« Legends | Main | Licari's »

Library Cafe and Bar

Subway and LibraryIn a word: Check it out.

The specs: #00945 
320 N Randall Ave., 53715
Details at Yelp, The Library on Urbanspoon
Official web site

Latest Library Cafe and Bar news and reviews

JM ate the Texas burger with fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the corned beef sandwich with chips and a Gray's root beer.
The bill was $25, or $12ish/person, plus tip.
JM gave Library Cafe and Bar a B; Nichole gave Library Cafe and Bar a 647.9577583 and an A- (see our grading rubric).

000 GENERALITIES

The Library is situated right at the split where University stops being University and Johnson Street starts coming the other way. Over by WID, you know? Though the Library hasn't been covered by the 070 folks much, we found plenty to report back on. The name, is of course, another of those great old bar-disguise names.

MOM: Where were you all night?

KID: I was at the Library.

Scene.

100: PHILOSOPHY AND PSYCHOLOGY

The overall vibe of the Library was not 130ish at all - it was pretty warm and cozy (and that was due to more than the fact that one of the tables is actually a fireplace). Bookshelves lined all the walls and were packed with thrift-store hardcovers and the odd textbook. We had last been here, long ago, when it was Cool Runnings, and we were glad that the place is being well taken care of. Service is semi-158.1-style, order at the counter and take a seat.

200: RELIGION

Of course, in Wisconsin, drinking is practically a religion. The Library does indeed have a pretty lengthy beer list and a full bar with the requisite nightly drink specials. We were pleased to see the full coffee bar as well, though we both stuck to soft drinks - lemonade, of course, and a Gray's root beer, which was a rare treat.

300: SOCIAL SCIENCES

Maybe decorating a bar with real books attracts nerds, but the crowd at the Library definitely appeared more studious - and more versed in 395.53 - than those at the campus area bars we've been to (Wando's, Church Key, Chaser's, etc.). The couch set-ups were great for fostering interpersonal communication.

400: LANGUAGE

It is hard to describe the Library's corned beef. Though delicious, the meat arrived scattered across the thin toasted bun in giant hulking cubes that made the sandwich nearly uneatable though the Swiss cheese and whole grain mustard added some enjoyment.

Reuben

500: NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS

The bill was correctly tallied.

600: TECHNOLOGY (APPLIED SCIENCES)

Now, on to the meat of this post. The salt and pepper chips arrived fresh and seemed like about the best execution of this idea available.  They were tasty and disappeared quickly. Meanwhile, JM's far more processed fries were the opposite of good. They were cold, thin and had not give.  He would have gladly traded them for Nichole's chips and he doesn't really like chips, but these were icky despite the technology that went into bringing them to this table.

The art of assembling a decent BBQ burger was, fortunately, on display.  JM's Texas Burger came with cream cheese! sautéed onions! chives! and all of these flavors did work together.  Unfortunately, a thin commercial patty is an unfit canvas for recreational burger eating and the untoasted bun was a little less than fun.  He'd eat it again, but wouldn't seek it out. Other menu items, and there are several, look maybe a little better.

Texas burger

700: ARTS & RECREATION

As mentioned before, the Library was thoughtfully decorated. There must have been music, but we can't remember what was playing.

800: LITERATURE

We enjoyed the Library's books - we found an old copy of Jay Leno's Headlines and had a few aimless laughs. It was like having a funny friend entertain us before dinner.

900: GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY

And with that, we were history.  If we found ourselves needing lunchtime coffee (Nichole) or west campus student-budget eats (JM), we might return just because the rest of the campus-area competition is so meh.  So you may want to add this location to your map.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Word nerdishness (especially diagraming sentences!!) + the DDS + food = Best. Freakin'. AtZ. Review. Ever!! Thank you from the bottom of my English language-loving, library-loving heart.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

NEWS

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.


SEARCH EATING IN MADISON A TO Z

BROWSE EATING IN MADISON A TO Z
OUR FAVORITES


About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design