Friday, July 6, 2007

Breakfast at Mickey's

This morning before work, I met my friends Lauren and Brodie for breakfast at Mickey’s Dairy Bar (1511 Monroe Street). Mickey’s is an old favorite and a Madison breakfast tradition since 1946. It’s the quintessential Wisconsin diner. On game days and weekend mornings, there’s always a horde of people on the sidewalk surrounding the entrance patiently waiting for the chance to devour a stack of pancakes or the signature greasy "scrambler", which is often touted as the perfect hangover cure. The décor hasn’t changed much since the 1950’s, and a preserved menu from then, listing shockingly low prices, still hangs on a side wall. Since it’s across the street from Camp Randall Stadium, there’s also a lot of Badger paraphernalia and team posters dotting the walls. The prices are great, and the portions are huge. Two things to keep in mind are that the restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch, and they only accept cash.

This morning I opted for the $4.50 blueberry pancakes, which I shared with Lauren. The plate features two giant-sized pancakes generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. It’s enough to feed an entire family. I also ordered a cup of coffee, which was refilled to the brim a half-dozen times by our shaky-handed but very attentive server, who must have been pushing eighty. Brodie had his usual—the scrambler, which is a massive, artery-clogging “everything but the kitchen sink” omelet with eggs, bacon or sausage, and cheese, all covered in a soup of gravy. In one greasy feast, you’ll satiate a day’s worth of hunger and calories. While I didn’t order it this morning, my other favorite is the $3.50 milkshakes, which are available in a multitude of flavors. They’re thick and delicious, and the perfect compliment to a stack of cakes.

Mickey’s is a must for anyone who visits Madison. It’s a unique dining experience and a Madison classic in the heart of campus. You might want to fast for a few days if you plan on ordering the scrambler, however.

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