JD'sIn a word: Opens at 10... PM...

The specs: #00919   
317 N. Bassett St. 53703
Details at Yelp, JD's Soul Food on Urbanspoon

Latest JD's news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM and Nichole split a Polish.
The bill was $5ish plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave JD's a B+ (see our grading rubric).

We're old. This rarely makes it a problem to get A to Z meals done, since we can eat early among our blue-haired brethren and be done. But with JD's we actually had a problem.

See, we have nothing against bar time food per se. But normally bar time food is available before bar time and is something we prefer to eat earlier, namely, "not at bar time." JD's, not so much. Their menu of Chicago-style fare - steakburgers on white toast, pork chop sandwiches, sausages slathered in onions and mustard, fries, and wings - is served at a food cart and at their ground-floor restaurant where Gorham bifurcates into Bassett and University.

It was a hassle to get there: our schedule had us swinging by JD's after a late evening dinner party so we were not that hungry (besides, we're never that hungry approaching midnight). It was a hassle to get in: loitering bros littered the place and finding the head of the line was a challenge.  It was a hassle getting food: the wait was nearly ten minutes and, with no place to park, we had to split the party. It was a hassle getting home: not wanting to merely consume and entire sausage on the steps of JD's, or in the car at a red light while the Wando's crowds wandered in traffic, we drove the ten+ minutes home to our own kitchen. We ate standing up (which annoyed the dog, who got her hopes up but knows she can't have sausage).

JD's beef polish

But, damn, it was a good sausage.

And that's fortunate, because before we tried it we didn't understand how a place that opens after a third of the city is already in bed could hold down rent in a campus-area first floor mixed-use space.

Bike the Barns 2014

Bike the Barns, the annual fundraising ride for FairShare CSA Coalition, happened yesterday. It was fantastic! We highly recommend it to anyone who rides bikes, likes fun, or eats food.

The farm tours were interesting, restful & hospitable. Here are some onions in Luna Circle's hoop house.

Onions in hoop house

Lunch and snacks were amazing. Here, brat burger and sides from Food Fight; at other stops, scones from 4&20, Sassy Cow milk, cookies from Graze, Madison Sourdough Co. granola bars, apples, and at the end kabobs or La Fortuna pizza.


At the end, music, massages and cool green grass to lie in.

Sky after Bike the Barns

Thank you pledgers, congratulations FairShare on another great year (holy cow, John and friends! Awesome job!), and ride on.

J&M Bar

J&M BarIn a word: Worthy of a Belle-hop.

The specs: #00918   
127 W. Main St., Belleville, 53508
Details at Yelp, J & M Bar on Urbanspoon

Latest J&M Bar news and reviews at del.icio.us

JM ate the chicken sandwich with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the bacon burger with a cranberry juice.
We split some curly fries and a basket of complementary pretzel sticks.
The bill was about $20, or $10/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave J&M Bar a B+ (see our grading rubric).

Belleville is a lovely spot to bike to. The Badger State Trail is a good place to hit on a summer's day, the terrain is mostly flat, and it passes through town near the main drag.  We'd probably stop in Belleville more often, but we hadn't yet found a good place to eat (though Borland's has a decent fish fry; the convenience store on the north side of town, while nice, is not worthy of a bike ride). J&M seems to fill the bill nicely.

The first thing that J&M has going for it are nice people. Really nice. They offered us free pretzel sticks with a good mustard. And while the service was laid back and not rushed, every single staff person in the place (about 6) stopped at our table to see if we needed anything. 

Curly fries and mustard

Chicken sandwichJM's chicken sandwich was pretty standard but even in that there is a great deal of comfort. The bun was toasted, but ample sauce was to hand so that the moistness of the dish was not threatened.  Each bite was good, meaning that the fry medium was definitely top notch.

Curly fries = standard.


Nichole got a burger, so let's see how it does on Accidental Hedonist's burger rubric:

  • Bun: untoasted white sesame bakery roll. Airy but with structural integrity.
  • Meat: thick patty, juicy.
  • Bun/meat ratio: good.
  • Cheese: Skipped this time. Bacon was crispy.
  • Misc.: The home-grown (by the owners) tomato slice on this burger made the sandwich - it was more like a BLT plus beef. A 9.5 of 10, with the acknowledgement that it's dependent on tomato season.

The best part of the burger, and J&M itself, was that it was so unassuming. J&M will never make the paper for growing their own tomato, or put up a billboard touting their farm freshness. Ever since we finished the List and started the Wheel, we've been making the rounds of lots of corner taverns. These kinds of family-run places can be hit or miss in the wild, but once in a while there's a place like J&M, so genuine that we'll gladly add it to the "try again" list.

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