Journey Sushi & Seafood Buffet

JourneyIn a word: Stop believin'.

The specs: #00922   
4325 Lien Rd., Madison 53704
Details at Yelp, The Journey on Urbanspoon
Official Facebook

Latest Journey Sushi & Seafood Buffet news and reviews at

Anne, JM, John, Nichole and the kid ate the buffet.
The bill was $10/person, plus tip.
JM gave Journey Sushi & Seafood Buffet a C; Anne, John and Nichole gave Journey Sushi & Seafood Buffet a C- (see our grading rubric).

Buffets in Madison tend to be in mostly the same class. Some are a little more clean, others scary, still others tend to remind us of better places. The Journey, located in the old Damon's by the east side Target, was a little of all three. 

First, though, Journey is popular and almost inexplicably so. With the closure of China Buffet on East Washington, this may be due to the lack of East side buffets Chinese (though QQ still exists [edit: nope]). The place is a barn, and yet when we were there for a Saturday lunch, lots of tables were full.

The food was decidely just OK. There were lots and lots of varied dishes, and bubbling water underneath the steam tables conveyed freshness, but the food never did.  Some tasted old and some tasted a little underdone. No dish out of the more than three dozen we tried was something that we wanted to share with someone else or recommend to someone on another trip around.

It did have some unqiue stuff, like whole flounder and other fish, and did have lots of sushi rolls constantly being refreshed by guys behind glass. But nothing was really drool-worthy.

Single shrimp

The price is, as they say, right and the place doesn't give off the dank vibe Jade Garden did back in 2007.  But still, there's better version of each of these things less than 5 miles away in any direction. Just not all under one roof.

Jordandal Cookhouse

In a word: The best sliver of food in Verona (we presume).

The specs: #00921   
600 West Verona Ave., Verona 53593
Details at Yelp, Jordandal Cookhouse on Urbanspoon
Official web site, Facebook, Twitter

Latest Jordandal Cookhouse news and reviews at

JM ate the fish tacos with cheese and sausage for a side, plus a grape soda.
Nichole ate the beef and peanut soup, jerk chicken sandwich with curry carrot slaw on the side, and butterscotch pudding in a jam jar.
The bill was $30, or $15/person, plus tip.
JM gave Jordandal Cookhouse a B+; Nichole gave Jordandal Cookhouse an A (see our grading rubric).

Jordandal Cookhouse carryout

Remember fall? It was great. It was the perfect time to visit Jordandal Farms' outlet, though Nichole suspects it's always a perfect time for Jordandal. She went overboard ordering since every single thing on the menu looked delicious and, while we're on the first pass of the "wheel," how often do we get to eat good food?

Her curry carrot slaw was an interesting take on the same old grated carrot salad, plus the cranberries made it nice. The nicely thick beef peanut soup was brimming with vegetables (carrots, red peppers, cabbage) while still maintaining a pleasant bite. Most of the jerk chicken sandwich went home for later, but the first bites proved their tastiness with smoky meat and a sweet jalapeƱo jam. Her elementary school throwback of butterscotch pudding was a tad thin, but tasty.

JM's fish tacos were quite an affair as well, though the orange-flavored mayo they were awash in may not have been the best citrus choice, but it was definitly distinct.  And, though they fell apart, he hasn't found any fish tacos anywhere that actually maintain their structural integrity throughout.

Here's the thing: everything was fresh, good and packed with thoughtful ingredients. This place does a pretty good trade just selling uncooked meat to the west side's picky consumers. We're not sure how many Epic folks wander away from campus to find food, but if only 2% make their way to Jordandal, they should be sitting pretty.

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