo ice cream sandwich. It's probably worth a special trip, or at least an attempt at reconstruction at home: Oreos or Oreo-like simulacra had been chopped and molded into two hockey-puck sized layers coated with dark chocolate, between which mint ice cream nestled. Hard to eat quietly - some stabbing and clanking were necessary - but not bad at all.

Oreo ice cream cookie

Comments

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The post you had up earlier this morning was wayyyyyyyy different ;)

I ate here with friends about two months ago, around noon on a Saturday. We were not impressed. Bad service, they were out of about half the items my friend wanted to order, and two of our entrees were COLD when they finally arrived. My shrimp sandwich was alright, aside from the whole cold thing. We won't be going back.

Food was awesome, waitress was great. We were treated very rudely by the manager! They don't seem to know how gift certificates work just yet.

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