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Shamrock Bar

Update 7/9/13: Shamrock is closed.

In a word: Like a 3-leaf clover.

The specs: #0593  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at QSC, Madison Magazine, Yelp, I Love That Bar, Madison Fish Fry; listing at Eat Drink Madison; official web site (suspended as of posting 10/12/10), Facebook, Shamrock Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest Shamrock Bar news and reviews

JM ate the grilled chicken sandwich with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the cheddar cheeseburger with a Supper Club.
The bill was $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM gave Shamrock Bar a B-; Nichole gave Shamrock Bar a B+ (see our grading rubric).

An absurdly early dinner in the middle of a busy week was the plan for Shamrock. Arriving soon after 4:30, we were in time to watch Cheech Marin win some celebrity Jeopardy while we tried the standard fare at one of Madison's longest-established and most-loved LGBT bars. (Aside to Isthmus on the Isthmus re: the 10/4/10 episode: Shamrock is much less seedy than The Dise; also, thanks for checking out the Dan Potacke Show and Godzilla vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas).

The menu had no standout or signature items, just things shaped like fingers: chicken strips, drummies, shrimp; things between pieces of bread: burgers, grilled and breaded chicken sandwiches, fish, steak (we assume on a sandwich but didn't ask); and things wrapped in breading: regular and curly fries, mozz sticks, curds, onion rings, queso bites, etc. It was a little too dark to make decent pictures possible.

JM lost his chance at mini corn dogs in a coin toss that Nichole won. She picked deep fried mushrooms. They were whole white mushrooms in a thick breading, and retained some of the meaty flavor one likes in a mushroom, but all things considered, were average. We've been known to talk trash about sides of ranch dressing but when it's there, we use it just like everyone else.

Burger time (perpetual hat tip to Kate):

  • Bun: toasted to a crunch; white with cornmeal top, slightly sweet.
  • Meat: maybe 1/3 lb, fragrant, juicy, tender and free of gristle, but probably not made in-house.
  • Bun/meat ratio: perfect.
  • Cheese: Cheddar slice gone translucent with the perfect amount of time on the grill; had a real cheesy flavor.
  • Misc.: served with a crunchy pickle spear. About a 7.6 of 10 overall.

The grilled chicken sandwich was ordinary. It was served on the same kind of bun as the burger and JM was sad there was a lack of mayo (Nichole forgot to ask for it) but brown and yellow mustard were both available in the condiment caddy.  The sandwich was well prepared but the chicken patty was more patty than chicken. 

The women's room was immaculate, as was the music (Madge, Dusty, Petula, and Gaga dominated... what? no Taylor Dayne?). The swivel factor was minimal and there was free wifi. The taps were not very interesting but Supper Club was OK and served with an amiable nod, in a chilled pint glass that was trying its best to get us to watch The Virginity Hit. Foodies at the bar chatted animatedly about Gail Ambrosius Chocolates' recent feature on the Food Network. It was a nice if unremarkable meal.


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Go there for brunch Saturday or Sunday! Often the specials are build around something available at the farmers market. They have great eggs Benedict and steak and eggs.

100% agree with Anna - best undiscovered brunch on the Square. And great Bloodies.

So... you're saying it was good, but not exactly a Sham-Wow?

Stah't it sepricely!

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