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UW Union South (Sett)

The Sett at Union SouthIn a word: Belongs between a match and the game.

The specs: #0768  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, official web site; Sett on Urbanspoon

Latest Sett news and reviews

Bill ate the burger and fries with a fountain drink.
JM ate the nachos and a chicken sandwich with a lemonade.
Jennifer ate the Spicy Cat sandwich with fries.
Nichole ate the chicken sandwich with tortilla chips, salsa and a beer.
Nino ate the Spicy Cat sandwich with onion rings.
Toby ate the Usinger's brat with garlic fries.
The bill was about $12/person, plus tip.
Bill and Toby gave the Sett an A-; Nichole, Nino and JM gave the Sett a B+; Jennifer gave the Sett a B (see our grading rubric).

UW Union South was added to the list as four locations but they all started with "UW Union South" and since they are all serviced and run by the same organization, we considered it a chain. Which was a handy cheat, because despite Union staff's reassurances to the contrary just a week before, the Sett was the only food vendor open on the day after Thanksgiving. Ginger Root, Harvest Grains, Prairie Fire and Urban Slice (not to be confused with Urban Pizza - remember them?) were all closed. Has anyone been? Are they good?

Sadly, our notes were not very clear on who had what so the rest of this post is a little diffuse. Stick around for the art at the end.

Brat and chicken sandwich

NachosThe thing about the Sett is that it seems like it's still mostly Sysco supplied. So while the Usinger's brat and onion rings combo was a good one, there's nothing really super about it relative to its environs. The Spicy Cat cajun-spiced catfish sandwiches were passable. The nachos were out-of-the-box nachos, maybe a little sweet and pepper-spicy.

Nothing really stood out apart from Bill's burger. Bill liked his burger a lot. You can trust his opinion. He's a burger expert.

Burger and cola

They do have an extensive selection of local microbrews but they're called "imports." Does not compute. Didn't keep us from partaking.

Brat and garlic friesCatfish sandwich

Now for the real problem: it is very loud inside the actual Sett. Like someone screaming at you at all times from wall-to-wall TVs loud. On the other hand, pointed out Nino, it would be a good place to have a one-on-one conversation safe from eavesdropping.

We only found quiet in the Sun Garden by the huge fireplace, and when we took some time to see Time (Im)material, a gallery show in which Toby took part. His installation, Horizon Life, was beautiful and meditative. Also compelling was Susan J White's Gut Lace. Wow. We're glad we got to see it. (Be sure to check out, har, Bookless on January 28, 2012.)

Anyway. We enjoyed the company of those with us far more than we enjoyed the Sett's fare. 


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Ginger Root is meh...your average Chinese team table

I've been to all of the Union South restaurants except Prairie Fire.

Ginger Root - I got a red Thai curry with tofu. It amazed me that anything called red Thai curry could have so little flavor.

Harvest Grain - I had a breakfast sandwich. The croissant was vending machine quality. The eggs had been prepared years in advance. The tomato had no flavor.

Urban Slice - It's OK pizza. I can live with that because it is pretty cheap and fast.

The Sett - My veggie burger looked and tasted like they had microwaved it directly from the package. The fries were OK. If I had paid $3, I would have been fine with it. However, I think it was around $8.

I work near Union South. I never go there to eat unless someone else picks it.

Yeah the whole building serves your run of the mill campus cafeteria food, better than some campuses I've visited and worse than others. One note: you can drink beer here. That's usually enough for me.

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