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Hanson'sIn a word: Great in Dane.

The specs: #00897   
115 E. Main St., Dane 53529
Details at Yelp, Hanson's on Urbanspoon

JM ate the McHanson basket with a Specher root beer on tap.
Nichole ate the BLT basket with a jalapeño egg and some decaf.

They split an order of cheese curds.
The bill was $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM gave Hanson's an A; Nichole gave Hanson's an A- (see our grading rubric).

Truth be told, we went into Hanson's fully expecting the worst.  The drive to Dane took longer than necessary and even though spring was in full swing, there was the usual dread of a rural Sconnie bar with limited food and more swivel than nibbles (cf: Gerk's Junction).

We were so wrong on every account.  The waitress indicated that Hanson's was up for sale. So run, don't walk to this gem before it closes.

When we got the menus, we were blown away.  First off, the breadth was something to behold.  Sure there were burgers, and even cowboy and McDonald's iterations thereof, but there were also ribeye steak sandwiches, shrimp by the count, Reubens and so much more.  Furthermore, some prankster has set the prices all really low.  The burgers clocked in starting at $5 and the highest couldn't get to be more than $7.50 with only a $1 upcharge to a basket. Baskets include fries or chips, natch, but also cole slaw or three bean salad.

CurdsFor drinks, we got a Sprecher and a decaf.  The decaf was freshly brewed and Nichole did her best to finish the pot. JM was savoring his root beer from the tap slowly... down to just a few mouthsful when the waitress appeared to tell him that one refill came on the house. Tap root beer with a free refill. How awesome.

Our curd basket was reasonable (again only $4) and was made with good stuff.  The order was a good size though as so much food was to follow and the curds were white, which means that they were not from a certain large scale supplier. They were accompanied by a 6-pack of sauces - peppery Ranch, bitter Bourbon, creamy Tabasco Boom Boom, smoky BBQ, mustard, and ketchup.

Hanson's coffee mug and jalapeno pickled egg

Nichole snagged a jalapeño hard boiled egg, which was delicious and made her lips burn. It also rounded out the BLT meal. This sandwich was loaded with thick-cut bacon, fresh iceberg lettuce and a decent tomato on wheat toast. The three bean salad was the classic sweet and sour, kidney/wax/green medley, in a little plastic cup. JM's burger (the McHanson with Thousand Island dressing) tasted better than a comparable fast food burger would have.


We hear that the breakfasts on weekends are not to be missed and with these prices and food volume, we would not be surprised.  It is just a shame that this little gem had escaped everyone's notice for so long.


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SIX sauces?!?!?!? I want to go to there.

I still check this website every once in a while even though it's mostly concluded. I love reading about the ham sandwiches! Five thousand meals and three thousand of them the same! Only in Wisconsin.

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Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



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