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RP Adler's

In a word: Really, Pretty Adlerquate.

The specs: #0561 
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, Madison Fish Fry, Wisconsin Fish Fry Reviews, Ultimate Madison Bar Tour, collected at del.icio.us; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site, Facebook, Adler's Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon

Latest RP Adler's news and reviews

JM ate the Philly cheesesteak with fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the smoked pork loin sandwich with a cup of tomato bisque.
We split a caramel apple delight.
The bill was $26, or $13/person, plus tip.
JM gave RP Adler's an A-; Nichole gave RP Adler's a B (see our grading rubric).

RP Adler's is in a nondescript building just outside the Beltline near the west side Menard's, which makes for a semi-generic ticky-tacky suburban sprawlish aesthetic. While it might seem light on character, we found at this midweek lunch they don't lack for flavor. Their menu is similar to most in the family neighborhood bar/restaurant mode. You'll find fish fry, chicken Caesar salad, and even a portabella mushroom sandwich (which feels like 90's retro somehow), but every now and then a dish jumps out with a funky accent like mango chipotle mint salsa or pasta from RP's (no relation).

Tomato bisqueYears of being the slowest eater at the table have taught Nichole to go with soup whenever possible because (depending on the server) it gives her a head start. Reading the cute blurb "One man, one mind, so many soups" on the menu was the nudge she needed to go for the soup of the day. This tomato bisque was worth savoring: creamy yet thin and light, sippable, with a distinct celery overtone and fresh herbs.

Our sandwiches came out in good time. JM's Philly cheesesteak special wouldn't win any accolades for being correct, but the lightly sauteed green peppers, stretchy cheese mix and subtly spiced thin beef slices added up to a satisfying sandwich. The bun could have used some reinforcement. The side of crispy crinkle fries with a touch of seasoning added a lot.

Philly cheesesteak and fries

Nichole's sandwich was not boring in the least. It was all perfectly grill-toasted white bread, a pile of smoky, juicy slices of pork loin, and some Havarti to tie it together - plus Door County cherry basil mayo? Yes, please. JM liked it too.

Smoked pork loin sandwich and pickle

Apple crisp and vanilla ice creamSadly we ended on a down note because our choice of dessert was not great. The best part about the caramel apple delight - basically an apple crisp a la mode - were the baked apples and zippy brandy sauce. The crisp itself was soggy from ice cream (it arrived on the, ah, semi-freddo side) yet the pastry layers were tough to get through with just a fork.

An unauthorized fish fry run by half our team a couple weeks later (inspired by Wisconsin Fish Fry Reviews) revealed very good, attentive service but an average broiled/fried cod deal, and no evidence of the smoked pork loin sandwich.

If your group is mostly mainstream but includes a couple creativity-seekers (sorry, vegetarians, not much for you here), RP Adler's just might do it for you.


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If you go again, you gotta try the steak bites. Awesome appetizer!

We used to live just a couple blocks from here. We enjoyed it quite a bit until we became vegetarians, and yes, we didn't bother going after that. I loved the burger I got once, but this was pushing two years ago, so I don't know if it's there anymore. It had a big lovely pile of artichokes and cheese on top. My spouse had one with pesto that was equally delicious.

Why does everything on the West Side of Madison get labled with the "suburban sprawl" chiche, but the same type of buildings and establishments in the newish parts Eastern parts of Dane county don't merit the same? How is the interchange of 151 and I90 less ticky tacky than West Towne?

That's an excellent question. Madison, what do you think?

Good question and probably a different answer for every response. My feeling is it has to do with how RECENT the area has been developed, ie east side is basically "brand new", while west side has mainly been around awhile.

Assuming that theory is correct, right now the east side is considered "new", once it has been around awhile it will change to "urban sprawl" like the west side.

Having lived in Far West for over two years and only sporadically visited the east side, I'm probably biased. That said, I think most big cities have impersonal, antiseptic buildings around their major transportation hubs. I'm not sure why, but for me it's kind of a given, and not judged too harshly. Meanwhile, I don't think anyone would call County M a major hub, but it's full to the brim with overly shiny, boring buildings smack up against corn fields. It just feels worse.

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