Sizzling Hut

In a word: Hut or not.

The specs: #01051  
404 N. Main St., DeForest, WI 53532
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook

Latest Sizzling Hut news and reviews

JM ate the General Tso's chicken with a soda.
Nichole ate the cashew shrimp.
We split an order of crab rangoon and got a free packet of almond cookies.
The bill was $14, or $7/person, plus tip.
JM gave Sizzling Hut a B; Nichole gave Sizzling Hut a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Tucked away in a forgotten strip mall just minutes from the DeForest Norske Nook is Sizzling Hut.  We got a fairly standard afternoon set of late lunchy eatables and have to report: it is just fine.

Crab Rangoon

Sizzling Hut is De Forest's Chinese restaurant in a box.  They seem to be going for more deals than the standard, with daily lunch specials that migrate from good value to 'are you paying us to eat here?' territory.  One of the key awesome things was the guy behind the counter, who served our food, might have cooked it, and was identified on our receipt as "boss." He was avuncular and genial, despite the respite of no diners in the mid afternoon that we interrupted. He was never too close or too far away.  The food arrived not too soon but not too late either; for openers, the crab rangoon were simple, hot and crabby.

General Tso's chicken

As for the entrees, JM's General Tso's was not really spicy (related aside: there seem to be too kinds of restaurants, those that warn that anything sharper than Minute Maid is spicy, while the others have spiciness scales where anything above a "1" is guaranteed to melt your face into a tiny puddle. Do we need an international Scoville-to-star rubric?) but tasty and filling.  There was just enough rice, but a vegetable or two more wouldn't have killed JM. Would it, JM? 

Cashew chicken

Nichole's cashew shrimp was very salty, but packed with vegetables. The fried rice had bits of egg in it, a plus. And on the way out, Boss gave Nichole two packets of almond cookies just because.

There's not much to add. We are so infrequently in DeForest that needing a Chinese place there is the least of our concerns (getting from Madison to the Nook for a weeknight dinner before it closes is a different story). But you can do a lot worse, and perhaps Sun Prairie denizens might find the down-homeiness of this place superior to their current East Asian options.

Silver Eagle Bar & Grill

In a word: A site for soar eyes.

The specs: #01050  
5805 Monona Dr., Monona 53716
Details at Yelp, official web site, Facebook

Latest Silver Eagle Bar & Grill news and reviews

JM ate the French dip with Silver Eagle fries and a lemonade.
Nichole ate the cheddar cheeseburger with crinkle fries and a diet Pepsi.
The bill was about $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM gave Silver Eagle a B+; Nichole gave Silver Eagle a C+ (see our grading rubric).

The Silver Eagle bills itself as Monona's birthday bar (Madison's is different) and this they honor by giving the celebrant a free meal.  Consequently, JM has eaten here often enough for work birthdays.  He has always found the sandwich selection decent and there's nothing that anyone has walked away from with negative words passing their lips.

Today, for a decidedly non-birthday lunch, Nichole ordered the cheddar cheeseburger special with fries.  The cheeseburger arrived on a toasted, buttered, soft bun which was decent.  She found it a little underwhelming that no vegetable toppings were offered or present upon arrival. It certainly was a fine burger in the bar burger tradition, if a little plain.

French dipBurger

JM's French dip was substantial but fell apart over the long haul. He ordered it with a side of chorizo dip which was easily the best part of the sandwich. It tasted like everyone's favorite taco dip with a little bit of sausage to up the ante.  The jus just was umami enough and, for some reason, the sandwich also came with mayo. Now, JM likes mayo, like like likes mayo, but not along side chorizo dip and jus. This was one of the pricier items on the menu and it wasn't quite as prime a prime rib as JM would've liked.  But it certainly wasn't bad.

The sides of sides of fries were too large.  The crinkle cut ones did not appeal, while the skin-on Silver Eagle house fries did, quite.  With so many dipping sauces on JM's plate, combinatorics made more fries disappear than we expected, but we both emerged full and ready to face the rest of the day.

Silver Eagle has plenty of TVs to watch the big game and a full bar (your birthday party can include a free shot if you want it). The other 364 days a year, compare it to your local and judge accordingly.


Madison Food coverOur book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is out. More about it here. Read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook, or read an excerpt on Carson Gulley and some bonus bits on Porchlight, Argus, Sunshine Supper, and Babcock.


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