Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tour de Greasy Spoon

This past weekend, I did a lot of eating out. But then again, I always do a lot of eating out. Maybe the thing that made this weekend’s selections so noteworthy was the fact that most could be described as “greasy spoons.” And we all know ‘tis the season for comfort foods. However, ‘tis always the season of comfort foods in my world. Word.

On Saturday night, prior to candlelight snowshoeing, Karen and I headed to our first greasy spoon selection, The Club Tavern (1915 Branch Street) in Middleton, for 2-for-1 burger baskets (My frugal friend, Karen, had clipped a coupon). I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere in the restaurant part of the tavern, which was originally built between 1860 and 18880 as a boarding house, and was later named the Club Tavern in 1921. The prices were unbeatable. Most of the burgers were under $5, and the fries were only 99 cents. And then there was the whole 2-for-1 deal. What a steal! The food was good, nothing too extraordinary, but decent tavern grub. Definitely worth a stop, especially with a 2-for-1 coupon.

The next morning, following a 13-mile run (around Lake Monona) with our friend Emily, we headed to Cleveland’s Diner (410 East Wilson), which is a tiny hole in the wall near John Nolen Drive. We both ordered eggs and toast, and then shared a short stack of blueberry pancakes. In my opinion, it’s pretty tough to mess up basic breakfast entrees, and the food was accordingly as expected. The prices were also phenomenal, with most breakfast dishes ranging in price from $3-$6. It was definitely a nice, laid-back breakfast in an old-school type of environment, but I must say that I would prefer Mickey's Dairy Bar any day (for the same sort of atmosphere). And I was a bit troubled by all of the dust and random posters/postcards taped on the walls. Just sort of messy/tacky and generally unappetizing.

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